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Pairings

I want to bring up pairings.  A pairing is when someone has decided what specific wine will go well with a presetermined dish.  Often times you may see parings offered at a fine restaurant.  This means that the chef who has prepared the meals has also determined what wine will go best compliment each course.
Typically, you would pair heavy, bold food with a big bold wine or light food with a lighter one so that there is no clashing on the palate.  You may have heard that red meats should be paired with red wines and white meats with white wines. 
But long ago, there was no such things as pairings.  Wines were only available regionally.  So if you lived in an area where only red grapes were grown, you drank red wine with what ever it is you were eating.  There was no opportunity to do a pairing.  Something else to consider, what if you do not care for red wine but you enjoy a good ribeye?  Can you have a chardonnay with your steak?  Or if you don't like white wines, are you going to dring that cabernet with halibut?  Will the wine police come and issue you a warning?  I don't think so.   My sister-in-law does not care for red wines so we always has chardonnay with whatever she is eating and enjoys it all.
When I do pairings, I try to choose a wine that will compliment what we are eating.  Rich, savory foods with a bold red;  lighter foods such as a dinner salad with a light wine;  desserts with a very sweet muscato or even a port.  But lately, I have been working on this project.  I would arrange wines into a spectrum starting with bold beefy reds on one side and go down to light, fruity whites on the other side.  I find a wine that best compliments a meal on the spectrum, let's say spaghetti and meat balls.  A light red wine will give you a great dining experience.  But I believe that there is a wine directly opposite the one chosen, on the other side of the spectrum, that would give you a completely different and equally as pleasant dining experience. 
I think of it as wine fusion.  We do it with foods.  I'm sure you have heard of Korean Tacos, Avocado Eggrolls and Crab Rangoon Pizza.   I am eager to try Peruvian-Japanese food and I am sure you have heard of chefs Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse who have become famous doing fusion foods.  Why not do it with our wine pairings? 
So my first choice with pairings is to choose a wine that compliments your meal.  But don't let that paradigm stop you from being adventurous.  Try mixing a fruity wine with a spicy meal or turn a light dish into something bold with a big red.  Remember, the best person to tell you what you like, is YOU.  Drink what you like with what you like.

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