16 October 2012

Explaining Why Food and Wine Pairings Work

A new study highlighting and explaining why some foods and wines naturally pair up. It seems the sommelier was right- you really do want a high tannin, high acid wine with that fatty steak.Or pickled ginger with your sushi. Or even an olive oil and red wine vinegar salad dressing.
It’s all about texture, researchers say, tannic beverages and foods feel rough, while fats feel slippery. As quoted from the study,
...weakly astringent brews—in this case containing grape seed extract, a green tea ingredient, and aluminum sulfate—build in perceived astringency with repeated sipping. When paired with dried meat, those astringent beverages indeed counter the slippery sensation that goes with fattiness.”
In other words, having a sip of red wine after your bite of steak hits a reset button in your mouth and in perception of flavor and texture, allowing you to re-experience that first pleasurable mouthful without having a buildup of fat on your tongue. It would appear the sommelier buzz-phrase, “palate cleansing”, is actually spot on.
Read the entire article, published in the October 9th issue of Current Biology here:

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