When planning for the holidays, are you overwhelmed or baffled by selecting wines that pair well with the food items on your menu? I used to be. I’d listen to “experts” carry on about how this wine’s oaky flavor and berry notes paired well with that beef dish, and how that wine’s citrus tones paired well with the light salmon dish. Sometimes I would agree, but often, my tastebuds would revolt and I’d just nod in agreement, pretending the expert was oh so wise and correct. I mean, clearly, if they taste cloves in the wine, they must be right. Right?
Then I realized the one truth when it comes to wine and food pairings: the experts exist to help guide you to pairings that make sense to the general overall population, but in the end, the only opinion that truly matters is your own. Will you love them? There’s probably a good chance. But don’t feel bad if you don’t agree with a certain pairing, or you just can’t for the life of you taste the same blackberry and licorice notes in a specific wine that everybody else seems to notice. Just like with my no-measure recipes, I always urge friends to simply trust your tastebuds. Listen to the experts, try to extend your palate, and you’ll likely come to your own fabulous personal pairings. You might even surprise yourself: in learning what you do not like, it’s often easier to steer you to what you do like.