“Food and wine matching is not an exact science,” Kahale assures. On the contrary, it is a pure subjective matter. “As anything related to taste buds, personal taste plays a big role,” he adds. What could be an amazing combination to some, it could be a definite no-no to others. But in general, one cannot disregard a few basics. According to Kahale, and contrary to what many people think, a great wine and food match is not necessarily about making the food taste better, “it is rather about making the wine taste better!” Kahale explains: “Just a few wines can overpower food, but the contrary happens often.” He explains that The Holy Grail in wine and food has a name: “equilibrium.” A truly perfect pairing is where two elements come together and create something even better.
SOME EPIC MISMATCHES
Cabernet Sauvignon and Seafood
Seafood is salty, and that would make a tannic, powerful and acidic wine predominantly made from Cabernet Sauvignon taste horribly metallic.
Viognier and lemon-based salad
Viognier is a beautifully perfumed white variety, making ethereal wines in Lebanon. Viognier is high on flavors, but low on acidity. Match to a zesty salad, and you will feel like you are drinking boring diluted water.
Fresh artichokes with any wine
Fresh artichokes are a sommelier’s worst nightmare.
Sweet food with sweet wines. Celebratory Champagnes at the end of a meal, with the chocolate desserts or knefe simply don’t work. Replace the Champagne with a sweet wine from Lebanon. Enjoy acid food, such as tabbouleh or fattoush, with high acid wines, such as Sauvignon blanc or a fresh zesty rosé. Lebanese red wines are bold, powerful and gorged with Mediterranean sun rays. They go well with lamb and succulent red meat. However, when the table is full of mezze and everyone is eating different mixes — in other words when it’s too complicated to match — opt for a rosé. It is good to keep in mind that red wines pair best with bold-flavored meats, such as red meats. White wines pair best with light-intensity meats, such as fish or chicken), whereas tannic wines, such as red wines, are best balanced with fat. As for the famous “cheese and wine,” the majority of cheeses would match better with a white wine than a red wine.