The Science of Meat & Wine Pairings

The Science of Meat & Wine Pairings - Meat Depot

The Science of Meat & Wine Pairings – Meat Depot

Even if you are not a wine buff, you probably know of the most basic rule of wine and meat pairing: red wine goes with red meat and white wine goes with white meat.

This isn’t just an old dining myth (much like the brown eggs are healthier than white eggs argument). While this statement is not an absolute truth, science can actually explain why it works. Here are some facts gathered from various scientific research.

1. The Best of Both Worlds – Researchers from Rutgers University and Monell Chemical Sense Institute found that foods can be classified as rough, dry or even slippery. Red wine has a much higher tannin content. This natural compound gives it its astringent, rough and dry quality. The fats in a steak on the other hand, make it slippery.

“Astringent wine and fatty meat occupy opposite ends of the culinary sensory spectrum, titillating our palate in ways neither offering could do on its own. Their pairing creates a perfect blend of sensation for our eager taste buds.” ~ Rachel Newer, SmithsonianMag.com

2. A Burst of Fruit Flavor – The fat in juicy steaks help soften the tannins, releasing more of its fruity flavors with every sip.

“What you end up with is the tannin in the wine softening the steak and the fat in the steak softening the wine. A win-win situation for both.” ~ global wine ambassador Federico Lleonart via  MailOnline

 

3. Something Smells (less) Fishy – That strong smell we associate with fish is caused by amines—molecules that enter the air in enough concentration for us to smell. With red wine’s strong iron content, this smell and taste is usually intensified.

“Researchers had wine tasters sample 36 red wines and 26 white wines while dining on scallops. The wines varied by country of origin, variety and vintage, but the samples that contained irons were consistently rated as having a fishy aftertaste.” ~ Jim Dawson, livescience.com

White wines on the other hand, which are generally more acidic, turn the amines into ammonium salt, reducing the smell and making the fish taste fresher.

As mentioned earlier the old red for red and white for white adage is not an absolute rule. As most chefs and sommeliers will tell you, pairings also depend on a lot of other things such as, the amount of fat in a steak, the way the meat is cooked, its sauce and even its molecular components and aromas – according to wine expert and author Francois Chartier.

If you want more specific guidelines on meat and wine pairings, you can check out : http://winefolly.com/tutorial/wine-with-lamb-steak-red-meat/

Meat Depot serves the following wines in store:

– Cabernet Souvignon
– Merlot
– Moscato

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