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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Thoughts on Wine

Not everyone has a taste for wine and even if they did, not everyone partakes in drinking. Nor should they just for the sake of appearing "cultured". But as a person steeped in the personal and professional development of a culinary education I have been called on to pick wines and/or pair them with food.

In the past I have been asked about my favorite wines for drinking, pairing, cooking, and how to tell the best! Repeatedly I would say "the wines YOU like the most!" because taste is subjective with wine as well as food and the pairing of both. 
Do you remember Two Buck Chuck? Sold only at Trader Joes? Those cheap wines that a lot of people just loved and raved about? According to The House of Mondavi it was surplus wine bought by the barrels at a discount from the Mondavi winery back in the day! The funny part is Robert Mondavi made fun of the guy but didn't realize the wine came from the over abundant harvest of his own grapes!
On a wine tasting tour in Napa Valley I partook in a class that was part of the tour experience at the Mondavi wineries. There is a technique, science, and steps to really "taste" a wine BUT the outcome of that experience is purely yours and not a "review" that everyone has to accept just because someone published it.
Robert Hodgson, a winemaker from California, conducted an eight year experiment at the California State Fair’s wine competition. Hodgson had this to say about the results..."The results are disturbing. Only about 10% of judges are consistent and those judges who were consistent one year were ordinary the next year. Chance has a great deal to do with the awards that wines win." ~ Wine-tasting: its junk science  

If your just looking to cook with wine, take the advice of your friends favorites or the flavor notes on the back of the bottle. Please don't use or buy "cooking wine" because they have salt in them and it will make it hard for you to balance the taste when you can't control the salt in the wine.

Leave wine snobbery to the "experts" if your just looking for a "take home" bottle suite your own tastes! If you want to wine taste and/or food pair wine, do what the experts do, "SPIT!". Wine tasting and/or judging was not developed for you to swallow every sample...but to narrow it down to the best! And then maybe enjoy a glass with dinner or special occasion.


Wine Pairing Chart

by madelinep.
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