Wine and Food Pairing ¦ Learn how to match wine and Food.
I would like to give you two very compelling reasons why, if you like cooking, you would learn… No, scratch that. If you like cooking, it is inevitable for you to LOVE wine. It should be one of your new best friends in the kitchen. In my opinion, next to the spatula, it is the most useful implement invented in that area of our home. I am exaggerating, of course, but the importance has to be highlighted.
First, wine is an integral part of classical Western cookery. French, Italian, Spanish – these leading cuisines rely on wine in most of their savory dishes. You might already know that in cooking, there are always the fundamental elements and one of these is the stock. This flavorful liquid is used for almost everything – base for soups, sauces, etc. A truly authentic stock involves herbs and spices, which the French call mirepoix, meat, bones, water and wine. Wine – as an acidic agent – help dissolve the meat’s connective tissues, allowing for better flavor extraction. In fish stock, it helps make the affair more flavorful.
With wine, you can also considerably widen your cooking repertoire. The variations of dishes would often depend on the sauce and wines are critical in this respect. There are five so-called mother sauces in Western cuisine: béchamel, veloute, brown sauce, hollandaise and tomato sauce. All of these sauces can involve wine. Although the classic Hollandaise does not require it, some chefs add a bit to achieve a certain degree of character. Some amount of Cabernet and a port wine reduction make the Hollandaise become richer and better accompaniment to poached eggs drape in tenderloin steak. Furthermore, most of the five sauces’ derivatives require wine as well. For example, brown sauce is reduced to become a demiglace. Once Madeira wine is incorporated, it becomes Madeira sauce. If dry white wine is used instead, then it is called Bercy sauce. Under the Brown sauce alone, there are at least 17 derivatives and a number of the differentiations are on account of the wine used.
The second compelling reason is, of course, food-wine pairing. It is safe to say that a table will not be the same if a food is on its own without any wine to go with it. And this more so in the case of feasts prepared for special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries. Wines are used to complement, contradict, temper, balance and enhance the flavor of food. It is fancy, yes, but it is hardly driven by whim alone. In many instances, it is a necessity.
There are other little things as well about this wine affair. If you are a fitness or health buff, then wine should appeal because it is good for the heart. It is not fattening and could even serve as remedy for certain ailments and household problems.