Points of View

Master of Wine Says we Need to Rethink Food and Wine Pairing

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Master of Wine Says we Need to Rethink Food and Wine Pairing
Photo Photo by Terry Vlisidis on Unsplash

We hear a lot about wine pairing in Europe, it’s a very serious business. There is an incredible amount of time and effort that goes into building the right wine pairings, with all the usual oenophillic considerations – year, terroir, grape, producer… It’s sometimes as much a 50% of the dining experience, if not more.

However, one of the leading wine experts in the world Tim Hanni MW (the MW stands for Master of Wine), has poured cold Chardonnay all over the idea of food and wine pairings as a concept. 

The Drinks Business reports that Hanni, at 2019 Sauvingnon Blanc celebration last month in Marlborogh, New Zealand, said that we need to rethink the whole idea of wine pairing.

“A perfect wine pairing doesn’t exist. We’re doing a lot of damage the way we’re matching wine and categorising it. We need to start a campaign to stop wine and food pairing as we’ve created a lot of bullsh*t around the idea,” he said.

In fact, the Master of Wine even went as far as to suggest putting the whole food and wine pairing concept to bed.

“A lot of people enjoy being arrogant about wine and consider entry-level wines as being unsophisticated. We need to educate the trade to better serve the personal interests of wine lovers."

“We need to celebrate the diversity of consumers, not make them feel stupid. You can serve Sauvignon Blanc with steak – why not?”

With China the growing market for wine producing countries, Hanni advises that what is widely accepted in the western world with food and wine pairing won’t fly when it comes to China.

“Thinking wine and food pairing will work in China will cause one of the biggest disasters in the wine industry we’ve ever seen,” he said.

He also put paid to the notion that France has a history of food and wine pairing, claiming that the country has “no history of food and wine matching – we made that up”.

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