Tasting Wine

The Importance of Making Bad Wine Pairings

We have all been there – standing in the wine aisle at the grocery store, hoping the perfect wine will just jump into the cart. Meanwhile, the minutes are ticking away, dinner needs to get cooked. Giving into the pressure and confusion, you reach for the mid-priced wine with the interesting label and hope that you made the right choice.

Doing a simple internet search, you will find a multitude of articles around the “perfect” pairing and the “perfect” holiday wines. To me that makes enjoying wine and food downright stressful.

But, let’s be honest for a minute. It is okay to make a bad pairing.  It is not like it is going to render the wine undrinkable or the food inedible.

Plus, what better way to learn than by actually trying and failing a few times.  And I have definitely had my fair share of misses.

I would have to say that my biggest food/wine nemesis is Mexican food.  I don’t mind Mexican food, but Mexican food does not necessarily like me, and maybe this is part of my problem.

I love the smell and the flavors of a good taco or tamale, but about halfway through the dish, I am regretting my choice.  And maybe that is why, without fail, I always order Chardonnay with my meal.  I should be ordering something red, rich and spicy, like a Malbec or even a Cabernet Sauvignon.  But why do I choose white?  Am I hoping the white will cool my burning stomach? Am I onto something?

If we were to follow the normal adage – red goes with red meat and white goes with poultry and fish, then how would we learn that Pinot goes with Salmon or that Riesling tastes good with spicy Thai?

Learn through experience; try and fail.  You will remember the best pairings and learn quickly which do not work.  And there is also a possibility of finding something amazing.

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