Creating your own perfect pairing out of a magazine

The real art of wine tasting comes from enjoying it with the perfect food.

~By Andrea Pollock

The real art of wine tasting comes from enjoying it with the perfect food.

Trying a wine alongside a complimentary meal or ingredient helps to make subtle elements in both the wine and the food become more noticeable. Your taste buds get tired after a while of tasting the same thing over and over – the wine and food work as palate cleansers for one another, keeping your tongue interested over the course of the meal. Coming up with a complimentary pairing is a bit of a challenge from time to time, so luckily I have a stock pile of wine and food magazines that I can flip through to give me some ideas and guidance making choices.

The BC Liquor Stores has a great publication called ‘TASTE’ that you can pick up for free in their retail outlets. TASTE magazine was started after seeing the success that Ontario’s LCBO has had with their magazine Food & Drink. While the magazine is rather commercial and paid for entirely through product placement and advertisements, there are always interesting articles and a series of recipes with wine pairings using a central seasonal ingredient. It’s a great place to get inspired, and you can make a nice at home date trying out a new recipe from the offerings.

Another nice part about the format of recipes and pairings, is that you are given several choices, at different price points, so you can make a good choice no matter what the budget. The recipes also vary in degree of difficulty – so that even novice cooks can prepare a picture perfect meal at home. I have quite the collection of magazines at my place these days – but it is nice to have a selection to fall back on as the seasons change.

This week I have selected a couple of wines that I was inspired to purchase after reading the most recent issue of TASTE, in order to create my own perfectly paired recipe at home.

Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage 2009 – [Western Cape, South Africa]

A round, pleasant nose that fills with black pepper, sweet raspberry and cranberry. The flavours are not too complex, a nice dryness that shows alongside the tastes of fresh field berries and peppery oak. 92/100 (June 16th, 2011)

Piesporter Treppchen Riesling 2008 – [Mosel, Germany]

Not much to the nose of this wine, only a smell of tart citrus. The flavour is an interesting balance of sweetness, tartness and acidity. Flavours of juicy peach, dried apricots and orange tang. A great pairing for Asian influenced dishes or for a spicey Indian curry. 88/100 (June 5th, 2011)