Mastering the Art and Science of food and wine paring

My interest in food and wine has spanned more than three years, and in the past several years, this interest has taken center stage. This text was developed as a response to the need to create an experiential methodology to demystify the food-and-wine pairing process. The main focus of this process is on taste characteristics of food and wine from both culinary and sensory perspectives.

The discussions and exercises in this text are designed to provide you with an increased depth of experience in food and wine pairing and knowledge of how food and wine elements interact and transform one another.

Thefirst section of this text focuses on the basics of wine evaluation, an understanding of the gastronomic identity ,and its relationship with wine and food marriages.

Chapter 1

introduces the concepts and methodology used throughout this text. The food-and-wine pairing process combines techniques derived from the general sensory literature, the wine evaluation literature, and the culinary arts literature. The heart of the process relies on a systematic approach used to induce, quantify,analyze, and assess the responses to food and wine products based on what is perceived through the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing.

Chapter 2

provides an overview of the sensory process as applied to wine evaluation. Wine evaluation encompasses a visual examination, olfactory examination, and taste examination. The exercises in this chapter will arm you with tools to clearly identify the primary taste characteristics in wine and food (sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) as well as to differentiate bitterness from astringency. The wine evaluation exercises will allow you to reinforce previous experiences in wine tasting and provide a clear differentiation of the most common wine varietals based on color, smell, body,.and taste

Chapters 3 and 4

focus on the concept of gastronomic identity. A region’s gastronomic identity is determined by the environment and cultural elements that impact prevailing components, textures, and flavors in wine and food. The dominant elements in the environment determining wine characteristics include geography and climate. Culture elements include religion, history, level of ethnic diversity, innovations, capabilities, traditions, beliefs, and values. Historical events have had a substantial impact on the wine industry throughout the world. Old World and New World wine regions have differing histories, traditions, and geography. The boundaries between the Old and New Worlds are blurring with the sharing of new technologies and viticulture practices.Old World traditions are being adopted by New World producers as they take a closer look at the relationship between the land and the grape. Just like all cuisine, the wine industry is in constant evolution created by a fusion of unique and identifiable products and traditions that change over time. The food and wine industries are constantly evolving and provide a myriad of opportunities for professionals of all ages to take part. The pairing of food and wine is an interesting topic and even more interesting when experiential tastings are involved. The upcoming exercises will provide you with a tool kit of ideas, concepts, and knowledge to enable you to quickly identify key wine and food elements so that you will be able to pair wine and food with confidence.

I hope that you enjoy reading the material in this book as well as doing the end-of-chapter exercises. The material and experiences presented in this text just scratch the surface of the possibilities and variety available in the market today. The background and experience you develop throughout the readings and exercises will bolster your confidence in wine, food, and combining the two. I hope this process piques your curiosity and that you will continue this exciting lifelong journey of learning and experimentation

Key Concept :

Motivations of wine and food pairing

Food and wine sensory pyramid

Primary components

Texture elements

Flavor intensity, persistency, and spiciness

 TO PAIR or NOT to PAIR…??

 While we all have a lifetime’s worth of experiences and knowledge relating to food tastes and characteristics, most people do not enjoy wine with meals on a daily basis. As a result, the general population lacks a fully developed ability to instinctively match appropriate wines with particular foods.

Selections of appropriate wine and food pairings provide restaurant operators with opportunities to increase business profitability through their wine sales and to increase customer satisfaction with the overall dining experience. However, it is quite challenging for foodservice industry professionals as well as the general dining public to come up with synergistic wine and food matches, and both restaurant operation and the culinary arts would be greatly enhanced by the demystification of food and wine pairing.

While I was researching and developing the methods presented in this text, it became apparent that the books currently on the market provide discussions of wine and food item selections but provide little depth of information concerning direct relationships and reactions between food and wine components, flavors, and textures. In testing the methods presented in this text, it also became apparent that most people have difficulty understanding wine terminology, indicating a need for more user-friendly definitions for the terms most frequently used. In other words, while a need for a greater understanding of wine and food pairing exists, readily available methods and techniques are lacking. This text addresses these concerns by providing more accessible methods and processes to educate and train individuals in food and wine pairing and evaluation.

If you are a restaurateur by profession, an increased understanding of basic pairing objectives will increase your confidence when you provide wine and food pairing selections to your customers. From a business perspective, your staff’s ability to recommend the wine that will best complement the foods served can significantly increase the average check and thus bottom-line profits. It will also enhance customers’ perception of professionalism of service and make their dining experience more satisfying, resulting in more return business and positive word-of-mouth advertising (Marketing).


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