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Wine & Food Pairings

October 11th, 2012 by

This week, NBC News posted an article about the science behind pairing food with beverages. The article discussed the origin of the term “mouthfeel” and how the astringency of a beverage dictates which type of food it will pair best with. Pairings have been somewhat supported by science, however many of the famous pairings (such as the common pairings of fish with white wines and steak with red wines) could be the result of cultural accidents simply due to which foods were available in which regions in the past. The article goes on to say that “different kinds of astringents give rise to different rates of growth of astringency. As you repeatedly sample them, one will have a steep rise and the other a shallow rise,” he said. “It could be that there’s a particular mixing of an astringent and a fatty food that determines how strong the astringent is going to be and how quickly it gets there. This is a mystery of gastronomy.”

As the article suggests, pairing food with beverages correctly can be a daunting task for the average consumer. The wine you choose to enjoy with your meal can easily change the flavors of your food, the same way that the flavor of the food can alter the taste of the wine.

To help you better select wines and enhance the flavor of your meal during your next restaurant visit, we asked Paragary’s Bar & Oven’s General Manager, Jason Flint, to help us put together a list of suggested pairings. The next time you’re at Paragary’s, give the pairings below a try and let us know what you think!

Fried Monterey Calamari: Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2010
Flavors of apple, pear. Crisp acidity. Well-balanced.

Iron Skillet Roasted Mussels: Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2011 | Flavors of passion fruit, lime and grape fruit balanced by clean crisp acidity.

Asian Chicken Salad or Gulf Shrimp:  Clean Slate, Reisling 2011 | Clean and elegant with flavors of ripe peach. Crisp. Mineral notes.

Handcut Rosemary Pasta: Starmont by Merryvale, Chardonnay 2009 | Medium balanced, delicate fruit and hint of cream.

Salmon or Pork Chop: Navarro, Pinot Noir, Mendocino 2009 | Flavors of bursting Bing cherries. Aromas of chocolate and roasted coffee beans.

Hanger Steak: Peju, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 | Deep red, peppery with rich fruit.

Harrisa Grilled Half Chicken: Cotes Du Rhone, Paul Jaboulet Aine, France 2009 | Soft fruit and lighter style with earthiness and mild acidity.