Andrew Codispoti, winemaker at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, said that pairing foods with wine should be fun and far from intimidating. Nobody should be afraid to try different wines with different foods.
Planning and preparing a successful dinner party can be challenging. From selecting the right appetizers and just the right main course to topping it all off with the perfect dessert can cause concern to the most experienced planner.
Pairing the food with the wine adds another dimension of worry. Andrew Codispoti, winemaker at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, said that pairing foods with wine should be fun and far from intimidating. Nobody should be afraid to try different wines with different foods.
“Several key points to remember when pairing wine and food is: First, the wine selected should enhance the dining experience,” Codispoti said. “The second thing to remember is the overall balance of the pairing is important. Matching the attributes of the food to the wine works well and so does contrasting the food with the wine so that the elements complement each other through suppression.”
An example of contrast would be pairing a wine with higher acidity with fried foods. Acid cuts the fat and counters the salt in fried foods. Achieving the right balance with food and wine is one of the goals of pairing.
A few examples of pairing include:
n Delicate wines go with delicate foods
n Opulent wines with opulent foods
n Rich wines with rich foods
n Intense wines with intense foods
n Fruity, earthy wines match well with like foods
n Spicy foods goes well with white wine with residual sugar and low alcohol
n Smoke flavors from oak barrels go well with smoky flavor in foods
n Fermented flavors such as sauerkraut does not pair well with wine
n Super sweet foods will overpower the taste of the wine
Codispoti said that when serving a steak that has a lot of texture and flavor, match it with a wine with big flavor and tannins (the organic components from the grapes, seeds and stems as well as from the wood barrels the wine has aged in and is the substance of wine). A Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, goes well with such a steak.
If serving a light fish, a lighter style wine such as a Pinot Grigio or a Riesling works best.
“Wines can pair with a range of foods and can overlap. Pairing is a bit subjective so the guidelines are pretty flexible. Plus the way foods are prepared can affect the pairing,” Codispoti said. “There is an art and a technique to wine pairing. You don't have to hit it out of the ballpark every time when a triple is pretty good.”
His best advice?
“Remember: the goal is to heighten the dining experience. It's not rocket science so don't be afraid to experiment with different wines. Have fun with it and enjoy the experience.”
Page 2 of 2 - For information on the wine classes offered at Gervasi Vineyard, visit the web site, www.gervasivineyard.com.
ABOUT ANDREW CODISPOTI
Codispoti came to the U.S. with his parents from Italy when he was 6-years-old. His passion for winemaking came from his parents who made wine in Italy. His first career was with The Timken Company as an engineer. He came to work with Gervasi in 2009 and that was his first entry into commercial winemaking. Before that, he made wine with his family and friends.
“I really enjoy working with wines, our customers and guests,” Codispoti said, “and I enjoy seeing our guests enjoy our wines.”