Wine and food pairing is a subject discussed with great reverence in the world of gourmet dining. Modern gastronomy has written tomes and waxed eloquent on the subtle art of pairing. Any restaurant worth its salt has a sommelier to assist diners in picking the right wine with their food. While it may all seem daunting to the novice, the connoisseur knows the subtle nuances of his wine and how to pair it with exotic ingredients in his food. But before it attained this aura of near mystification, wine and food pairing was much more simpler. Let’s travel back in time and look at the history of pairing.
Long, long ago wine was just another beverage, considered safer to drink than the local water. It wasn’t until much later, when regional culinary styles evolved that winemaking transformed too. The roots for the modern day thinking that regional food pairs best with regional wines were perhaps sown then. Wine was consumed as part of a meal, and with whatever food was eaten locally. This practice is still evident in classic pairings of wine and cheese, or meat. For example, French Brie pairs best with the local tannic wine Beaujolais. Or lamb, a staple meat across Europe, pairs best with red wines from regions like Bordeaux, Greece, Provence, Rhone, etc.
The olden day approach was also rather simple. Red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat. While this still holds good as a pairing yardstick today, the recipes have become more complicated. There are complex ingredients, which may completely alter the taste profiles. And that’s where guidebooks and sommeliers come into action.
The turning point for wine and food pairing, as we know it today, can perhaps be traced back to the 1980s. Wine went through a reinvention, and transformed from a beverage meant for intoxication, to an integral part of dining. Food magazines, reviewers, bloggers, chefs and restaurants started suggesting wines that went with their signature dishes. It didn’t stop there. They even suggested course-wise pairings.
The science of pairing
Some people went a step further, and scientifically proved how pairing works. A study conducted in 2012 by a group of food scientists indicates that mouthfeel (the way food feels in the mouth) plays a crucial role in how people interpret food pairing. The study says that foods on the opposite end of the taste spectrum create a pleasant sensation, triggering a good match in the mind. It helped explain how wine and cheese pairing is more than just an art.
Big Banyan preferences
Going by the classic theory of pairing local cuisine with locally produced wine, we’ve listed our preferences here.
Mutton Xacuti & Big Banyan Limited Shiraz: The peppery notes of the Shiraz complement the spices ones of the Xacuti.
Fish Reshado & Big Banyan Sauvignon Blanc: The acidity in the wine cuts through the spice of the fish, creating a delicious harmony.
Bebinca Bellissima: The sweet notes in both the wine and dessert create a perfect melody.
Pork Vindaloo & Big Banyan Cabernet Sauvignon : This heavy bodied red wine is just what pork needs.
Chicken Cafrial & Big Banyan Rosa Rossa: The fruity flavours of this wine pair well with the spice and vinegar in the chicken. The light wine and the light meat go hand in hand.
Have you ever felt the need for a quick cocktail after a hard day’s work? To kick up your feet, empty your mind of all the noise, and just sip on a simple drink? We’ve got just the fix for this craving. You won’t need to look too far for the ingredients
When a sommelier describes a wine in the most poetic terms, you almost feel a twinge of envy. You wonder how one divines all those notes, and wish in all earnestly to sound just as pro as him.
As the makers of some of the finest Indian wines, we are often asked this question.
We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again. Pairing red wines with red meat and white wine with white meat is a foolproof approach. But we love a good food adventure, trying our wines with new cuisines, matching new flavour profiles, playing with food textures and balancing the ingredients.
Our recently concluded contest, ‘Fact or Fiction’, gave us an idea. We decided to delve a little deeper into the world of wines and dig out some hard truths for you. Often, urban legends gain a larger-than-life status, and many a time, fiction parades as fact. So here we are,trying to debunk some myths.
This is the drink you need when you want to drink, but not something too alcoholy. Or when there’s an impromptu party at home, and your wine stash is running low. Or when you just don’t want to invest in way too much wine for a party.
There are days when you load up on salads and run mini marathons. And then, there are days when you decide to cheat with a box full of cupcakes. Today, is one of such days for us. We paired up a few popular favourites with some of our wines. And the results were simply stupendous!
Summers are synonymous with a quintessential quencher – the lemony lime lemonade. A chilled glass of this sweet citrusy drink can lift your spirits instantly. As the mercury rises, most Indian households make big pitchers of this miracle drink and leave it in the fridge for the whole family to sip on.
It’s just after lunch. Your body craves for its shot of caffeine. But your brain screams in protest, “Have you lost your mind? It’s so hot!” Your body responds coolly, “Then let’s get a glass of wine.” Your brain mulls over this, “Wine? Really? I’m not very sure.” Well, dear brain, don’t overthink this.
The red-hot heat of summers makes us crave for something fresh, light and cool. Our instinct is to reach out for a big bowl of crisp salad. And of course, a glass of wine. Whether you’re having the salad for starters or for mains, pairing it with the right wine makes the greens pop alive, … Continue reading Wine And Salad Pairing Ideas
We’re back with the summer edition of Monday Mixology. Today, we have a simple pineapple sangria recipe that’s refreshingly tropical and oh so summery. It’s the perfect antidote to a stressful Monday. And posh enough to grace your Sunday brunch table. Give it a go! You’ll need: 750 ml Chenin Blanc 2 cups of pineapple … Continue reading Monday Mixology: Pineapple Sangria