I was thinking - always a risky activity - about comments I read on wine and food pairing. I’m quite surprised by how often I read phrases like “this wine stood up to that food” or “this wine held its own”, and so on. For me these phrases imply an element of combat or competition, as in “stood up to a bully” or “held its own against a team from a higher division”.
I suppose I like to think of wine and food complementing each other, or matching each other, or even contrasting with each other, but with a harmonious rather than competitive aim. Am I over-thinking this, or missing some important element of the relationship between wine and food?
I’m never quite sure when I read that a wine stood up to, or held its own with some food, if there is an implication that it was okay but a much better pairing could perhaps be found.