Wine and Food Pairing Principles

How do food and wine interact? This graphic shows the interactions. On the left side, you have each of the food taste sensations (salt, sweet, acid, bitter, umami and spicy). On top, the components of wine that can be affected by food (fruit, sweet, acid, bitter, alcohol and body perception). In the crossing point of each pair, a symbol to show how the food affects the perception of the wine component: increasing it, decreasing it or no effect. 2 Practical Examples SALTY FOOD:  imagine your are eating an appetizer with olives (mainly salty). Then, you can drink a light bodied wine because salty taste of food will increase the sensation of the body of the wine. If the food were sweet (in the second line of the graphic), it will make the wine taste flat or watery. Also, if the wine has a high acidity it will be soften by the salty flavor of the food. This is why a light, fresh white wine goes perfect with olives but also why it’s not a good dessert wine (assuming dessert is sweet). SPICY FOOD: now imagine your are eating spicy noodles. If you drink a very tannic wine (bold red wine with plenty of oak flavor, for example) it will feel unbalanced and will dry your mouth unpleasantly, as the spicy taste increases the bitter sensation of wine. On the other hand, with a fruity and sweet wine instead, the spice in the food will compensate these characteristics of the wine. Wine and Food Pairing Principles Wine and Food! Millions of people have enjoyed them together for centuries. In theory, we can enhance the pleasure of food and wine...

Life in the Vineyard 3. The Human Factor

Glad that you arrived here! Let’s go with the third step of the series Life in the Vineyard, in where you can see how the  Human Factor affects the conditions to get a great and good wine… But also the price!. Check out the vine growing techniques.   . Last note: I’ve separated this post in the 3 aspects, as they are easier to manage. So, the most important aspects that will affect the taste of the wine because of 3 variables: Life in the Vineyard: 1. The Climate & Place, as it determines the growing conditions of the grapevine. Life in the Vineyard: 2. The Varietal, as it is important it can express the better in the specific climate conditions Life in the Vineyard: 3. The Human Factor, as the techniques vine-growers use to facilitate the better conditions of the land to get the best wine...

Life in the Vineyard 2. The Varietal

Congratulations! If you passed Climate & Place you are now ready for the 2nd step in the series Life in the Vineyard, where you can see The Varietal as another key factor for producing a good and great wine.   . Ready for more about Life in the Vineyard? Vitis vinifera is the scientific name of the grapevine and there are between 5,000 and 10,000 subspecies. That said, only 150 of them are planted in significant amounts to produce wine. These different vines perform in different ways depending on the climate, the soil and the amount of sun hours they need to ripen. On average, a vine needs between 80 and 120 days of sun in a year. Also, a subspecies can have different clones. A clone is a specific individual, therefore, there are still many differences among them. Like humans, being the same species, we are different from one another. So, the chardonnay planted in California doesn’t perform in the same way that the chardonnay planted in France. It’s because of this differential factor that it’s important to match the varietal (and the clone) correctly with the place. Finally, there is another aspect of the vine to consider: the rootstock. The roots of the vine determine the vigor of the plant, its resistance to specific pests and are more or less adapted to specific types of soils. The upper part of the vine and the roots are not the same individual. It’s a major practice to graft the varietal you want to grow in the best adapted rootstock for a specific site. So, when the growers want to change the varietal they are producing,...