Wine is the subject of this week's episode of The Palm Springs Savant & Co radio Show on Blog Talk Radio. My guest this week is Mr Jerry Padilla, Assistant to the Winemaker at the famed Ledson Winery & Vineyards in Kenwood, CA. Ledson is nestled in the Sonoma Valley, housed in a magnificent castle that stops passers-by from the sheer beauty of its structure. Inside are some of the most fantastic wines we've encountered here in California. It was this reason that prompted me to invite Jerry as my guest for the show this week. He did a great job explaining wines and shared a great deal of valuable information.
I thought I'd share some information directly from the Ledson website about Food and Wine pairings. I couldn't say it better myself, so here it is, from Ledson:
"Though it can sometimes seem complicated and intimidating, harmonizing food with wine should be a natural and enjoyable process. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer; it is essentially all a matter of taste. Trust your instincts, often times the flavors you think will go well together, do. With a little common sense and a few basic tips, you will be able to navigate through this culinary challenge like a pro."
- Balancing Weight & Texture
Choose a wine and food that are similar in weight, or body. This will help to make sure that one does not overwhelm the other. For instance, a thick sirloin steak would pair wonderfully with a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. A lighter wine would be lost to the heaviness of the steak.
- Balancing Flavor Intensity
Pair light-bodied wines with lighter, more mildly flavored foods and fuller-bodied wines with heartier, richer, and more intensely flavored dishes.
- Matching Flavors
This is when common sense comes into play. We often top fresh fish with a squeeze of lemon juice because the flavors complement each other. For the same reason, a crisp, Sauvignon Blanc with citrus flavors would be a good choice to drink with this meal. Likewise, an earthy Pinot Noir would go well with a mushroom dish. Follow what your palate already knows and it will most likely be a winning combination.
- Opposites Attract
Sometimes the best pairing for a food is to find its opposite. Opposing flavors can often play off each other, creating new flavor sensations and cleansing the palate. A classic example of this is pairing spicy Thai food with a sweet dessert wine such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer. The sweetness will help highlight and tame the spicy flavors in the dish.
Tune in to The Palm Springs Savant & Co Radio Show #109 to hear this fascinating episode on wines! -Rick Rockhill