How to Pair Wine and Food

Need to know what wine goes best with asparagus? Or when to serve a Pinot Noir? Wine expert Rebecca Chapa suggests the best possible combinations.

Released on 10/17/2013

Credits

Starring: Rebecca Chapa

Transcript

00:05
(light jazz music)
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It seems when it comes down to food and wine pairings,
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people get very nervous.
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They've ben told all these rules and things
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they shouldn't do,
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but really if you follow a few simple steps,
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you can really create a perfect combination.
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Some of the things I like to do are to take light-bodied
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wines and pair them with light-bodied foods.
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For example, a crisp, bright sauvignon blanc with
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filet of sole.
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Similarly, you could take a really rich wine, such as a
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syrah, that would pair very nicely with short ribs.
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It's important too to think about the cooking technique
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that you're using.
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Chicken can be made in so many ways.
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If you have something that's poached versus something
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that's grilled versus a roasted chicken,
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many different wines could go with those different
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types of food.
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And then the tiny accent flavors like spice or herbs
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can also be paired and matched with wine.
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Some of the things to look out for, though, are some of
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the problem foods.
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A lot of people are afraid to even try an artichoke with
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a glass of wine, which to me is terrible.
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It's one of my favorite foods.
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If you take an artichoke and cook it the proper way,
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add a little bit more acidity, then it won't make
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the wine taste bad.
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Generally, artichokes tend to make things taste sweet,
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so by adding acid to the cooking preparation, you can
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help to prevent that.
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Or, also having an artichoke with a very
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bright, tart wine can really help it out.
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Asparagus tends to have an herbaceous quality,
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but pair it with a wine like sauvignon blanc that has a
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little bit of an herbal quality itself, and all of a sudden
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you have a perfect, harmonious match.
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At the end of the meal, one of the most difficult things
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to pair is actually dessert.
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Because desserts are sweet, sometimes they can make wines
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taste overly sour.
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So what you can do is actually try to make the dessert
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less sweet by using bitter chocolate rather than
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sweet chocolate or milk chocolate.
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One of the most incredible synergies of food and wine
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pairing is the famous one, Chateau d'Yquem
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and roquefort cheese.
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One of the beautiful things about Chateau d'Yquem is its
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luscious, sweet, syrupy texture, similar to the creaminess
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of this cheese.
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So combined, they create such a wonderful match.
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Unfortunately, not every one of us can have roquefort and
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Chateau d'Yquem after dinner every night, so one great
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substitute is to find another dessert wine and experiment
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with other blue cheeses, and you can come close to finding
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a perfect match.
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It's all about the exploration and about trying to learn
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how your palette works, and what works best for you.
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