An often repeated conversation in our tasting room includes my Favorite Cellar Rat asking me to taste through the wines that we are pouring in the tasting room and my reply, “I can’t because…
I just ate an orange,
I just had salsa,
I just ate gingerbread with lemon sauce (so good!)
I just brushed my teeth.”
We often search for, and talk about foods that pair with wines. But I think it is worth a moment’s conversation to consider those foods that play havoc with the glass of wine you are enjoying. Certainly, highly acidic, sweet, salty and spicy foods are at the top of the “wreck the palate” list. Frankly, I have never met a green salad that “paired” with wine, usually because the salad is dressed with an oil (good) and a citrus or vinegar component (good for the salad, bad for the wine.) Peanuts, pretzels, chips should be saved for a cold beer. And that piece of chocolate cake? Enjoy with ice cold milk. But if you are munching cake and drinking wine, I hope the wine is a $5 special.
There are exceptions to every rule (and I am sure I will get e-mails telling me about your favorite exception). Cellar Rat and I often share a bowl of edamame with a glass of chilled viognier. Hmmm, a salty green veggy and a delicate white wine – how is that a good combination? Brother Mike called us a couple of years ago to advise that honey infused goat cheese was seriously yummy with Cellar Door, our estate grown syrah. I of course assumed that Mike and his wife Laura had enjoyed too much of the syrah, (pair sweet with a Shadow Run red?), but he insisted, we tried it, and he was so right!
Over the years, friends and family have provided a lot of great food and wine pairings. And we are always looking for more recipes, more ideas for that perfect (or simply yummy) pairing. If you have a favorite food and wine pairing (Shadow Run wine, of course), send it to us and we will share on our web site. In the meantime, if you are planning on a day of wine tasting, you might reconsider that lunch plan of jalepeno pepper, orange marmalade and kale salad.