To Pair or Not to Pair

Sunday, April 27, 2014

To Pair or Not to Pair

While enjoying a nice night out everyone has been given a sommelier's recommended pairing... and if you enjoy the fine cuisine at The Nabob then you have no excuse for not being provided a recommended pairing. I am also sure most eveyone understand the gist of this pairing, to enhance the food without altering the flavor in a negative way. But, what's the science here? Where's the logic?

Let's start and look at why those who make a living studying and providing these pairings are so particular. The tounge and the nose, the tandem that lets us enjoy flavor. Many think the tounge does the heavy lifting in this realm when in fact its the nose that is our star player. This is why pairings are key, because particles are released when food and liquid enter the mouth, and these particles travel up to the olfactory bulb. And, just because a liquid may have a certain smell in a container does not mean it will release such an odor when consumed, let alone when consumed with another substance. So, its more than just two (or more) sunbstances colliding on your tounge and combining to activate your sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami buds, these flavors must also meet cordially in the nose, and many things can alter this encounter: acidity levels, temperature and the unique interactions of molecules.

So, should we pair our alcohol (be it wine, beer or spirits) with our food? Some people say never, some like to stick with wine and others say there is no reason not to be innovative as longa s it tastes good.

We will leave the decision up to you, but we recommend pairing a scotch (neat) with your decision process, it makes it much more enjoyable.

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