What Is Vino Pair
There are so many websites where one can find lots of ideas of how to pair wine and food. However, it feels like the same old pairing “rules of thumb” are being passed around or explained in different ways.
There are spreadsheets, graphs, and charts all over the internet.
Who wants to cross reference a bunch of data in order to select food and wine. That’s no fun. The first example suggests a merlot with a burger. What if someone was eating a hamburger and looking at this chart trying to decide on wine. Hamburgers are usually not served plain. That’s where the problems lie. What if it was a brie mushroom burger with lettuce and red onion on a sesame seed bun? Now Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot or even Chardonnay become choices.
Maybe more choice is not better. It confuses people. At Vino Pair, we know people want quality, but they also desire simplicity.
We’ve really come a long way since the default days of white wine with chicken and fish and red wine with steak. Is there a way to take pairing food and wine - to the next level?
Look at this Kendall-Jackson chart below. It’s informative on many levels. First, it’s a colorful graphic, which is way more inviting than a tabular chart. It’s separated into four equal parts that represent the seasons of the year. Kendall-Jackson is showing the customer what to expect and when to enjoy their wines in a simple and effective way. Perhaps the people who run Kendall-Jackson are trying to differentiate their brand by providing educational resources for their customers who didn't major in Viticulture or Enology.
Kendall-Jackson realizes the sensory nature of wines. So much so they planted a sensory garden.
At the Sonoma County, CA winemaking location, flowers, fruits, herbs, vegetables are placed in a garden, in zones, to offer a sensory experience all year round.
There’s another company who has realized there’s a HUGE opportunity to better explain wine culture using infographics. WineFolly has taken that great step for mankind and I love them for that. Take this infographic for example.
It’s beautiful, and it’s well-designed.
Wine Folly has now authored a book that shows off their wine infographic prowess.
It’s also beautiful and well-designed and chock full of information.
There’s a lot to it. There’s a lot to know. Ordinary people living busy lives who love food and wine may be too intimidated, uninterested to dive in.
At Vino Pair, we believe Chefs are soldiers of spice on the front-line of flavor. Why? They must come up with new food combinations in order to stay relevant and current. Therefore, if there is anyone who is schooled and ready to create pairing sensations, Vino Pair believes it’s the growing legion of chefs in the existing mainstream chef-culture.
Why is taste so important? Let’s dig in a little deeper.
What is generally categorized as “taste” is basically a bundle of different sensations: it is not only the qualities of taste perceived by the tongue, but also the smell, texture and temperature of a meal that are important. The “coloring” of a taste happens through the nose. Only after taste is combined with smell is a food’s flavor produced. If the sense of smell is impaired, by a stuffy nose for instance, perception of taste is usually dulled as well.
Like taste, our sense of smell is also closely linked to our emotions. This is because both senses are connected to the involuntary nervous system. That is why a bad taste or odor can bring about vomiting or nausea. And flavors that are appetizing increase the production of saliva and gastric juices, making them truly mouthwatering.
There are four major tastes you’ve probably been introduced to in school. It was probably taught to you that each taste; sweet, sour, salty, and bitter taste are all separate zones on the tongue. This is not true. Each taste bud has flavor receptors for all four types, but in varying degrees, in varying locations all over the tongue. The only taste that is consistently located at the back of the tongue is bitter taste. This is apparently to protect us so that we can spit out poisonous or spoiled foods or substances before they enter the throat and are swallowed. In fact, there are about 35 different proteins in the sensory cells that respond to bitter substances. From an evolutionary standpoint, this can be explained by the many different bitter species of plants, some of which were poisonous. Recognizing which ones were indeed poisonous was a matter of survival.
It’s suggested by the U.S. National Library of Medicine that there’s a “strong link connecting taste with emotion and drive which has to do with our evolution: Taste was a sense that aided us in testing the food we were consuming. It was therefore a matter of survival. A bitter or sour taste was an indication of poisonous inedible plants or of rotting protein-rich food. The tastes sweet and salty, on the other hand, are often a sign of food rich in nutrients.”
Our body is telling us that eating the wrong food will kill us and eating the right food, engages the taste bud nerve endings which creates a euphoric experience.
Around 1910, a Japanese researcher discovered savory taste, which is known in Japanese as umami. Savory dishes can bring about pleasant emotions. They signal that the food is rich in protein.
Why did it take so long for us to figure this out?
These are exciting times! As chef-culture becomes more prolific, there will be even more understanding of flavor affinities, taste, mouthfeel, and textures to come.
Well, maybe not big mac sushi.
Vino Pair is tapping into the chef-culture by enlisting amazing chefs to create Vino Pair wine and food pairing boxes with their style and name on them.
A Vino Pair is 4-5 chef-selected food items paired with a bottle of hand-selected, artisan wine. The box can be shipped year round since the items are refrigerated and shipped free 2-Day Air. Also, a pairing guide is included with each box that shows how to create the perfect bite.