Monthly Archives: June 2014

WINE AND FOOD PAIRING

Wine and Food pairing is an extremely personal pastime, drawing from the background, culture, and habits of each person. In the end, it comes down to what an individual enjoys, and what combination works best for that person.

The sensation wine gives you – flavor and aroma – does not come chiefly from your tongue. Your tongue has “zones” for each type of flavour it can taste, so you want the wine to be able to go over each section. The tip senses sweet, the front sides salt, the back sides acid, and the
very back bitter. Even in each section, there are buds of different “intensities”.

In comparison with this well-organized but generalizing tongue, your nose is incredibly sensitive at picking out minute differences in aroma. Practice often with both senses, paying attention to the flavors you are detecting in the wine, learning what combinations you enjoy and do not enjoy. The more flavors you try in your day to day activities, the greater the “background of taste knowledge” you will have when you try to figure out what a particular wine tastes like.

You don’t want the food to completely overpower the wine, so you cannot taste it at all. Conversely, you don’t want the wine to be so strong that you can’t taste the meal. Some sort of balance lies in the middle.

Do you match like with like? Or do you add some contrast, so the spiciness in the meat stew balances against the slightly sweet wine? Either method works, as do countless others. Part of the fun is to experiment with different combinations, to see which strike your own palate as truly delicious. Then, share those with others to see which tastes they also appreciate, and which are uniquely yours.

THE SIMPLE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WINE

Wine comes from a fruit tree planted in the ground and producing grapes. So, here are all the clues we are going to need to identify a wine. It can taste fruity, earthy, flowery (presumably by having planted beside a flower bed) or vegetal (if planted next to a asparagus or bell pepper patches)!

I mean to say: Consider the ABC: Wine comes from a grape which contains 80% water. So there are very few other elements to play with. So, there is really not much need for endlessly duplicative content on the acidity of a wine, its fermentation temperature, or its upbringing. Wine should simply be enjoyed otherwise I would have studied winemaking at university.

I have heard someone say: ‘What I don’t understand is why we can’t have ratings that are like, but slightly more complex, than those for coffee. You learn where the bean (or grape) was grown and some info on the land; then you know something about the roast and the acidic level, the strength and so forth. Why want to know more?

No, you won’t discover an apricot or whatever you are looking for in a bottle of wine. Leave it to others to do. Maybe you only need to visit an orchard house or have a look at a farmer’s almanac to sharpen up your knowledge of flowers and veggies again.

The secret is simply to enjoy the journey with wine.

REFLECTING ON LESSONS LEARNED

While the SAWi Algorithm remains constant, one of the considerations after adding a category for top wineries in 2011 was that wineries per se should not be judged. So it had been decided to rather change this to recognise the ‘top wine producer of the year’ and overall winner based on the total of a winery’s average points score for all wines produced irrespective of the particular point score.

Another slight change was not to continue to base the winning white or red wine on the highest points score in each category, but to base the accolade on the average of the total point scores of the top high-end white or red wines produced by a winery respectively.

It should be remembered that average points scores referred to here are the scores derived at after the application of the SAWi Algorithm.