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Mayo Family Winery is thrilled to host the #SonomaChat on July 27, 2016


VIEW SOME OF THE EXTENDED QUESTIONS BELOW AND ANSWERS CURATED BY CHEF SAM FRUMKIN

QUESTION 2: Basic principles of pairing? Does it matter what wine is served with a particular food?

The easiest pairing advice is always "grows together, goes together."

If you look towards the indigenous area for the grapes, say Spanish costal regions whose regional cuisine is heavy on seafood and the bounty of the ocean, you will find wines that go beautifully with the food. Rias Biaxas in Glacia on the northwestern coast is an incredible area for food, and Albarino is the most prevalent grape. Its no mistake it is so beautiful with the sardines, mackerel and octopus that is the backbone of the local food economy. Head to the opposite side of the country in Catalonia you find Grenacha in abundance, as it pairs beautifully with regional specialties like lamb and piccada. The wine and food developed together over thousands of years in the old world, and the regional pairings show that familiarity.

FOR MORE GENERAL ADVICE, I always look to 6 major things

Acidity, Tannins, Weight, and my 3 S's (Sweet, Salt and Spice)

Acidity in the wine should be greater or equal to the acidity in the dish. Acidity also plays well with fatty and sweet foods.

Tannins - Tannins love fat

Weight - The weights of the wine should be similarly matched to the foods. Just as food can be light or heavy so can wine. This also plays into what I call the dominant flavor. Cab and steak are a no-brainer, but you may be able to break outside the norm if that cab is served with a light lemon butter sauce vs. a heavier au poivre. 

The S's. SWEET. - sweet plays well with spicy. The sweetness of the food should never exceed the sweetness of the wine. IF you are playing with a desert wine, try under sweetening the desert and allowing the wine to add the sweetness. SALT. Salt magnifies high alcohol, but goes beautifully with higher acidity and especially bubbly. Champagne and salty fried foods is one of my favorite pairings. SPICE. Spice in food can be tricky for most wines. Again, a slightly sweet white is an easy go to for the big flavors of south east Asia, but I've found some real winning pairings playing with Malbec or complex reds and say, Mexican food.

QUESTION 3: How can food and wine work together to bring out the best in each other? 

The glass does matter. While the average consumer may not want, or have any need, in investing in a line-up of glass ware, I do think its important to pick a glass that allows you to really smell it. Even for champagne, I’m hoping the era of the flute comes to and end, and the coupe comes back.

QUESTION 5: What are good wines that pair well with MOST foods?

The most common advice on the street is Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. And it’s not wrong. Both tend towards the middle of the wine spectrum, Chard’s tend to be large in the world of whites and Pinot’s tend to be soft in the world of reds making them easier to cross over to the other side. I would also throw bubbles in the ring. The high acidity, lower alcohol, the bubbles themselves, and often a touch of residual sugar can play well with many foods. If you are flying blind into a dinner party, bring a pinot. Its the gateway red, and plays nice with a wide range of foods. If you have an idea as to the food, or theme: I say Google it! Google is your best food and wine pairing partner. 

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