Why is wine-herb pairing a good idea? It’s one more way you could enjoy your wine drinking experience. By pairing the right wine with the right dish, the flavors are balanced and you’d be able to discover the pleasure of the basic flavors in a meal, as well as the complex combinations that are created. The cornerstone of pairing wine with herbs actually comes down to the aromatic compounds found in both. In fact, it is better to pair the wine with the sauce than with the meat mainly because that is what is more likely to exude the dominant flavor.
When it comes to food, you’re mainly looking to complement the dish with a contrasting wine for balance, or enhancing the flavors of the dish by going for a wine that is a similar match. Imagine yourself having a nice warm plate of macaroni and cheese with a beautiful, creamy, béchamel sauce. On one hand, the acidity in a good Sauvignon Blanc would be a complementary match since it balances the fat in the dish. On the other hand, a creamy Viognier or Chardonnay would actually enhance the flavors in your plate. This is an example of how two different options of white wine can make for two very different food experiences. It really does come down to personal preference.
Taking this a step further first requires that you become familiar with the popular herbs and ingredients used in different cuisines. The Mediterranean cuisine, for example, is famous for using garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, and mint among other herbs. Garlic pairs well with fruity, and dry wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, or Pinot Noir, and Syrah, if you’re looking to have red wine. Syrah actually pairs well with most of the mentioned herbs, especially with basil and rosemary. Thyme and oregano are earthy herbs and would also pair well with Pinot Noir.
Tasting does take a little practice, but will eventually make for an enjoyable experience. The next time you sit down for a meal, try to isolate the predominant herbs in the dish, and experiment with wine flavors. There really is nothing like the perfect match.
It’s always nice to spend time getting to know one another over a nice meal and a good bottle of wine. While you’re trying to make the best impression on a first date, you might just be treading on thin ice.
Here are 5 things that could take you under:
1. Drinking too much.
You’re a little excited about your date night, and decide on having a drink while getting ready to leave home. You then start drinking during your date, and before you know it, you’re talking about your previous relationships. If anything, there should be an alarm going off here. Don’t worry, provided that you are still somewhat alert, there still is hope for recovery.
2. Offering her a glass, and taking care of the bottle.
This is probably unforgivable unless she explicitly insists on having no more wine. In this case, you can pace your drinking.
3. Playing it cool and ordering a bottle just because it’s expensive.
Now this will just hurt if you don’t know what you’re doing. Most restaurants with a wine list have someone to help you out with your selection. If you know a thing or two about wine, ask for wines with varieties you like, or for those with your preference of being more fruity or dry. If you could really use the help, just ask for a recommendation that pairs well with your food. Asking does make you appear somewhat vulnerable, which can actually impress your date. No one likes a show-off, especially when it goes bad.
4. Making a scene after a spill.
It is never OK to point this out, or make faces. In the case that this happens to your date, you can ask if there’s anything you can do. If she says no, don’t ignore it, but be thoughtful enough to ask what would make her feel more comfortable. If a woman insists on leaving, then it’s time to go.
5. Channeling Socrates.
Now this is where it gets interesting. At this point, your conversation might as well be one from ancient Greece or go to the extreme of an existential crisis. While trying to explain your thoughts on life, you might be drifting off and attempting to solve third world problems, start getting emotional over those who are unfortunate, or even share your momentary thoughts on how this world is doomed. All that said, no one is really prepared to listen, and you have really gone under. Run.
It really doesn’t take much to enjoy a wine date. Make the effort to be in a comfortable setting, pay attention to what you really need to, and the rest comes down to how well you bring out the best you.