My long-time editor David Gadd explores food and wine pairing in this seasonal feature for 805 Living.
Spring on the Central Coast is the time to begin enjoying garden-sourced vegetables, but some, such as artichokes, asparagus, and the brassicas (cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and their relatives) present unique challenges when it comes to finding ideal wine matches.
It seems a Ph.D. in organic chemistry is necessary to fully understand the
issue, but wine science educator Deborah Parker Wong can provide
some insight into what happens when certain vegetables meet the palate.
Take artichokes, for example: “A taste obliterating compound in artichokes
called cynarine blocks most of the taste receptors for acid, bitterness,
and salt, making anything you eat or drink taste vaguely sweet.”
Parker Wong suggests light-bodied red wines to counter that effect. On the other hand, she says, “When pairing wine with brassicas or asparagus, combat their notably high levels of organosulfur compounds and methoxypyrazines with dry, aromatic white wines. Steer clear of wines with overt greenness or pungency, which will only amplify green flavors, and opt for tropical, fruit driven, or perfumed white varietals to
help mask those sulfurous aromas.”
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