Wine Pairings

Posted on April 10, 2015 by John Terlato

After preparing one of our delicious Terlato Kitchen recipes, use the following tips from our founder John Terlato when pairing the perfect wine with your meal.

  • Trust your palate. When you eat a great piece of fish or a fabulous slab of ribs, or an unbelievable lamb chop – your mouth, head, stomach and taste buds know it. Trust those same instincts when it comes to pairing food and wine. If the food and wine together is enjoyable in your mouth, it’s probably a good match.
  • Taste the same wine with different foods to see if the wine causes the food to taste more or less delicious? Does the food cause the wine to be more enjoyable or less enjoyable? I love this exercise. To further this thought; I will pour a glass of Terlato Pinot Noir for my guests, and then prepare three different salmon preparations: 1. Soy marinade; 2. Grainy mustard; 3. Olive oil, salt and pepper. I then place one of each of the servings on each person’s dish and ask my friends which salmon preparation goes well with that particular wine? It’s great fun and it really gets people thinking about how foods affect the flavor of wine and vice versa. You can almost see the light bulbs illuminate.
  • When tasting foods and wines, try to identify and/or recall flavors, smells and textures - I refer to this as palate memory. Your palate, which is the connection between flavor and smell receptors in your mouth and nose and your brain, is capable of recall if you focus on it and attempt to develop that recall capability. It’s like Sudoku – the more one practices the greater the development of the skill.
  • Read my Father’s book - TASTE: A Life in Wine. Seriously, this isn’t a plug to sell more books; we didn’t print enough of them. Each chapter concludes with a wine and food pairing. For example: The last chapter of the book gives the recipe for Lamb Loin A La Bordelaise paired with EPISODE, a wine of which we only make 400 six packs. It is a perfect pairing.
  • Don’t make it too serious – this is supposed to be fun. Have a good time with your friends and family, share great food and great wine.
...find the match

Posted in Tips


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