A Brave New World
The Odyssey is one of the longest standing epic poems, which is deep-rooted into Greek literature. The tale tells of a man, Odysseus, who battles his way home after enduring one decade of the Trojan war. I often note that Odysseus was depicted to be incredibly strong, but his greatest strength was found in his cunning and wits. Those brilliant attributes are some of many carried by his author, Homer. As one of the greatest epic poets in the world, Homer ultimately echoed many of the Greek values that the aristocrats wanted to reflect. He pridefully wrote about the nobility of greek heroics, but above any of his most commended accomplishments, he perfectly paired the battles of life with the finest sophistication.
We often pour ourselves a well-bodied wine to ease the weight of our own lives. The idea could be as simple as making our growth into our maturity enjoyable. The truth is that wine does not need a hardship to satisfy us— as a matter of fact, wine is a social wonder, fermented for the purpose of high-spirited conversation, celebration, and happiness. Homer understood how wine is a delight casted into every edge of life, as he describes:
Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.
In this season of time, expendable cash can be hard to find. I want to give you the perfect pairings with a perfect budget set in place. Thankfully, I have an entire list that you can mix and match until you find your keeper— and we can do one bottle per day for less than $100. I want you to keep in mind that I am Canadian, therefore, you could very well pay less too (or more, unfortunately). This is more well known as the aroma Advent and the cabernet Christmas, although, with this much alcohol, we’ll need to space the bottles out.
Therefore, in the spirit of celebrating our day to day, let’s tug out another cork!
I would love to introduce the sweetest and most effervescent: moscato. As a rule of thumb, we generally pair wines with the flavours they oppose. This would mean that our moscato would be paired with the spiciest, saltiest, and quivering sours of the food world. However, I find this to be quite contrary to common belief. The truth is that we indulge in sweetness to experience the rush of feel-good decadence we all love, why wouldn’t we pair the sweet with simply more sweet then? We would, as a matter of fact, we should, without question.
If we keep all of this in mind, I would love to recommend some deserts that effortlessly pair with some of these wonderful wines. One of my absolute favourites is coconut (vanilla) cake paired with the Beringer Moscato. The fluffy cake crumb softly hints flavours of coconut and vanilla that pair perfectly with the equally gentle hints of peach and honeysuckle. The wine also boasts honeydew, Fuji apple, and pear finishes that match the bold taste of the coconut. Overall, the fruity effervescence and coconut punch truly blend beautifully and allow you to experience the best of both worlds. I recently received some leftover wedding cake (the above flavour) that allowed me to thoroughly enjoy this combination and add to my growing list of successful matches.
Here is a linked list of all my favourite combinations— they all work well and there is no specific order!
I was at an Olive Garden the other day, I had the black tie mouse cake for dessert. The chocolatey deliciousness was overwhelming and certainly would leave any sweet-tooth satisfied. I thought that such an indulgence should be matched with a subtle wine that helps draw out the flavours of the rich dark chocolate. I delicately chose the Kris Pinot Grigio. The chilled white leans on citrus touches of tangerine and lime; while also grasping aromas of apricots, almonds, honey, and blossom. The orange flavours collided wonderfully with the rich chocolate of the cake and created something entirely brilliant. I thought that the nuttiness of the wine also complimented the dark cream cheese mousse with ease. Overall, the competition between dry and sweet well-balanced this pairing for our complete enjoyment.
Of course, this collection would be incomplete without the addition of a savoury pairing. I would hope that we can find agreement that a fine red should be harmonious with (none other than) prime rib. The dry and tart base of a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon should enhance the umami taste of the meat— the herb-filled garlic butter topping will also melt in your mouth! Although, I often find that drinking the driest wines with your cut can depreciate the natural goodness of the flavour. I believe we begin to lose track of what we are tasting and focus more on the aftertaste effect of the wine. We all understand how delicious prime rib is when the surface is evenly crusted, but seared beautifully to preference in the center, and lightly topped with rosemary and thyme. The point is that we need as much capacity as possible to enjoy that without distraction. I assume, for such an occasion, that you’re celebrating something special. You deserve all the best and should be able to extend the excitement far past the expensive dinner, I have personally selected some wines that will not smash through your bank account.
If you are searching for a medium wine that is slightly dry, I would recommend the Meiomi Pinot Noir. The oaky edge in the unique bottle also offers hints of dark berries and rich mocha. The wine is supposedly perfected with time, and with such an aged (affordable) complexity, I thought this would rival elegantly with a juicy ribeye. The experience was incredible, the smooth mix of the rich garnet glass allowed me to enjoy my beverage, but retain my primary focus on the steak, and thoroughly relish the meal. I believe that wine is meant to accompany your meal, not to overpower, but to enhance and reinforce. If you are, however, searching for a dry wine that would also pair well with your next date, I recommend the Robert Mondavi (Private Selection) Cabernet Sauvignon. The bottle holds many qualities of the Meiomi, such as dark chocolate hints and the full oak delight, but is much drier and tart. This would be suitable for those who want their glass to last the entire dinner and dessert.
The Essence of Appreciation
While wine may top the list for many delicacies of life, the essence of the perfect pairing is how you best cherish what you have and appreciating those who will accompany you in your happiness. Homer wrote the Odyssey on the basis of wits and cunning, he understood that any well designed plan can crush opponents of the greatest strength. He also wrote on the idea of homecoming, which values the victories of life after fighting tirelessly in honour. I have learned to prepare for joy and knowingly proceed on my best foot because our happiness is running towards us. The meaning of life can often be based on the hope of a great plan and your best teammates. We bravely strive for our achievements and learn to love accordingly to our amazing and wonderfully unique plans. We combat challenges at every corner of our survival, but when we succeed and return to our roots, pop a bottle, and celebrate life for all right reasons! You've earned it.