Wine and Food Trends: The Complexities of Pairing

Wine and Food Trends: The Complexities of Pairing
Joris Peels
  • 30 june 2009

Roger says that in order for it to be paired well a wine “needs clear aroma and clear structure.” He likes “classic wines, aged more than 12 years” as these are typically “easier to match” and make for “a better match.” As an example of how the pairing process works he mentions a dish with roses, curry and licorice whose aroma pairs well with a Riesling. For “hunter food” such as hare he looks toward the Medoc and the “aroma of the animals and leather.” The pairing process is a painstaking search in aroma for him and his team – and they look to pair every dish. He concedes that “not all wines are suitable for pairing” and that “a complex wine will be difficult to match” but they try all the same.

Contrast this approach with that of Antonio Lopo, the excellent & amicable sommelier of Comerç 24. Besieged by the 23 different & tiny dishes in the Festival de Tapas menu at his restaurant and all the explosive, fun and exciting flavors therein, he believes in “a good glass of wine.” In some cases they have tried wine pairing but the “difficult magical flavors” of the food are “a barrier.” He also thinks that “wine pairing can be subjective” and prefers to advise wines that fit a palette. He likes surprising customers with new and unexpected wines. He sees a diner as being able to “enjoy the two styles, that of the food and that of the wine.”

These are two fundamentally different approaches. Both stem from the same general trends affecting the molecular, deconstruction & conceptual fine dining restaurants. With more dishes, more taste, more surprise, more fruit, more “what is that exactly”, more ‘wow’ & more innovation, the sommelier’s job is becoming increasingly difficult. The two contrasting approaches of Moo and Comerç 24 are the only way out for the sommelier. Either the sommelier has to take a short stroll into the kitchen and get involved in food creation as is Roger’s approach or he becomes the ultimate listener and discoverer as Antonio is trying to be. If a restaurant is not able to do either well the patron’s experience would be confusing at best.

I asked both men what the biggest trends in wine were. Roger spoke of the “full bodied red wines, such as cabarnets” with “thick flavors and lots of oak”, whereas the food and fine dining restaurants had increasingly “thin flavors, thin aromas.” He also mentioned “sherry wines that are light on the mouth.” Antonio focused on “aftertaste, it has to be fresh, it has to leave you fresh.”

With regards to the biggest single trend in their business both sommeliers were unanimous: wine by the glass. Both are seeing wine by the glass becoming much more common. Roger thinks it is partially because of “shorter lunches” and that people want to be perceived as healthy and so are buying less bottles. Both agree that people want to taste and experience many more different wines and that this is the main driver for the trend.

How long before we see one of those Enomatic machines in all the fine dining restaurants?

Joris is 31, lives in Amsterdam and loves to read, build, hack things, cook and talk to people. He is the Community Manager for Shapeways, the world’s only 3D printing community and marketplace. You can read more by Joris on the Shapeways blog or his twitter.

Lyft Gives Free Rides To Those Who Have Had Too Much To Drink

Syndicated Today

Banned Books Week Urges People To Seek Out Controversial Works

Joining the annual celebration of the right to read, US author Jessica Herthel called for 'more information, more voices' to protect diversity

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

Outdoor Camp Presented In 360° VR By X Games Gold Medalist

The video features campers riding BMX trails, zip lining through the woods, and performing big-air jumps


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Today

Boeing Wants Passengers To Control Their In-Flight Experience Through Their Phones

The airline manufacturer is embracing automation through a new generation of mobile travel apps

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

VR Surgery Videos Offer Interactive Medical Education

Dutch startup MDLinking hopes to globalize communication between students and medical care professionals with virtual reality content

Culture Today

Use Twitter To Learn A New Language

tDict is an app that uses the social media platform to help you search for words in local dialects

Mobile Today

This Startup Wants To Digitize The Loose Coins In Your Pocket

CoinOut is a new app that lets you save your extra change from cash transactions as electronic funds

Advertising Today

McDonald’s Is Accepting Trash As Currency In Exchange For Burgers

An initiative in Stockholm is trying to keep streets clean while satisfying hunger


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Creative Agency Founder: Using VR As A Race Relationship Tool

Maurice Bernstein, CEO and Founder of Giant Step, explores the value in transforming headsets from high-tech entertainment tools into empathy machines

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Culture Today

Google Is Using Virtual Paper Airplanes To Bring People Closer Together

The tech giant released an app that lets people throw their good wishes out into the world on the International Day of Peace

Advertising Today

Get Paid For Traveling In San Francisco After Rush Hour

BART Perks rewards commuters who take early or late trains by giving them extra points to trade for money

Culture Today

Artist Designs Covers For Books That Don’t Exist

Published by the fictional 'Specious Books,' the subversive works facilitate a conversation regarding the artistic integrity of graphic designers

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Food Today

Bringing Food Innovation To America’s Crowded Milk Market

a2 Milk's Blake Waltrip, Chief Executive of the USA region, discusses how the distributor plans on bringing the popular drink for the dairy-sensitive to the States


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Financial Services Today

Device Makes Digital Currency Feel Tangible

The concept gadget wants you to experience the highs and lows of spending money

Design & Architecture Today

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

NBC Is Planning To Stream The Presidential Debates In Virtual Reality

Partnering with AltspaceVR, the broadcaster offers another way for Americans to engage with the election season

No search results found.