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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wine & Food Pairing Tools

Wine and food. You could spend a lifetime trying to understand that relationship! Lately I've been developing some recipes for a wine retailer and it's been a lot of fun. It's also been a challenge since my normal process would be to start with a dish and then figure out what to serve with it, not the other way around. Along the way I've talked to a lot of people, read a number of books and gathered up as many resources as I can to help me.

This weekend at brunch, Derrick of the food blog Obsession with Food, mentioned his basic rules for wine pairing and they are really good ones. Check out his post on the subject here.

Along with my "bible" What to Drink with What you Eat, I also like Andrea Immer's book, Everyday Dining with Wine. If you want something short and sweet and internet accessible, here are some links to sites I find useful as well.

1. Wine & Food Matcher
This is a great tool, tucked away on Natalie MacLean's web site, Nat Decants. You can start with the wine or the food and see what pops up.

2. BBC Good Food Grape Guide
Here you can sort by wine/grape or by food type. It's not comprehensive, but it does have some nice suggestions and good descriptions.

3. Food Network Food and Wine Pairing Chart
This is a fun one because it actually lists the flavors associated with wines, and makes suggestions for wines, depending upon your budget.

Wine blogger extraordinaire Alder of Vinography has put together a tasting tool and while it doesn't pair food with wine, it does help hone in on just what's going on in your glass (head to his site to download it).

Bottom line--drink what you like with whatever you like! Food and wine are about enjoyment, not about adhering to strict rules.