Matching wine and food is not as easy as it may sound. How do chefs handle this? Here are some insights.
All for the taste
The Espenschieds live by the motto “from the heart for the palate”. They run the “Espenhof” in Flonheim-Uffhofen – a winery, boutique hotel and restaurant. They are hedonist and prepare authentic and soul food for their guests arriving from all over Germany and the neighbouring countries such as the Netherlands, France or Switzerland.
Naturally, the pairing of food and wine plays a great role when they choose dishes for their menu or create new ones. All the while paying attention to national or individual preferences. They have a strong awareness for the subjectivity: “Everybody has their own feelings about taste and harmony of aromas. Thus, everybody is right when saying the aromas match or mismatch” is their credo. Additionally, they believe that “the guest is always right”. This is why they follow some basic rules of food and wine paring. For example: Acidic wines emphasise the sharpness and spiciness of a dish. In addition to this, they usually make fatty dishes easier to digest.
Making it a priority
For young professional chefs wine might not be a priority at first. Some schools, such as hotel schools, however, put emphasis on it right from the start. For the Espenschieds, wine service and menu recommendations go hand in hand. The aim of their “triad offer” of winery, hotel and restaurant is the perfect atmosphere to present their own wines: Wine and food pairing is the core of this experience. This comes as no surprise given that the eighth generation is now running the winery. What the Espenschieds are happy to observe is that people with an affinity for wine are getting younger. They seem to access wine more easily nowadays. Therefore, we can certainly anticipate many more exciting wine and food pairings in the future.