Saturday, April 26, 2014

Jam & Vinegar

So I'm sitting at my table when the server walks up and says, "Would you like a gob of jam on your food, sir, or perhaps a splash of vinegar?"  I'll take the vinegar, thank you.

Actually a drop of vinegar on practically any food improves the flavor of the dish and in some cases it changes the whole personality of the thing.  Like seafood, for instance.  In kitchen food preparation the same thing seems to happen, a drop of vinegar here and there performs a little gourmet magic sight unseen for those seated at the table in the next room. 

The best vinegar, of course, is real balsamic vinegar which is made from Trebbiano grapes in Italy and slowly aged over time.  That rich, complex, sweet, brown elixir is guaranteed to wake up any sleeping flavors in food but actually any quality vinegar that is aged like a wine will do something positive with its food application.

Jam, I'm not so sure of.

Now, I may be about to make a big mistake.  The last time I made a similar goof was when I compared Port to cough syrup.  Port sales rather declined with that sales pitch.

Here goes anyway...A recurring subtext here at the blogspot posits that new world wines offer forward fruit and often little in the way of a finish.  A word for that is "jamminess".  Old world wines are usually lighter and drier and all about long flavors with a lasting finish.  The operative descriptor there is "wininess".  New world wines are wonderfully enjoyable by themselves as a cocktail while old world wines are more food friendly and actually, part and parcel of the dinner table setting.  Moreover, new world wines go "snap, crackle, pop" and old world wines are more like "swoosh".  Just kidding about that last one.  I can see I'm digging a hole here.

Yet according to my good friend, because of their richness California wines actually go better with our lower fat foods than Europeans do so maybe I'm wrong and jamminess really does rock with food.  Me?  I'm with the other stuff, especially with soups, sauces, stews and busy meals in general.  Pasta?  Oh, yeah!

On Friday May 2nd between 5 and 8pm, Tommy Basham of Continental Beverage joins us with a presentation of some real special French and Italian wines.  Tommy is a knowledgeable wine trade veteran but can sometimes bring out the unseemly side of others at tastings.  Scuttlebutt at the last event had Tommy arranging an armored car heist with others in attendance with the intention of using the procedes to buy contraband which, of course, would set everybody up for life.  What a guy!  And he didn't offer me even a small part in the thing!  Please join us for the tasting and become a part of the next caper.

No comments:

Post a Comment