Pair to Taste
Wine has a significant role in the hospitality industry. It is one of the most popular beverages which people love to drink and pair up with good food. For the same reason, it is crucial for individuals in the said industry to have substantial knowledge regarding proper wine and food pairing which was why students belonging in the Hospitality course attended The Beringer Wine Seminar at Resto 101 on November 23, 2010.
Many people believe that food and wine pairing is complicated but if you attended the Wine Seminar, Mr. Jerry Comfort, the speaker, would have proven you wrong. Working for many years,Mr. Jerry Comfort is a certified Wine Master Sommelier. He wrote the definitive guide, ‘The Progressive Wine and Cheese Pairing Wheel’ in 2003. He oversees the Culinary Arts Center of Beringer. He also served as guest instructors at L’École Hôtellerie Lausanne in Switzerland and the Culinary Institute of America in New York and Napa Valley. He conducts seminars at prestigious events such as Viniexpo in Finland and in Tokyo, Prowen in Germany, and the Gourmet Summit in Singapore.
In the table is a spread of four different wines ranging from sweet white wines to strong red wines: the sweet White Zinfandel, without oak dry Chardonnay, soft tannin Pinot Noir and the strong tannin Cabernet Sauvignon. Slices of apple, lemon, meat, and shrimp, a cup of water with amino acid – that gives the taste of umami, and peppered cheese awaited the students as they were ushered inside the venue.
Food changes the way wine tastes and not the other way around, this was one of the lessons the students learned as they were asked to compare the effects of the different tastes of the food – bitter, sour, salty, sweet, and umami on the different wines. Rounding up the seminar, Mr. Comfort shared some interesting facts about wine and food pairing.
There are four categories in which the food is divided by the effects that they make on the wine.The first category explains that sweet, spicy, or protein dominant – umami, and low in salt will make wine’s texture stronger and all wines will become more acidic or crisp. The recommended wines for these dishes are of dry or light wines because the food makes the wine bitter and their sweetness buffers the rise in acidity. Dishes that are acid dominant will make wine milder and softer. This rule is discussed in the second category.But since these foods are low in salt, the wine will taste bitter therefore crisp, light-intensity wines are best paired with acid dominant dishes. For the third category, dishes that are properly balanced in salt seasoning and acidity will pair well with all wine categories.As mentioned in Category 1, sweet dishes will make wine’s texture stronger and desserts are usually sweet and low in salt therefore the last category mentions to serve dessert wines that are sweeter than the dessert so that the acidity of the wine will not be so pronounced.
The four categories above were the main points mentioned in a capsule during the seminar. The things we learned in the wine seminar are truly very helpful. There is no more reason for the students to be intimidated in food and wine pairing because it is surprisingly very simple.