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Food and Wine Pairing

Telegraph yesterday had pages to trumpet a new book
The simple guide to wine and food pairing by Raul Diaz (£30)

Diaz says

Each time I think about a particular wine, I dream a bit about its country of origin, the location of the vineyard and the people. Very quickly this leads to craving foods that pair well with that wine.

I don’t think the people so unsure of their wine choices they are willing to pay £30 for a ‘simple guide to wine and food pairing’ will be knowing where a vineyard is or knowing of the people who make the wine.

Reading the threads here on Weekend and Weekday Wines show that this community has very different ideas about what makes a good pairing, and so there’s very few co-incidences.

My own philosophy is to pick a wine that you like. If you find it clashes try something different next time you have that recipe. Find your own matches, we all have different tastes in food and in wine.

(I’m being critical of Raul Diaz. To be fair his £30 book does have his recipes and is likely to be sold for around half the cover price. Also he does say

Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun experimenting with different combinations of your own choosing.

The article and recipes with his suggested match:

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Hahaha! that old get-out ‘don’t be afraid to experiment’ which really means, if you don’t like what I suggest do something different.

In our house, in those heady days when dinner parties were permissible, my wife would often say, ‘what would you like to eat’ and my reply would be ‘what do you want to drink’.

Mostly the finest red wines would be drunk with the cheese course anyway so the problem didn’t really exist.

In my humble opinion, the less complicated the food, ie un-messed about with seafood and fish, the lighter, cleaner, crisper the wine. The more creamier, spicier then something a bit heavier and richer to go with it.

But don’t be afraid to experiment yourselves (oh! damn).

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We still have and use a 1995 Sainsbury’s Pocket Food and Wine booklet by Kathryn McWhirter and Charles Metcalf. It maybe cost a tenner maximum probably a lot less and we find it useful to point us in the right direction even though we don’t feel bound by it’s advice. We find it’s recommendations are pretty good but a bit limited by the wine fashions of its time. Just searched for it on the internet. It is obviously out of print but yours for £27 courtesy of Amazon!

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I can recommend Victoria Moore’s Wine Dine Dictionary (RRP £20) which matches wine to food and vice-versa.

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Also “The Right Wine With The Right Food”, Benson & Walton. £4.99

ISBN 1500294756

Try Fiona Beckett’s website

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I’m of the opinion that avoiding clashes is much more important than finding matches. Sometimes it’s fun to mess around with pairings but I don’t think it’s worth stressing over. For the most part we just drink what we feel like.

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I must admit I’m with you @mpreston91. While I know what you should pair food wise, as we almost always drink more of the bottle after the meal I don’t stress over it either.

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