The truth about food and wine matching: in defence of its supporters

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by Robin Goldsmith in Drink, Food, Wine

Fish with wine

The debate

There’s been a good deal of talk recently in social media and newspapers about whether wine critics’ advice is worth its salt and whether food and wine matching makes any sense, has genuine scientific worth or is just a load of pretentious nonsense?

The argument

First and foremost, wine should be enjoyed, so if you happen to like drinking Château Plonk with your vindaloo, that’s fine. Yet certain combinations do seem to taste better than others and some combinations are really quite unpleasant. Consider the following. When you bite into a piece of meat or fish and take a sip or swig of wine from your glass, the chances are that some of the meat juices or even bits of fish are still in your mouth. Treat wine in a similar way to a sauce or gravy and all the flavours mingle together. Now, if you are lucky enough to be eating grilled fillet of sea bass, would you want it smothered in gravy? No – because it would be horrible! It would simply not taste right, the gravy ruining the flavour of the fish. This can’t be just a subjective observation, as surely most people would arrive at the same conclusion, so perhaps there is, dare I say, a more scientific reason for this.


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