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.
Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 28, 2015 Brand vs. Terroir in Wine I'll Drink to That: Andrea Fassone of Enotria Wine Imports Vinography Images: Independence Vineyard Warm Up: The Italian Influence in California I'll Drink to That: Megan Glaab of Ryme Cellars Listen Up!! I'll Drink to That on Vinography A First Taste of Idaho Wine Tasting Integrity: 25 Years of Corison Napa Cabernet Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 21, 2015
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune