Adam Seger Briefly Discusses the Art of Food and Wine Pairing

Smart wine pairings go a long way in enhancing the overall dining experience. It can potentially elevate the textures, quality and flavors in the food. Skilled sommeliers or waiting staff at a good restaurant often encourage diners to be more adventurous by exploring varied drink and food pairings, and provide assurance that their selections would actually work well together. A lot of industry experts underline the importance of good wine and food pairings, including Adam Seger.  He has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants such as Chez Julien in Strasbourg, TRU in Chicago, and The French Laundry in Napa Valley, and aims to come up with an inspiring and creative drink recipe book that will lead people to enjoy their drinks as much as they enjoy their food.

Food and wine pairings are a lot about balance. The wine must not hide the food, while the food must not overwhelm the wine. Drinking alcohol has become a pivotal part of the restaurant experience today. Proper food and wine pairings often make guests feel that they are making an informed selection when they are perusing the menu.

  • Wine and food pairings is not an exact science. It is more of a subjective art form that can be learned. Mixology experts and sommeliers need to understand the interplay between aroma, texture and taste, while being respectful to the budget restrictions and individual preferences of a guest. Broadly speaking, there are three key philosophies that one needs to keep in mind when exploring wine and food pairings:
  • Congruent or contrasting:  One first must consider a key ingredient in their selected dish. A paired wine must showcase aromas that share similar tones to the ingredient. For instance, a dish that features a béchamel sauce ideally will gel well with a buttery chardonnay. On the other hand, an equally pleasant pairing may come from a contrast; one could pair the same sauce with a high-acidity pinot grigio to cut through the fat.
  • Balance: Much like a person would balance the flavors in the plate, sweetness, acidity and tannins of the wine should be taken into consideration in relation to the dish. Neither wine nor food should overpower the other. For example, when pairing a pinot grigio with a fatty sauce, it is important that the wine is not too acidic that it renders the creamy sauce unpalatable.

Most of the best wines are crafted slowly, with a lot of experimentation and love. Winemakers are known to constantly pushing the envelope, and a lot of wines tend to have unique histories linked with their development that can contribute to expanding the narrative of the food.  This can imply to pairing local produce with local wines, in its most basic form. Regional pairings, however, not necessarily perfect. But they do provide a template for understanding the structure of flavors. People can always contact industry professionals like Adam Seger to gain better insight into the topic.