Chardonnay with fish, pinot noir with turkey, cabernet sauvignon with steak. We’ve all seen the lists of rules for pairing food with wine. If you want to waste your time you can find whole books devoted to this subject. This idea that certain wines must be drunk only with certain foods is ridiculous and is promoted by the Pharisees of the wine world. These “rules” often create a paralysis in the wine novice who seeks the security of the same wine time after time for fear they might -god forbid-drink the wrong wine. (Although fair warning that I will laugh at you if you drink nothing but white zinfandel) Well there is no wrong wine and your first clue to this fact should be that the lists of rules often do not agree with each other. Now it is true that if you are need of guidance that there are some varietals you should first consider, but all you are really doing is playing the percentages. Truly there is only one rule of wine consumption: drink what you like. After all when you get down to it wine is literally and figuratively really a matter of taste.
I have a good friend who loves Elk Run Vin Du Jus Glace. Now this wine is a fine wine made right here in Frederick County which has won several awards, but it is a very, very sweet dessert wine. Conventional wisdom says this sort of wine should only be drunk after meals with cheeses, nuts and sweets. Now I have seen her drink it with everything from lasagna to burgers and she loves it. Her husband has given her a case as a gift at Christmas time. Who is to say she is wrong? One of the joys of wine is experimentation. Right now, according to the BATFE there are about 55,000 wines for sale in the United States. You never know when or where you’ll find a that magical wine that sends fireworks down your palate. Drink what you like, drink a variety and screw the rules! Don’t let anyone tell you differently- including me.