Mshamba lady guide to taking wine
14 July 2015, 14:36
Nairobi - The first time I had a taste of liquor, I was seven or
eight. I think. It was the hard stuff too.
It was vodka! My father had brought it home and put it in
the fridge. As an African/ Kenyan child I should tell you though. When the
father brought something at home and it was in paper bags, in the form of
vegetables, meat and in a bottle labelled Coca-Cola-you were allowed to it. If
it was brought in the form of weird bottles (read dawa ya kienyeji), you were meant to be invited to have it. So, as
an unwritten law, if it is a drink and it is not milk, water and or honey, you
were not meant to have it. The Coke, it was meant for visitors, you were
invited to that too.
So, one day, I go to the fridge and this bottle looks so
inviting because it is forbidden at the same time. I take a cup and douse the
rest in water so that daddy will not know what I have been up to. As a person
who drinks, he knew because alcohol should never be that watery. He asks and we
are all like,’ do you see an alcoholic here? It is not us!’ My first taste of
vodka was not positive to my palate, I stayed off it until Campus when I was
asked to tried again.
Now, it was in the
form of wine, and after a run around, I was soon stealing from my mother’s box
of valued Ceres. It was not
interesting but from that, I knew there was a lot more to wine and even more to
wine and food.
How to pair wine and food?
It is not as simple as color by the way. You will be told
that white wine goes with white meat and red wine goes with red meat. It is not
that simple but that is the basic stuff you should stick to if you are wet
behind your ears.
In my opinion, it is more about the body of the wine, rather
than the color of it.
Body and not color
I will maintain that maybe the reason a lot of people stick
to color is because, red has always looked stronger and able as compared to
white. Just think of your white dinner dress doused in wine by the waiter.
A full bodied white wine is able to match up to heavy dishes
such as pork tenderloin which as protein were considered to be a better match
for the reds. But not so. This is because some red wines can actually be of a
lighter body such as some Pinot Noir (pee-no
NWAHR to you and some of me who will be magically invited to that A-list
event) and thus not a perfect match. The same Pinot, as mentioned will taste
really well with some fish and chicken regardless of the fact that it is a red
Quick tip: Just look at some of those labels and you can
tell that wines with below 10-11% alcohol have a light body. Those with 11-13%
medium body and those with higher than the aforementioned figures (think 13+)
are heavy bodied because of the higher alcohol content.
Higher flavor of the food=Higher intensity of the alcohol
That’s why at times you are having some sweet white wine
with a less intensely flavored fish and you are wondering why it is all sitting
wrong. It is just not sitting well as you expected it to be. If your food is
not well matched in intensity to the glass of wine you are having then the
whole experience can actually be bitter. E. g
a Pinot Grigio, the Italian and lighter variety, would not taste so good
with a salad that is intensely flavored; like a garlic dressing.
Wine should always be as sweet as the food and not lesser than that
I mentioned earlier
that as you are having your meal, you might feel like you have a bitter taste.
It is not the wine. It is not the food. It is the pairing. You need to know how
to pair food and wine to get the best experience. If wine is less intense than
the food you are having it can lead to an acidic flavor. That is why when you are making your wedding
budget and you want to pop a Champagne bottle, it is advised that you wait
until dinner (when you can pair it with something else) and not cake time. A
lot of people want to have Champagne but sweet cake will need sweet wine and it
also depends on the flavors in the cake.
A heavily chocolate flavored cake will not go well with
Champagne but harder stuff.
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