I’ve just returned from my high school reunion in Niagara Falls, NY where the ethnic majority is Italian (being German I was definitely a minority). So its somewhat ironic that Rule #4 is Think Regionally!! Growing up in Niagara Falls, red table wine seemed a staple at all the Italian restaurants and pizza places, and being young and “wine inexperienced” I had no idea what a correct wine/food pairing the restaurants were offering. Being German my father would pick dandelions and then make his own wine from them, pairing it with pork chops and sauerkraut. I must admit the Italians’ red wine was WAY better!!
How the “Think Regionally” concept originated is actually quite simple….Wine was produced in the area to complement the food that was grown/prepared there or food/dishes were created to complement the wine/grapes of the region. As examples, when we think of Italy we think of pasta and Sangiovese (remember Chianti is a region not a grape), or in Germany we think of Riesling with a pork dish, or in the USA we think of Oregon’s Pinot Noir with fresh salmon from the area.
When you are planning your next wine / food pairing dinner, think about where the food originates from / what the ethnicity of the dish is, and purchase either a wine from that region/country or a grape that is grown in that area. Enjoy!!!