I love to drink wine….. that being said, I love to drink wine with food. I don’t know when my passion for
wine really began, somewhere in my thirties. With all the science and career pressures I went through, it
is no wonder that wine became a focus. If for no other reason than a moment to sit still and reflect on
one thing, how good this or that wine tastes with some fine meal. In the words of Mark Twain, ”Age is
an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”.
Based on Mr. Twain’s opinion, I concur when it comes to wine pairings! Yes, I’ll admit to eating sea bass
with Pinot Noir, Tuna loins Veracruz with Tempranillo, smoked pork loin with Riesling. These are grave
sins committed by a feisty wine maker in the name of experimentation of course! Wine connoisseur’s,
wine snobs, and some wine reviewers beware; I’ve been known to sway from the assumed correctness
of wine pairings and commit heinous and egregious acts of eating great foods with great wines that
would conflict with the opinions of many self appointed experts.
In defense of my horrendous views of swaying from the “norm” I have a narrow path upon which I
balance my wild pairings. This brief set of rules conform to again, one of Mr. Twain’s great quotes, “The
man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds”. Here are Kevin’s rules for Pairing:
- There are no set rules
- If it tastes phenomenal, remember it and do it more
- The sharper the acidity of the wine, the creamier and spicier the food
- The longer the cooking process, the more important pre tasting several varietals becomes
- Reference no one’s opinion, admit only to the success’s, hide the empty bottles that did not pair
well while working in the kitchen.
If these rules help, use them, if they don’t, well make some of your own. I admit to having a major
advantage in wine pairings, over the average consumer. At the end of the weekend, when our tasting
room closes for another week. All the leftover wines MUST be consumed. We nitrogen them heavily so I
have at least a week to find a good pairing, then I go to work. On behalf of the average consumer of
course, cooking various meals, suffering through the close but not fantastic pairings until I find that rare
combination where the heavens open, the angels sing, and food and wine become the couple that stops
the palate in chorus of deliciousness! To stick with a theme, as my professors diligently rammed into my
brain, I’ll close with one more quote that I live by, “ The two most important days in your life are the day
you are born and the day you find out why”.
Winemaking is an outgrowth of all things I love, my wife, my family, my dogs, my land. They’re balanced
together with who I am, what I believe in, and what I live for. If those who meet me, find a smile, enjoy
the moment and take with them something that feeds they’re joy. I am accomplished.