Wine Tasting and Pairings for Successful Singles
In food and wine pairing, one of the most important elements is that the wine not overpower the food. This is where the traditional white wine with fish pairing comes from. It indicates balance. Wine is judged on its nose, bouquet, body, finish. I had this discussion with one of my colleagues and mentors the other day at lunch. We were comparing the boss-employee relationship to a domestic relationship. I said “but the employee-boss relationship is not equal, so it isn’t comparable.”
In the 60’s the idea that women and men should be equal partners began. My colleague challenged the concept of “equal” partners. I reached for a more descriptive word. Balanced was a better answer. Complimentary does not mean equal, but balanced. And as long as the couple considers themselves balanced by perception, they will fare well. Resentments do not breed well in balanced environments.
This is why in some relationships, five traits in one person could provide the right balance for one trait in a partner. It depends on how they value them. What causes distress is when the personality of one partner “overpowers” the other, consistently. If the couple feels balanced, whether the outside world thinks so or not is irrelevant.
I thought it would be fun to share some tips on wine pairing from Ray Isle, contributer to Food and Wine, along with the romantic pairing equivalents!
Don’t match strong to delicate. Pairing a big, powerful, high-alcohol or high-tannin wine with a light, delicate dish (and vice versa) is rarely a good idea.
Romantic Pairing. If one overall personality is too dominant, the weaker person can feel like they are losing themselves and it won’t feel right.
Acidity is your friend. People tend to be wary of wines described as “high acid,” like Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet. Who wants to drink acid, after all? But there’s no better quality in a wine for matching rich, creamy or cheesy sauces, deep-fried foods or fish dishes; in addition, tart wines go better with tart foods, such as a vinaigrette on a salad.
Romantic Pairing. Certain personality traits can be very strong, but can still be complimentary to others without dominating them.
Follow the don’t-upstage-the-star rule. If you have an amazing bottle of wine you want to show off, especially an older vintage (they tend to be more subtle, their flavors less flamboyant), don’t serve a wildly complex dish with it. A simple dish will allow the wine to be the center of attention.
Romantic Pairing. Decide – are you a star, are you the one more comfortable “on-stage” – then find a partner who supports your wonderful extroverted behavior and doesn’t try to upstage you.
Why Tannins and Iodine don’t mix. Some fish—cod, haddock and mackerel are good examples, as are shellfish—are high in iodine, which is why red wines don’t do well with them. The iodine content reacts with the tannins in red wine and makes both the fish and the wine taste metallic and, generally, awful.
Romantic Pairing Don’t try to mix and match core values. Picture a scrupulously honest person mixed with a con-artist. Honesty is a core value and this relationship would be filled with disharmony.
What Matters Most For my money, what matters most when pairing wine and food are two things. First, the dominant flavors of the dish and whether those flavors are complemented by or in conflict with those of the wine, and then the richness (broadly speaking) of the dish and the corresponding weight of the wine.
Aah, dominant flavors. Have you ever been swayed by one outstanding feature of a romantic interest. Maybe it was her beauty. Maybe it was his ability to listen. You craved that so much, you didn’t realize the sheer dominance of this trait would later unhinge you. Make sure you like that dominant characteristic a lot, and don’t let it compensate for other needs or requirements that may be lacking.
Pairing good people is a lot like pairing a fine wine and good food. As a matchmaker, we are skilled at looking below the surface to determine which characteristics will compliment you, and which will challenge you. Face to Face Charleston can help provide the knowledge and skills you need to enjoy dating more. We get to know you in depth. From there we arrange higher quality dates, and successfully find you a complimentary partner. Whether you are a vintage cabernet wine or a beaujolais nouveau, there is a dish that will compliment you! Lasty, remember, sometimes after you uncork that new relationship, let things breath for a while before you decide how they sit on your palette.
Join us next Tuesday, May 18th from 5:30 to 7:30pm
Social Wine Bar – 188 E. Bay Street
Wine flights paired with delicious appetizers at the coolest wine bar in Charleston.
Make new connections or find a romantic match using our Matchbox.
To register, www.facetofacecharleston.com/events
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