Wine and food mismatching
Kingsley Wood, owner of First Glass Wines & Spirits in Takapuna, an Auckland suburb, is a man of habit. For the third or fourth time in as many years he has enjoyed lunch on Christmas Day with the same group of friends at a vineyard on Waiheke Island. They usually start with a pre-taster of Dom Pérignon Champagne.I learnt many years ago to resist the biscuits on offer when judges take a break at wine competitions. A sweet biscuit can make wine taste quite bitter.
Last year the Dom was fantastic, enthused Kingsley. This year they toasted Christmas with the same vintage of Dom but were disappointed. It was nothing like the wine they had tasted the previous year. At first they assumed the loss of quality may have been caused by a low-threshold cork taint which can kill flavour without revealing the musty, wet cardboard character that we associate with cork taint.
“Then I realised”, said Kingsley, “that we had been given a Campari on arrival, something we’d never had before. I took a sip of the Campari and re-tasted the Dom. It was even worse, confirming my suspicion that it had reacted badly with the Dom.
“We tend to focus on the positive aspects of food and wine matching and overlook the negative reactions that can take place”.
Kingsley makes a good point. Campari is quite bitter and may have made the Dom slightly bitter—not a good look in Champagne.
I learnt many years ago to resist the biscuits on offer when judges take a break at wine competitions. A sweet biscuit can make wine taste quite bitter. The same applies to coffee.