Sunday, 6 January 2013

You drink what you eat ( or how to pick the wine)

In France , we drink that weird sort of water WITH every  meal on a daily basis. It's usually red or white and tastes of fermented grapes.

" One glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away" says a french proverb.

I wonder why we still have doctors over here , because EVERYONE seems to follow that saying.

I had my first taste of wine I was like, 8. And already I learnt how to pick the color, region according to the the type of food on the plate.If you don't or this is an insult to the food, the wine and the friends you have invited.

Wine and food = BIG DEAL. in France

To the people who are still looking for the " what wine with what type of food" dictionnary , give up on looking. I think it's an oral tradition. " This type of meat goes better with a sweet white" said great grand dad , and grand dad never questionned and passed it on.

I'd love to tell you but.... Living in other countries wipped off my french memory.

 I left to live in England  where we tend to drink ANY type of wine ( aka "house" wine)  as a starter and THEN ( after , maybe, depending on how sober you still are ) you eat. No sacred link between wine and food there ,other than " you have to eat before you get hammered because you could be really sick.

Then I went to Australia , where you put ice cubes in good red wine to cool it off before the "Barbie"

Living abroad , I've learnt that 1/ wine was not a sacred thing everywhere in the world 2/ good wine can be other than french. But please don't tell the French when you get there.
Their ego won't cope.

If you're at the restaurant, EASY. Just ask politely " What type of wine would go with this food sir? ( because Madam won't know")

If you want to bring wine over to your friend's place for dinner , you HAVE TO ask them what's for dinner  first because you need to match the wine to the food. So , that spoils the surprise for dinner and you already know that you re going to hate the food AND you also have to bring a wine you hate to match it.

All I remember about matching is  :

Fish = white wine
Red= red meat

Once you pass the color test, you now have to take the region test . Burgundy, Bordeaux, Jura....
 Then it's usually about the personal tastes of the person who invites you. Get wrong and hurt your friend who 's going to throw the bottle somewhere in his " cave à vins"  ( wine cave) waiting to meet a friend whom he can give it to and probably will never invite you again. Oh and there is the age too. The older the better ( and the most expensive too) . But sometimes it can be TOO old. But you can't know BEFORE you open the bottle so you have to buy it and wish for the best.

My conclusion to all this :
If you're invited by some french people in France then  show up with champagne , which solves every problem ( other than : "Shall we drink it as an "aperitif" before dinner or with the dessert?" )

The french love their food and wine , and they especially love to share it with new people. So basically , all you have to do is to show up , sit down with them for 3 hours and.... ENJOY.

( But if you still want to know more about wine and food I recommend this link!)

Now let me have a good old mulled wine ( you can have it with biscuits or on its own. You'll be drunk in no time anyway)

Bon Appétit,

Facebook : Strolling frog
Twitter: @frogrenouille

(pictures by me!)

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