Faculty, Staff and Students tell their stories, dreams and passions for all things culinary.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Micro Blog: “Why Understanding Wine Matters to a Chef ” Mary Margaret McCamic
It’s easy to come to culinary school and focus on only one thing: food. So where does wine come in, and why does it matter? Wine, like food, is all about balance. A lemon bar is filled with sugar, but the lemon’s acidity makes it less cloying. A too bitter radicchio salad can be brought back to life with a little bit of honey. Evaluating wine is very similar - a truly great wine isn't defined by how sweet or dry it is, by how much alcohol it contains, by its acidity level, or by how fruity it is or isn't It is how these components work together that really matters. This is balance. Ultimately, wine becomes like an ingredient in a dish; a great chef must consider what wines will best partner with his or her cuisine. It seems only logical that the person creating the food should also be able to talk about how this final ingredient – wine – can enhance the meal. A restaurant that depends on spicy ingredients could benefit from a wine by the glass with a little residual sugar. The sugar can soften heat and allow your palate to enjoy the other flavors. A crème brulée is even more delicious when sipping a glass of tawny port because it complements the caramelized sugar. Separately, great wine and food can be incredible. Imagine what can happen they work together. Mary Margaret McCamic, DWS