Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Music & Wine

I love music, wine and new experiences. I love to travel. I hate the process of traveling, but I love the experiences travel brings both far and near. One of the things I like most about traveling is that I always seem to have some sort of epiphany moment along the way. I think it is just being in different environments and with various people that lends way to expanded thinking...at least for me.

On a recent trip to see my (new) nephew in Colorado, I attended many family functions. Most notably, a wedding for my niece as well. That's when I had my moment. Wine and music have a lot in common. That is, depending on the occasion, certain wines/music should be entertained.

In this particular case with the wedding, the music started off soft jazzy-slow as people mingled in, switched to certain particular songs for special moments, stayed mellow for the meal, got progressively louder and then switched gears for full on dance mode until the end mixing in a few slow songs for the romantics.

What occurred to me is that it would have been fairly inappropriate to play loud dance songs during the meal or conversely mellow jazz as everyone began to liven up. I think of wine in a similar manner and it reminds me of one of my wine teachers who always professed that there is place (occasion) for almost all wines and few should be discounted.

Think of it this way...it basically goes with the main premise of good food and wine combining - Match the 'weight' of the wine with the 'weight' of the food. Similarly, matching the proper wine to the occasion. I'm probably not popping open a nice vintage Champagne in the clubhouse after a round of golf with the guys...you get the picture.

Consider how you want to rev-up their palate, work in to the food, have with the meal and then finish off the evening. Not always, but when you have the time to plan it out. Although many will rebuke the "perfect" wine parings syndrome, I do believe that you should very much consider the occasion as much as the meal at times.

Some examples:

- Bring light fruity wines to a saucy BBQ
- Go with old-world style crisp whites with a beach crab/oyster fest
- Rose Champagne with sushi
- Rieslings/Gewurtz with spicy, savory foods
- Rose's as appertifs
- Old-world reds to game/meat roasts
- Classic vintage wines to special occasion dinners
- French wine with French food, Italian wine with Italian food, etc.

Anyway, like most of life, there are few absolutes, but worth the consideration. Next time you are responsible for bringing or choosing the wine, don't be shy to go beyond just what people are used to drinking...be the one to expand their horizons, they'll thank you for it later.

Til the next sip...swirly ya' later!

Chief Wino

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