I am often approached (in person and online) by budding wine lovers looking for guidance navigating what they see as the treacherous waters of wine and food pairing. That these folks feel the need to seek out expert guidance at all makes me a little sad. The fear, uncertainty and doubt that exists in the minds of the public when it comes to wine and food pairing remains for me one of the greatest travesties in the world of wine. Wine, in all its varieties and flavors, is sadly intimidating enough for most people. The fact that matching it with food introduces a whole other level of stress to the equation seriously bums me out.
So that's why I was a little depressed yesterday to read that Japanese scientists claim to have found the chemical basis for why red wine doesn't go with fish. Studies like this just add to the anxiety that people have about following the "rules of wine."
These scientists suggest that red wine's iron content interacts with the fish (oils?) in a way to produce a "fishy" aftertaste. The higher the iron content of the wine, the worse the aftertaste.
I'm prepared to accept this as true, but the problem with this notion, and all the other so called "rules" of food and wine pairing is that there are so many mitigating factors (dish ingredients, species of fish/plant/meat, cooking method, etc.) that affect someone's enjoyment of a particular wine and food pairing that most rules are quite senseless. Add in the idea that different people like different things and as I've said before, the rules of food and wine pairing are a big fat lie.
Continuing to talk about such conventions like "red wine doesn't go with fish" even when, as these scientists suggest, caveats are appropriate, just perpetuates the myths that drive anxiety in the average wine drinker.
So that's why I say screw the scientific results, drink whatever the hell you want with your fish, even if it is a big, oaky Cabernet out of an iron goblet.
Here's the abstract to the research.
Via Science Daily.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Seven Percent Solution Tasting: May 8, San Francisco Vinography Images: Autumn Cellar Vinography Images: Vines and Sky Are You a Red, Pink or a Purple Wine Stater? 2014 TAPAS Iberian Varieties Tasting: April 27, San Francisco Taste Washington Day One in Brief Vinography Images: Trailing Vine Checking On Some Older CA Pinot Noir Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vinography Images: Tuscan Garden
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃƒÂ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy