Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wine and food

I spoke Friday in Stillwater at the inaugural Oklahoma Wine Forum - about the one thing I actually have something informative to share, that being a year of living in a French wine village - and I happened to catch a lecture by Tim Hanni of Napa Seasoning. Hanni's worked in wine and food for 35 years and it's come to this: He believes that you can drink any wine you want provided that you cook accordingly, i.e., incorporate into your food the four innate senses of sour, sweet, salt and umami (he omits bitter, explaining that it's the one sense that tends to age along with the taster and, I guess, less predictable as an element of taste).

Yes, he has an agenda in that his Napa Seasoning (available in Tulsa at Akin's) is an effort to, essentially, render cooked food more wine-friendly. But his attack on the idea of food and wine pairing - and the often laughable vocabulary employed in order to make wine critics sound as learned and timely as possible - is worth noting, and his take on wine traditions as largely the masterminding of marketers and salesmen is a breath of fresh air.

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