Pairings: Time and Place
The joy of finding just the right pairing has come to me mainly in the form of epiphanies. There I am and all of a sudden, without realizing it was coming down the pike, I realize that I are staring a remarkable pairing right in the face.
I had just such an epiphany today.
As I said, I never see these things coming primarily because I simply don't give that much thought to wine and food pairings. I shouldn't admit this. It's a bit like someone in the publishing business not noticing which new titles are in the top 100 at Amazon.com. I should be paying more attention to these things.
Sometimes you need to be jarred out of complacency.
Tonight at Estate Restaurant in Sonoma I had a beautiful plate of fried chicken livers that were light and and pink and purely chicken livery paired with a beautifully nervous and dark house sangiovese that Estate is now serving. The combination was perfect in every respect.
But it made me think about pairings in general: food and wine, time and places, he and her. None are actually perfect. None are inevitable. None are static. None are obvious. None are objectively good. They seem to emerge out of nowhere and may appeal to one person or a group and not to another. This is what makes a good pairing so special.
There may have been chemical reasons that the Estate chicken livers and Sangiovese paired well together. But what's certain is that they paired well for me because of the mood and disposition that I took with me to the restaurant and the moment. And isn't this the case with every pairing we find epiphanies in? Isn't it true that we believe Paris and our youth are the perfect pairing because that's when you were there. Isn't it true that we could have had no idea how good a pair we and she would be until we actually looked at her in that way?
In the end, I think what we do with these great pairings is the most interesting thing. In the end, I think they must act as inspiration for us to be truly meaningful. How I might be inspired by and what I might be inspired to do by she and I, Paris and my youth or Chicken Livers and Sangiovese will define the epiphany.