To be appreciated wine demands attention and contemplation; and the appeal of tasting is enhanced if one can analyse it. – Emile Peynaud
The theme of the evening was Zinfandel. The wines were superb (with The Terraces 2013 Zin being the standout). The company engaging. But the introvert in me was in full bloom and all I really wanted to do was explore the magical cheese plate placed before me.
There were goat and cow milk cheeses. Sweet. Savory. Spicy. Creamy and crunchy textures. Paired with a range of Zins, each morsel on my plate was an E ticket to the next adventure.
But I was a host of the event. So I smiled. Poured. Joked. Worked the room. And all the while I was thinking, I wonder what that next combination on my cheese platter will taste like?
Pairing a sweet marmalade and a complex Zin renewed my conviction on the flexibility of Zin over many other reds. Yet my big pairing insight that night was less about the molecules in the food. It reminded me that, sometimes, great wine and food pairing compel one to explore the space inside their own head.
In other words, when traveling the meditative highway, bring a good Zin along.