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Retail guide: pairing food with wine, spirits & beer: these days, the golden rule of pairing food with wine, spirits, and beer is: there are no rules, but there is awareness.

A perennially tricky issue for consumers and retailers alike involves the mutually beneficial pairing of beverage alcohol with food. Finding a compatible coupling between liquid and solid hasn't always been so fraught with angst and high expectations. Up until the mid-1970s, the incessantly repeated mantra heard throughout the United States when conversations spun around to finding a wine to complement a specific kind of food was: Red wine with meat; white wine with fish and fowl. There it was. Neat and direct. No muss, no fuss, no deep thinking required.

In the food-challenged period of 1945-1975, which many food experts still view as America's culinary Dark Age, the two prevailing, if banal, matching-wine-with-food rules only reflected the gross inadequacies in food and beverage alcohol choices as well as the era's general gastronomic ignorance. After World War II, the concept of food with wine dwelled in Nowhereville, USA.

Then, riding to the nation's rescue in the late 1970s came popular food-meisters, most notably, the initial celebrity chefs such as Graham Kerr, the irreplaceable Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. Next came progressive restaurateurs like Wolfgang Puck, Andre Sohner and Joe Baum to enlighten us about genuine food and wine enjoyment. Not surprisingly, the sonic wine boom of the 1980s buttressed the American food revolution by forcing the issue of matching food with wine.

By the 1990s, superstar chefs, like Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Charlie Trotter and Bobby Flay, took their prodigious cooking beliefs and personalities to audiences beyond their restaurants. Dining establishments worked hard to win magazine-sponsored awards for wine lists that were fashioned in-tune with their kitchen's dazzling creations. The ripple of wine and food interest begun in the 1980s had by the turn of the millennium grown into a tidal wave.

Now, a mere generation and epicurean quantum leap later, Chianti no longer comes in straw-covered bottles; Chinese food, commonly identified in the 1950s by the catch-all moniker "chop suey," is today known by regions of origin; the term "organic," once linked to the agricultural leanings of people dressed in tied-dyed T-shirts, now signifies health foods and astute land management; single malt Scotch-with-food multi-course dinners are the rage; "fusion" means messing around in the kitchen as much as it does playing around the atoms in a laboratory; enlightened diners dip bistro-style steak frites (aka, French fries) in thyme-flavored mayonnaise, rarely ketchup; and a robust Porterhouse steak is as readily paired with oak-aged chardonnay as it is with big-hearted cabernet sauvignon. In this far broader and more inclusive scenario, the old, anachronistic redmeat/white-fish way of thinking is as embarrassing as macaroni and processed cheese from a box.

In 2006, America boasts as energetic a food and wine culture as any developed country in the world. We all share a bigger, more satisfying and, hence, more complicated sensory universe. This contemporary consumer's universe contains multiple galaxies of beverage categories and endless combination possibilities with food, possibilities that offer savvy beverage alcohol retailers a golden opportunity to service patrons more thoroughly and more profitably than in the past.

To meet one of the most important culinary challenges of our time, the nation's best beverage alcohol retailers are taking great pains to educate their sales staffs in beverage and food pairing. These realistic merchants invest in education because they acknowledge that properly assisted patrons in need of competent and clear beverage alcohol and food advice frequently become repeat customers. By teaching one's clientele the secrets of creatively bringing together specific wines and spirits with certain varieties of cuisines and meals, the retailer elevates his/her status from merchant to trusted authority. America's foremost beverage alcohol retailers are as much sources of valuable information as they are depots of wine, beer and spirits. Such extra initiative instills customer loyalty, which, after all, is the heart of any successful retail operation.

FIRST: BECOMING AWARE OF THE SEVEN UNIVERSAL TASTE INFLUENCES

Prior to delving into the wine and food matching steps with which retail personnel can assist interested patrons, it's necessary to have staffers first understand the four main areas of taste and, more importantly, how they guide everyone's wine-with-food selections. Beginning from this foundational point of reference, just about anyone can figure out the fundamentals of pairing wines with foods. The pivotal thing to remember as opposed to days gone by is that it's not the wine's color that matters; it's the character.

Evaluating what a vane or spirit tastes like isn't as difficult as some people lead others to think. The vast majority of human tongues own roughly 10,000 taste buds. Think that's a lot? Rabbits have 17,000. Cows have 25,000. Yet, rabbits and cows are notoriously bad wine tasters. The skill lies in learning how best to employ those legions of taste gatherers that relay data to the brain.

The areas of sensitivity are broken down into sections that are sensitive to one or more of the four primary flavors: sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The tip of the tongue detects sweetness; taste buds on the sides of the tongue pick up sourness; the rear section of the tongue recognizes bitterness; and nearly the entire surface of the tongue, but particularly the front, identifies saltiness.

Chefs create their dishes by employing one or more of these four fundamental flavors. All chefs teach their complicated network of taste buds to discover the most complementary combinations of foods and flavorings from among the four flavors. The art of matching wine with food dawns when one determines how a wine's flavor profile will best accentuate specific types of food, so that when joined in a meal neither the wine nor the food overshadows the other element. In other words, the marriage is right when the wine and food are in harmony.

While all rules are made to be broken, here are some basic and up-to-date pairing guidelines in light of using the four primary tastes from both the food's as well as the wine's perspective.

Sweet tasting food: Usually, it makes the most sense to pair up off-dry to flat out sweet wines with sweet foods. If very dry wines are served with very sweet foods, the clash of character (extreme sweet versus extreme sour) will be jarring to the taste buds. Too dry a wine (sour) will make a helping of chocolate mousse seem far sweeter than it really is and therefore the match will be off-kilter because the primary flavors of solid and liquid are fighting each other.

Sour tasting food: It is doubtless preferable to marry foods that are high in acids (vinegar, citrus) with wines of similar composition because in this instance the lack of contrast will end up benefiting both wine and food. Sea bass cooked in lemon juice and butter therefore goes much more gracefully with a lean, high-acid Loire Valley muscadet than with a fat, berry fruit-forward syrah-based Cotes-du-Rhone red. This is the identical principle as with sweet, but in reverse. A justified "like-with-like" situation.

Bitter tasting food: Bitter tasting foods (red meat, green vegetables) are typically high in minerals and iron. To complement that primary flavor in food, wines that customarily have high levels of tannin (cabernet sauvignon, syrah, zinfandel, malbec, tannat) are the most suitable companions. A good example of a mismatch is coupling a dry, light white wine, say sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, with spinach, broccoli rabe or Brussels sprouts, all very bitter vegetables. The naturally earthy, mineral-like tastes of these veggies will dominate too skimpy a wine every time. Bitter is also the taste property to which we are most sensitive, so it's doubly important to become familiar with it and the wines that best suit it.

Salty tasting food: Salty foods, such as ham, blue cheese or smoked fish, taste better when they are matched with off-dry to sweet wines due to the fact that sweet mitigates saltiness far more effectively than sour/dry or bitter/tannic wines. Salty food tastes, in fact, heighten the sense of bitterness in wine. So, suggest off-dry to semisweet to sweet wines with salty, powerfully flavored foods depending on the level of saltiness. That customer who loves pungent Roquefort will appreciate the marriage partner of a Barsac or Sauternes from Bordeaux.

Don't forget: All high-level food and wine matching revolves around intimately knowing, at the minimum, these four core flavors. Get your sales staff to understand the interplay between these primary tastes and selecting wines that amplify food's natural flavors becomes easy ... well, easier, let's say. An internal wine with food tasting program once a week will educate your sales force on a gradual and comfortable basis.

Hold that thought, though, because we're just getting started with fundamental tastes and textures. There's more to cover.

SECOND: BREAKING DOWN A WINE'S "ESSENCE OF TASTE" FURTHER

Spice: One dominant flavor that is not traditionally included within the sweet, sour, bitter and salty pantheon is spicy, meaning piquant or hot, not cinnamon-nutmeg spicy. Spicy is, in truth, a branch on the bitter tree, but with so many styles of cuisine featuring chili peppers, paprika, wasabi, and the like, it's worth mentioning that peppery foods shine when married with off-dry, floral whites, most appropriately, gewurztraminer, muscat, riesling or viognier. While it may appear on the surface that these choices exist at opposite ends of the taste spectrum, in this case opposites most assuredly attract as the softly sweet taste of the wine zeroes in on the spice and enhances it by effectively cutting it. Sometimes contrasting delivers as well as compatibility.

What matters most is the wine's taste profile, the summary of qualities that should correspond to that of the food to which it is being paired. In addition to the four primary flavors plus spice, there are two other more textural factors that should enter into one's ability to match wine or spirits with food by all those people who yearn to perfect their matching skills. Those supplementary aspects are density and intensity.

Density: This factor is dictated by the wine's texture, or weight. In other words, is the wine light-bodied, medium-bodied or heavy? Generally, whites and roses are light-to-medium in density, except for dessert wines that are frequently full-bodied and viscous, while red wines run the full gamut of light to heavy mass.

Here, like typically should be linked to like, meaning the concentration of the wine should be close in degree with that of the food. For instance, suggesting an ethereal sauvignon blanc or carefree galestro as an accompaniment for a powerhouse, high-density meal like rack of lamb has disaster in the form of mismatch written all over it. The two elements don't jive at all in density and consequently the lamb will obliterate any semblance of the wine.

Intensity: Intensity has a direct correlation to the alcohol by volume (abv) level in wine. In an era when many wines, both red and white, seem to be climbing in abv, astute retail salespeople will, without fail, gauge the alcohol level when determining a wine's suitability with a specific type or style of food. Bigger alcohol invariably translates to bigger texture and, on average, more expressive flavors. Since alcohol is the foundation of any wine or spirit (alcohol is the skeleton and fruit is the flesh), it's vital to take this factor into account on behalf of one's client.

Marry red California zinfandels that register 14.5% or 15% abv with aggressive flavors and large texture in foods, such as barbecue or four-alarm-spiced Buffalo wings or pepperoni-covered pizza. In the same vein, recommend 11.5% or 12% abv rieslings to rhyme with the delicate flavors and lighter mass of chicken/fish and vegetable Asian fusion.

Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, spicy, density and intensity are the seven indispensable taste and textural features to factor into every wine-with-food suggestion. Meals that work are generally meals in balance, meals where no one factor dominates to the point of exclusion.

That said, we likewise reside in a period of culinary escapade. While from a sales standpoint it's normally better to play things safe with new clientele, when a familiar customer is more adventurous and open-minded, give your sales staff the freedom to suggest offbeat combinations that perhaps they've successfully tried themselves. The beauty of the times we share is the spirit of adventure in the culinary arts. A wine and food coupling that years ago would have been sneered at may today provide sensory bliss. Naturally, it's important to be steady and responsible in doling out wine and food suggestions, but don't be afraid to push the envelope a Little bit.

TIPS TO ASSIST IN MAKING SMART SALES DECISIONS

Start by asking about the food: From the retailing viewpoint, when the patron strolls in and explicitly asks for assistance with a wine selection for a meal, instruct your staff to begin the sales transaction by asking, "What food is being served?" By starting with the foundation of the meal, the wine's field of choices is immediately narrowed. Wine, while integral to many meals, is a supplement and enhancement to the food. Food is the Lone Ranger; wine is the Tonto.

Knowing the nature of the food also makes it apparent to the salesperson when the customer will likely require the wine. Is it the appetizer or finger foods opening course (light and dry wine), soup course (light and dry), main course (dry to off-dry and medium to full-bodied) or dessert (off-dry to sweet)? The immediate elimination of some possibilities makes the selection process run simpler, faster and more gracefully.

Taking the sauce and/or garnish into account: Once the primary foodstuff has been established (meat/fish/fowl/vegetable), the next query should be, "Is there a sauce and/or garnish 'crust' planned?" If so, the quick follow-up question should be, "Is it/they tomato-based, cream-based, fruit-based, acid-based (citrus or vinegar) or spice-based?" Each wine/food pairing must take into account the possible influence of a sauce or a garnish encasement. It isn't enough to blithely register "filet mignon" without likewise ascertaining if that hunk of expensive beef is going to be concealed beneath a bearnaise sauce (butter, egg yolks, tarragon and shallots) or grilled in a peppercorn with soy and sesame crust.

Contemporary sauces and garnishes almost always bring with them intense additional flavors to the base food. These extra tastes might change the direction of the wine selection and, as such, it's absolutely necessary to include them into the equation.

Regional affinities: Some wine mavens summarily dismiss the notion of neighborhood kinship between wine and food. While retailers always must venture forth into wine and food pairing with care and caution, keeping the regional affinity card available is savvy and smart even when the combinations stretch the boundaries.

When a patron is serving up a hearty country dish like cassoulet, the delicious duck confit and vegetable stew from France's bucolic southwest, suggest a red wine from Cahors, Madiran or Buzet, all southwestern France wine districts, before automatically pulling the verbal trigger on an Australian shiraz or a California merlot. A wine that's been developed to be served with a particular style of cooking or specific ingredients might significantly accentuate the flavors and textures of the food. Something of value to keep in mind.

Taking wood into account: Wines that have been matured in oak barrels for extended periods (more than a year) routinely have more resin and tannic acids than wines that have either seen no wood or have endured shorter spans of aging. The wood element should be taken into account when recommending wines for food pairing. This means that bitter, one of the four main flavors, is more in evidence and must be balanced with an appropriate wine choice.

The biggest wood issues are born from New World chardonnays that have been kept in barrel for long periods. Overly woody chardonnay can overwhelm dishes consisting of fowl or fish, so bring some awareness to the table in this matter so that your staff can make proper selections.

SPIRITS AND BEER WITH FOOD

With so much emphasis on the paring of wine and food in restaurants and at home in the 1990s, the similar action of matching up spirits and beer with food went largely overlooked. Now in 2006, discovering complementary food and whiskey couplings or food and beer combinations are gaining favor and considerable notice in the consumer sector. Indeed, one of the current rages across America is serving Scotch whisky throughout a multi-course meal. Beer and food dinners have also been popular in the last 10 years ever since the explosion of hand-crafted brewing in the 1990s.

America's been behind on the learning curve with spirits/beer and food matching, however. In Asia, it's been a revered custom for decades to serve cognac all evening long, even through the meal. In Eastern Europe, beer is traditionally served with every course of an evening meal. In Russia and many of the nations that comprised the old Soviet Union, vodka remains the favored wash down of solids from a meal's beginning to its conclusion.

With spirits, the keys to sound selections are, one, to be aware of the elevated ABV level and to make selections that take that degree of strength into account and, two, to make certain that the spirit's fruit or grain base material is suitable to the type of food being served. (See Spirits chart for details.)

In the case of beer (I apologize for the pun), it boils down to whether or not a lager or an ale are the preferred style of beer for the particular dish. Lagers are most often lighter and crisper than hearty, sturdy ales and therefore need to be applied in situations where the food is not as dense as those that warrant more constitution and depth. (See Beer chart.)

Beer experts frequently claim that it's their favorite beverage, not wine and certainly not spirits or cocktails, that offers the best natural match for most dishes. Craft beers especially, and those from countries like Belgium, where beer and food culture has long thrived, can provide a wide range of flavors and styles to work with, especially when pairing with highly acidic or pungent dishes.

Strong-flavored beers, like stouts or highly hopped brews, pair well with highly seasoned dishes, like rich stews, while lighter flavored, crisp and tangy brews go better with lighter fare. Asian dishes are especially well suited to a broad range of beers, from light pilsners to hoppy India pale ales and wheat beers. Balance is essential to consider when suggesting pairings. Crisp brews with moderate to low bitterness are great for delicate dishes, vegetables and salads.

It's a no-brainer, of course, to suggest beers with spicy barbecue dishes or pizza, but the reasons are not always clear. The high acids in tomato-based foods are perfect for the palate cleansing qualities of even the lightest flavored mass-market American brews. Raw or steamed shellfish also are easy beer suggestions, though the classic oyster and Guinness stout pairing has never really caught on in the U.S.

And while ports have long been the favored selection for dessert pairings, fruit beers, whether peach, cherry or raspberry flavored classics from Belgium or the more modern American craft selections that include pumpkin, blueberry, apricot and spices, are fantastic when paired with nearly all desserts.

The bottom line is that sales staffers should apply what they learn from getting to know the seven flavor influences for wine and food matching and then transfer that data to wine, spirits and beer. Why? Because it always comes back to sweet, sour, bitter, salty, spicy, density and intensity.

F. Paul Pacult is the world's only journalist to concurrently be a life member of Scotland's exclusive Keepers of the Quaich whisky society, a life member of France's Company of Musketeers d'Armagnac, and a life member of Kentucky's Bourbon Hall of Fame. He is the editor of F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal, the author of A Double Scotch (John Wiley, 2005), the monthly wine/spirits columnist for Delta Sky, and a special projects editor to the New York Times. His web site is www.spiritjournal.com.
Food Types with Still, Sparking & Fortified White Wines

Cuisine/Food Type Light/Dry Medium/Off Dry

Americas/Barbecue Riesling &
 Gewurztraminer
Americas/Mexican spicy Sauvignon Blanc Riesling
Americas/Southwest Sauvignon Blanc Riesling, Chenin
 spicy Blanc
Asian/Chinese spicy Sauvignon Blanc Muscat, Riesling,
 Gewurztraminer
Asian/Indian spicy Galestro Chenin Blanc
Asian/Japanese sushi Muscadet, Sauvignon Tocai
 Blanc
Asian/Korean spicy Muscadet Gewurztraminer
Asian/Polynesian Sauvignon Blanc Riesling
Asian/Thai spicy Trebbiano Muscat, Riesling
Asian/Vietnamese spicy Sauvignon Blanc Tocai, Chenin Blanc
Cheese/blue
Cheese/brie, camembert
Cheese/cheddar
Cheese/swiss, Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc
 gruyere, edam
Dessert/ Muscat, Tocai
 chocolate mousse
Dessert/cream, dairy Riesling
Dessert/creme brulee Muscat
Dessert/fruit, nuts Riesling
Fish/Caviar
Fish/light sauce Muscadet, Galestro, Chenin Blanc,
 Sauvignon Blanc Albarino
Fish/heavy sauce Tocai
Fish/lobster
Fish/prawns/shrimp Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc
Fish/oysters, mussels Galestro, Muscadet Chenin Blanc
Fish/salmon, tuna Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc
Fish/scallops Galestro, Trebbiano Tocai
Fish/trout, bass Sauvignon Blanc Albarino
Fowl/chicken breast Sauvignon Blanc Sylvaner, Riesling
Fowl/duck, goose Gewurztraminer
Fowl/fried chicken Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling
 Trebbiano/
Fowl/game hens Chenin Blanc
Fowl/roast turkey Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc
Fowl/spicy wings Gewurztraminer
Pasta/tomato sauce
Pasta/cream sauce
Pasta/olive oil Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc
Picnic/deli sandwiches Galestro Riesling
Meat/buffalo steak
Meat/filet mignon,
 rib eye
Meat/hamburger, loaf
Meat/hanger, flank
Meat/lamb chop
Meat/pork roast, chops Chenin Blanc
Meat/pork ham, cured Trebbiano Muscat
Meat/rabbit Gewurztraminer
Meat/stews, cassoulet
Meat/veal Sauvignon Blanc Riesling, Moscato
Meat/venison
Middle Eastern Riesling
Pate/Foie gras Chenin Blanc
Soup/broth-based Fino Sherry
Soup/cream-based Amontillado Sherry
Vegetables Sauvignon Blanc
Vegetarian/salads Trebbiano, Galestro

Cuisine/Food Type Full/Dry Full/Sweet Sparkling

Americas/Barbecue Chardonnay Rose
Americas/Mexican spicy
Americas/Southwest
 spicy
Asian/Chinese spicy Pinot Gris, Blanc de Blancs
 Chardonnay
Asian/Indian spicy
Asian/Japanese sushi Chardonnay Brut
Asian/Korean spicy Semillon
Asian/Polynesian Viognier Blanc de Noirs
Asian/Thai spicy Chardonnay Rose
Asian/Vietnamese spicy Pinot Gris
Cheese/blue Chardonnay, Sauvignon
 Viognier Blanc
Cheese/brie, camembert Viognier Riesling
Cheese/cheddar Chardonnay
Cheese/swiss, Chardonnay Extra Dry
 gruyere, edam
Dessert/ Sauvignon Demi-Sec
 chocolate mousse Blanc,
 Semillon,
 Riesling
Dessert/cream, dairy Chenin Blanc Demi-Sec
Dessert/creme brulee Pinot Gris Doux
Dessert/fruit, nuts Sauvignon Sec
 Blanc,
 Semillon
Fish/Caviar Blanc de Blancs
Fish/light sauce Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs
Fish/heavy sauce Pinot Gris, Rose
 Chardonnay
Fish/lobster Chardonnay, Brut, Extra Dry
 Semillon
Fish/prawns/shrimp Semillon Brut, Extra Dry
Fish/oysters, mussels Blanc de Noirs
Fish/salmon, tuna Chardonnay Natural
Fish/scallops Extra Brut
Fish/trout, bass Chardonnay Brut
Fowl/chicken breast Pinot Blanc, Blanc de Blancs
 Chardonnay
Fowl/duck, goose Chardonnay Rose
Fowl/fried chicken Pinot Gris Extra Dry
Fowl/game hens Viognier Blanc de Noirs
Fowl/roast turkey Chardonnay, Rose, Blanc
 Viognier de Noirs
Fowl/spicy wings Pinot Blanc Extra Dry
Pasta/tomato sauce Rose
Pasta/cream sauce Chardonnay Brut
Pasta/olive oil Pinot Gris Blanc de Blancs
Picnic/deli sandwiches Semillon Rose
Meat/buffalo steak Chardonnay Rose
Meat/filet mignon, Semillon, Rose, Blanc
 rib eye Viognier de Noirs
Meat/hamburger, loaf Semillon Brut
Meat/hanger, flank Chardonnay, Blanc de Noirs
 Semillon
Meat/lamb chop Viognier Rose
Meat/pork roast, chops Viognier Blanc de Noirs
Meat/pork ham, cured Pinot Blanc Extra Dry,
 Demi-Sec
Meat/rabbit Rose
Meat/stews, cassoulet Chardonnay Rose
Meat/veal Pinot Gris Blanc de Noirs
Meat/venison Viognier Rose
Middle Eastern Extra Dry
Pate/Foie gras Semillon Sauvignon Blanc de Noirs
 Blanc
Soup/broth-based Brut
Soup/cream-based Brut
Vegetables Blanc de Blancs
Vegetarian/salads Blanc de Blancs

Food Types with Still & Fortified Rose & Red Wines

Cuisine/Food Type Rose Medium/Off Dry

Americas/Barbecue Grenache/Cinsault Dolcetto, Sangiovese,
 Tempranillo
Americas/Mexican spicy Grenache
Americas/Southwest Tempranillo
 spicy
Asian/Chinese spicy Gamay, Barbera
Asian/Indian spicy
Asian/Japanese sushi Grenache
Asian/Korean spicy Gamay
Asian/Polynesian Merlot Tempranillo
Asian/Thai spicy Zinfandel Gamay, Barbera
Asian/Vietnamese spicy Zinfandel Gamay
Cheese/blue
Cheese/brie, camembert Barbera
Cheese/cheddar Tempranillo, Sangiovese
Cheese/swiss, Grenache Sangiovese, Tempranillo
 gruyere, edam
Dessert/
 chocolate mousse
Dessert/cream, dairy
Dessert/creme brulee
Dessert/fruit, nuts
Fish/light sauce Gamay
Fish/heavy sauce Gamay, Sangiovese
Fish/lobster
Fish/prawns/shrimp
Fish/oysters, mussel
Fish/salmon, tuna
Fish/scallops
Fish/trout, bass Merlot Barbera, Sangiovese,
 Grenache
Fowl/chicken breast Merlot Gamay, Tempranillo
Fowl/duck, goose Merlot Tempranillo,
 Sangiovese, Barbera
Fowl/fried chicken Zinfandel Gamay, Barbera
Fowl/game hens Zinfandel Dolcetto, Gamay
Fowl/roast turkey Merlot Tempranillo, Sangiovese
Fowl/spicy wings Zinfandel Barbera, Grenache
Pasta/tomato sauce Sangiovese, Barbera
Pasta/cream sauce Grenache/Cinsault Sangiovese, Gamay
Pasta/olive oil Sangiovese
Picnic/deli sandwiches Grenache, Zinfandel Gamay, Dolcetto,
 Grenache
Meat/buffalo steak Tempranillo, Barbera
Meat/filet mignon, Tempranillo, Sangiovese
 rib eye
Meat/hamburger, loaf Zinfandel Dolcetto, Gamay
Meat/hanger, flank Sangiovese, Barbera
Meat/Iamb chop Tempranillo, Barbera
Meat/pork roast, chops Grenache/Cinsault Tempranillo, Gamay
Meat/pork ham, cured Merlot Gamay, Dolcetto,
 Grenache
Meat/rabbit Merlot Barbera, Sangiovese
Meat/stews, cassoulet Grenache/Cinsault Barbera, Tempranillo
Meat/veal Grenache Sangiovese, Tempranillo
Meat/venison Barbera, Tempranillo
Middle Eastern Grenache
Pate/Foie gras Gamay, Dolcetto
Soup/broth-based Merlot Gamay, Grenache
Soup/cream-based Zinfandel Gamay
Vegetables
Vegetarian/salads

Cuisine/Food Type Light/Medium Dry

Americas/Barbecue Zinfandel, Syrah, Nebbiolo
Americas/Mexican spicy
Americas/Southwest
 spicy
Asian/Chinese spicy Zinfandel
Asian/Indian spicy
Asian/Japanese sushi
Asian/Korean spicy Syrah
Asian/Polynesian Zinfandel
Asian/Thai spicy Zinfandel
Asian/Vietnamese spicy Syrah
Cheese/blue Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Nebbiola
Cheese/brie, camembert Pinot Noir
Cheese/cheddar Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Cheese/swiss, Pinot Noir
 gruyere, edam
Dessert/ Tawny Port, Pedro Ximenez Sherry,
 chocolate mousse East India Sherry
Dessert/cream, dairy Cream Sherry
Dessert/creme brulee Cream Sherry, Ruby Port
Dessert/fruit, nuts Tawny Port
Fish/light sauce
Fish/heavy sauce
Fish/lobster
Fish/prawns/shrimp
Fish/oysters, mussel
Fish/salmon, tuna
Fish/scallops
Fish/trout, bass
Fowl/chicken breast Pinot Noir, Merlot
Fowl/duck, goose Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo
Fowl/fried chicken Zinfandel
Fowl/game hens Syrah, Zinfandel, Malbec
Fowl/roast turkey Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel
Fowl/spicy wings Zinfandel
Pasta/tomato sauce Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,
 Syrah, Nebbiolo. Malbec
Pasta/cream sauce Nebbiolo, Syrah, Malbec
Pasta/olive oil Nebbiolo, Merlot
Picnic/deli sandwiches Zinfandel, Merlot
Meat/buffalo steak Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot
Meat/filet mignon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir,
 rib eye Merlot
Meat/hamburger, loaf Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah
Meat/hanger, flank Syrah, Nebbiolo, Merlot
Meat/Iamb chop Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec
Meat/pork roast, chops Pinot Noir, Merlot
Meat/pork ham, cured Pinot Noir, Zinfandel
Meat/rabbit Pinot Noir, Syrah
Meat/stews, cassoulet Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Malbec
Meat/veal Pinot Noir
Meat/venison Merlot, Syrah
Middle Eastern
Pate/Foie gras Cabernet Franc
Soup/broth-based
Soup/cream-based
Vegetables
Vegetarian/salads

Food Types with Spirits

Cuisine/Food Type White Spirits Brandy Whiskey Liqueur

Americas/Mexican Tequila
Asian/spicy Cognac Scotch
Cheese/blue Armagnac Scotch
Cheese/brie, Armagnac Scotch
 camembert
Cheese/cheddar Cognac Bourbon
Cheese/swiss, Calvados Irish
 gruyere, edam
Dessert/chocolate Cognac Bourbon Cream-Based
 mousse
Dessert/cream, dairy Cognac Scotch Coffee-Based
Dessert/fruit, nuts Calvados Irish Fruit-Based
Fish/caviar Vodka
Fish/smoked salmon Tequila Scotch
Fowl/chicken breast Calvados Irish
Fowl/duck, goose Cognac Bourbon
Fowl/game hens Armagnac Scotch
Fowl/roast turkey Calvados Bourbon
Picnic/deli Grappa Irish
 sandwiches
Meat/filet mignon, Scotch
 rib eye
Meat/Iamb chop Calvados Scotch
Meat/stews, Armagnac Scotch
 cassoulet
Meat/venison Armagnac Scotch
Pate/Foie gras Armagnac Scotch
Soup/broth-based Calvados Irish
Sony/cream-based Scotch

Food Types with Beer

Cuisine/Food Type Lager Ale

Americas/Barbecue Pale Ale,
 Smoked Porter
Americas/Mexican spicy Pilsner
Americas/Southwest spicy Pilsner
Asian/Japanese sushi Vienna
Asian/spicy Pilsner, Vienna
Cheese/blue Dubbel Abbey Ale
Cheese/brie, camembert Abbey Ale
Cheese/cheddar India Pale Ale
Cheese/swiss, gruyere, edam Abbey Ale
Dessert/chocolate mousse Chocolate Stout
Dessert/cream, dairy Imperial Stout
Dessert/fruit, nuts Oatmeal Stout
Fish/smoked salmon Pilsner Smoked Porter
Fowl/chicken breast Marzen/Oktoberfest
Fowl/duck, goose Marzen/Oktoberfest Nut Brown Ale
Fowl/game hens Marzen/Oktoberfest
Fowl/roast turkey Marzen/Oktoberfest
Picnic/deli sandwiches Munich Dark Lager
Pizza/pasta Vienna, Pilsner Pale Ale
Meat/beef steak India Pale Ale
Meat/beef hamburger Pale Ale
Meat/Iamb chop Biere de Garde
Meat/pork roast, chops Red Ale
Meat/sausages Dark Lager
Meat/smoked, cured Double Bock/Doppelbock Porter
Meat/stews, cassoulet Double Bock/Doppelbock
Meat/venison Double Bock/Doppelbock Red Ale
Soup/Cream-based

Cuisine/Food Type Specialty

Americas/Barbecue
Americas/Mexican spicy
Americas/Southwest spicy
Asian/Japanese sushi
Asian/spicy
Cheese/blue Cherry Lambic
Cheese/brie, camembert
Cheese/cheddar
Cheese/swiss, gruyere, edam
Dessert/chocolate mousse
Dessert/cream, dairy
Dessert/fruit, nuts Cherry Lambic, Raspberry Wheat
Fish/smoked salmon
Fowl/chicken breast
Fowl/duck, goose
Fowl/game hens
Fowl/roast turkey
Picnic/deli sandwiches
Pizza/pasta
Meat/beef steak
Meat/beef hamburger
Meat/Iamb chop
Meat/pork roast, chops Peach Lambic
Meat/sausages Rauchbier
Meat/smoked, cured
Meat/stews, cassoulet
Meat/venison
Soup/Cream-based Gueuze-Lambic
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Pacult, F. Paul
Publication:Beverage Dynamics
Article Type:Cover story
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Words:4840
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