Wine has a long and storied past with the human race. In days where the water could be dangerous-even lethal- to drink, the natural antibiotic properties of wine provided a source of safe drink. The mildly pleasing psychotropic effects didn’t hurt, either. The human race has a long and ongoing story with mind-altering substances, but that brownie recipe is for another day. Today, I’d like to touch on just a few introductory thoughts about wine; as a complement and a component of a meal.
As a complement to a meal wine provides opportunity. Depending on what you are serving, wine can enforce certain flavors found in the food. For example, a wine with smoky characteristics can accentuate a very lightly smoked fish and highlight that particular flavor profile. Conversely, a sharply acidic, but balanced wine can offset the fat in a meal and act to balance the entire presentation as well as refresh the palate. The right wine can be another tool in your culinary toolbox when you plan your menu.
As a component of the meal, we can look at wine from a perspective of functionality. Wine served with a meal generally causes us to slow down the eating process. This gives the stomach time to signal the brain when we’re full. Along with some water (which should always be served with wine-unless you’re dining with Jesus as he clearly prefers to turn any lingering H2O into consumable vino. And if you’re dining with Him you are probably no longer concerned about health benefits) the additional liquid content again acts to help ding the satiety bell in our heads. Therefore, sipping some wine with a meal aids in helping us eat less, loosening the tongue, encouraging conversation and generally restoring the concept of pleasure in dining versus the super size me eat in 2 bites while driving I don’t even need a bun just give me two fried hunks of chicken alternative. By the way, the “Colonel’s Secret Sauce”, really? Do I really want to eat that in any form? What’s next, Jenna Jameson tuna tartar? As a total aside, and to bring us back on track, she has bought a vineyard in California and supposedly her wine is quite good.
Regardless, the inclusion of wine with a meal can not only be a source of gustatory pleasure, but serve an important function towards healthy, more enjoyable dining. Remember though, wine adds calories to a meal so plan accordingly-caveat emptor! In forthcoming recipes, we’ll leave some wine recommendations. These are a starting off point. Experiment and decide what you like. Wine is like food. Avoid the snobby pretense and consume what you like, not what somebody tells you you should be drinking.
In Vino Veritas!