Perfect Pairings: Taste Buds and Science

A simple truth is that wine has the ability to make food taste even better. According to François Chartier the aromatic molecules in certain wines and foods act as sensory bridges. Basically raspberries and nori go together well because the aromas of both are dominated by the compound beta-ionone, which is apparent in Cabernet Sauvignons as well as other red wines. What we perceive as their similarities aromatically matters because what we think of as flavor is what makes a raspberry taste like a raspberry comes from our sense of smell. The tongue only picks up sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, tartness and umami (a Japanese term for what could roughly be called savoriness).

Finding the right wine to partner a particular dish has to be a matter of individual taste. Even the most experienced of sommeliers or chefs still have a hard time coming up with the right food and wine pairing. As we say here at Gastronomer exploration is best way to palate nirvana.

Here are a few tomes to help guide through your journey:

Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines by Linda Johnson-Ball

Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food by Evan Goldstein (Author), Joyce Goldstein (Contributor)

Taste Buds and Molecules by François Chartier

Bon Vivant!