Pairing red wine and meat is one of the most traditional, popular and obvious combinations but did we ask to ourselves why?
It can be because it is advised by the most traditional wine and food magazines or due to our natural behaviour or maybe it only comes from the fear to change.
Generally speaking, there is nothing that overcomes the personal taste and, in particular about wine and food pairing, shouldn’t have followed just the theory (especially if it is quite old).
From a technical point of view, to obtain a good result should have recognised the dominant flavour in a dish and know how to pair it with a wine that can match it or be in contrast with it.
Full-bodied red wines are generally distinguished by present tannins (astringent feeling on the gums) which can be though (pungent or bitter) if not moderated by savoury dishes such as can be the meaty ones.
Therefore it is not necessary to pair meat dishes to full-bodied red wines but it is the salty taste of that protein that is useful to attenuate the tannic perception, otherwise excessive, of some red wines.
It can be deduced that there are many more ways to combine red wine and food than it is thought.
The three different kinds of red wines produced by the winery Baglio Diar show how red wines can be perfectly paired with dishes that are commonly associated with white ones.
Mokarta rosso is Merlot 55% and Syrah 45% vinified in only stainless steel tanks. This wine is characterized by flavours of rose and raspberry on the nose, notes of strawberry and blackberry on the palate with hints of black pepper typical of Syrah.
The freshness and elegance of Mokarta rosso match beautifully with a nice “Cacciucco alla livornese”. The acidity of this wine enhances the delicate taste of the fish and contrast its salinity. Moreover, the moderate alcohol and the red fruits from Mokarta rosso moderate the hot sauce while the spicy note of black pepper is good to go along with the savoury aftertaste of this dish.
Nedda is Nero d’Avola 100% which undergoes only two months in barrique before ageing in stainless steel tanks. This wine stands out by flavours of mature black cherries and blueberries on the nose, on the palate shows elegant tannins and delicate notes of vanilla. Thus it is perfect to drink with a succulent seafood mixed grill. The sweetness of the seafood meat combines greatly with the mature fruits of the wine and the grill is the ideal cooking method to match the soft hints of oak from this Nero d’Avola.
Velata, finally, is a 2018 Merlot 100% that ages six months in oak barrels. Despite the oak, this wine is really easy to drink also due to the crisp acidity that is favoured by the 450 meters above the sea level where the wine is produced. The wine has a smooth mouth feeling with notes of plum and liquorice supported by present but well-integrated tannins.
This Merlot is great to pair with some tasty porcini mushrooms filled with aromatic herbs and garlic. The salinity of the mushrooms enhance the body of this wine and turn down its tannins. The oven cooking method makes the mushroom crunchy and perfumed enough to be tasted nicely within the oaked flavours from Velata. Moreover the aromatic herbs into the stuffing guarantee an aftertaste long enough for this lovely wine.
Therefore can be stated that preconceptions, no knowledge or simple behaviours can mislead to wrong stereotypes.
Wines like Mokarta rosso, Nedda, Velata prove that some red wines can be enjoyed beautifully with fish or vegetables.
Thus try to follow the taste of the food and not the ingredients themself because in wine-food pairing such as in life the best match could be just around the corner…would be a shame to miss it!!!