On the internet there are tons of webpages suggesting us how to pair dishes and wine, with harmony between food and wine deriving from the perfect contrast of opposing food and wine features; but are we really sure it’s all a matter of balance?
Almost everybody knows that ‘contrast’ is the pairing principle to match salty food and wines while desserts are always served with sweet wines: we will thus contrast the sapidity of e.g. Parmigiano Reggiano with the sweet notes of a passito and pair a slice of Tiramisù with a gorgeous Marsala.
However, we sometimes love to bend the rules, mostly when we are on vacation, enjoying a romantic weekend or when traveling around the world for business. Traveling gives us the chance to taste new dishes and unheard wines in new contexts, in specific moments of the years or with a peculiar state of mind or feeling.
Every village in Italy has its typical product or a traditional recipe: so why not indulging in a traditional matching, a food and wine pairing that has established itself through time and local traditions, such as costolette d’agnello a scottadito – grilled lamb chops – and Frascati Superiore in Lazio or the Ligurian style rabbit with the traditional Rossese di Dolceacqua.
Let’s now imagine the foggy autumnal weather, a rainy November day or a beautiful ski-holiday on the Dolomites: after outdoor activities at low temperatures we will definitely appreciate rich dishes and alcoholic, aged red wines that reinvigorate both body and soul. The mild temperature of the Italian Spring, its early produces or the light Italian summer recipes – pasta-dishes or fish courses typical of our coastline – lead us to prefer white or young wines with a lower alcohol content that we drink fresh. Wine naturally adapt to the seasons with the so called seasonal matching.
Last but not least, the psychological matching, our favorite pairing principle! With this technique food and wine are paired basically taking into consideration the situation in which they are served. Special occasions, important moments in someone’s life or peculiar emotions deserve different wines than a dinner with friends or a business lunch. Can you imagine how beautiful it might be to drink again, after long time the wine you drank during the first date with your loved one? No matter what you’ll be eating, that specific wine will let you live that precious emotions again.
So: foodies, wine enthusiast and curious travelers, don’t forget that wine is emotion first of all and that wine passion goes beyond any rule or theory. Anybody can find a favorite food and wine pairing: you just need to stay curious, always!
And now, tell us: which is your favorite food and wine matching?