Me and My Favorite Food and Wine Pairings
"Good wine and good food have always been important to me. But having collected some of the greatest labels of Bordeaux and California since the early 1990S, my interest has always focused on the wine first and foremost.
In the past few years, however, I've become much more interested in the art of food and wine matching, One reason for this is the amount of business and social entertaining I do, Another is because I recently set up The Wine Forum, which evolved out of several fine-wine tastings with Jancis Robinson. We're a not-far-profit organisation whose high-profile members have a passion for fine wine and philanthropy, This summer, 30 of us went to Bordeaux for a series of tastings, lunches and dinners, which more than proved that great bordeaux is made for food - especially when you're drinking 1986 Margaux and dining at the Chateau.
Matching food and wine is largely about balance, so that each component brings out the best in the other. Of course, the other trick is picking wines that fit the occasion as well as the food.
Occasionally. some people's approaches can be too extreme. Matching wine and food isn't an intellectual exercise - it's about pleasure and personal taste. I seriously doubt whether the perfect food and wine match exists. There are too many variables.
And yet there are certain things that always seem to work in tandem - such as seared foie gras and sauternes. Another is a great steak with a big Napa cab or top-flight bordeaux (Harlan, Araujo Pahlmeyer, Lewis or Colgin for the former; Leoville-las-Cases, Cos d'Estournel or Pavie for the latter), Conversely, certain things just don't work at all. Opening a decent bottle with spicy food is a waste of good wine. I'd rather have a beer.
If my wife and I are entertaining at home, we tend to choose the food first, because there is usually a good match in the cellar. But in a restaurant, I'm very happy to take advice from a sommelier and occasionally try something I've never had before, especially when I'm Qut with the family rather than business associates. What I like about dining in world-class restaurants, such as The French Laundry or Le Chapon Fin, is the way a really talented sommelier can transform a meal into a culinary adventure,".
But you cannot deter dedicated wine tasters that easily. On the first night a wine tasting was organised by former Davos employees who have formed a new organisation called the Wine Forum.
DAVOS: WINING, DINING ... AND MINING
He came, I think, because he is clearly a wine aficionado, and had to be prised out of his seat after 15 or 20 minutes by his minders. Forbes magazine's seventh most powerful woman in the world, Cynthia Carroll of Anglo American, had been ushered into the seat between him and me in order to provide a buffer of suitably elevated quality at this event funded by the Ukrainian Rinat Akhmetov of System Capital Management, who was himself absent. Only in Davos.
A WORLD OF TASTE AT DAVOS
Indeed it was the popularity in previous years of such similarly off-piste topics as sex (officially called "Relationships and Self-Esteem") that inspired the organisers of the Forum to add wine to their roster of events in 2007, a less challenging alternative to playing Anatoly Karpov at chess.