Everyone I know loves Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Fudge. It’s a classic pairing.
The same is true in the case of Tortilla Chips and Salsa. They just go together. Some wines and foods are also a dynamic duo. For example, a big Cabernet Sauvignon with a juicy Medium Rare Steak or a Brut Champagne couple with Oysters are classic combinations. Isn’t funny how some foods and wines just pair so well together?
When we teach our “Food and Wine Pairing 101” class it’s fun to see the reaction of the different students. Most enrollees tend to favor sweet wines, so when they initially try a dry wine [by itself] their reaction is a face that only Jim Carey would be proud of.
However, when they’re instructed to taste that same wine after a bite of the correctly-paired-food, that expression miraculously emerges into a smile. Mary calls it ‘the teachable moment’. Building upon the first step, the next discovery is even more fun; following the correct food and wine pairing, we then encourage the students to try opposites Here, they combine foods which don’t compliment a particular wine. In many cases they take their favorite sweet wine and try it with a piece of steak. Usually, that results in a taste that is quite unpleasant and it is a that point that a student comprehends the concept of correctly pairing food and wine together. Another graduate!
Now, I say “correctly” paired with the caveat that what we teach is the accepted pairing by a vast majority of palettes, but we also tell our students that what tastes best to them is correct. After all, it is a matter of personal taste…just as my Aunt Helen June used to love Peanut Butter and Onion Sandwiches.