There’s one simple rule to the art of food and wine pairing.
Drink what you like while eating what you like.
Sure, there’s an old adage that says you should pair a white wine with fish and a red wine with beef, but local winemakers say the new rule is to trust your taste buds.
“I always tell people find a wine that you like first,” said Matt Hamilton, executive chef at Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard and Winery. “If you like the wine, you’re going to like it with your food.”
Leaders at Enoch’s Stomp and at Kiepersol each said their job, first and foremost, is to help visitors find a wine they enjoy.
“Eat what you like, drink what you like. We’ll help you identify what that is when you come here but we’re not going to try to push you to have a Cabernet with your steak. If you like a sweet wine, drink a sweet wine with your steak,” said Mike Roth, storyteller for Kiepersol.
With enough salt and acidity, nearly any wine can be paired with nearly any type of food, Roth added.
For those who want to delve a bit deeper into the art of food and wine pairing though, there are some good guidelines to consider.
There are typically two main rules of thumb to follow, according to Jonah Kral, wine director at Enoch’s Stomp.
“So No. 1 is what grows together goes together; the second is you want to match your intensities,” Kral said.
At Enoch’s Stomp, Kral and Hamilton demonstrated pairing two wines with two different pizzas and two other wines with meals at the winery’s fine dining restaurant, Corks.
A pepperoni pizza, available at Enoch’s tasting room, was paired with the winery’s All Y’all wine, which is a blend made with six varietals of Texas grown grapes.
“This wine is very approachable but it also has a little bit of that spiciness to it as well,” Kral said. “It’ll go really great with the pepperoni.”
Meanwhile, the Bear Creek Smokehouse pizza was paired with the Chambourcin. The Bear Creek Smokehouse pizza is made with brisket and sweetfire pickles that come from nearby Bear Creek Smokehouse; it also features garlic butter, mozzarella, Gouda and southwest sauce.
The Chambourcin at Enoch’s is made with grapes grown on the property. It’s a medium-bodied wine.
“We don’t want to have a wine that overpowers the pizza and we don’t want to have a pizza that overpowers the wine,” Kral said. “This is a pizza that has pickles on it and it has a bunch of smokiness, so it’s going to have a lot of flavor. We need a wine that’s somewhat intense, so we picked a dry red. This wine also matches that smokiness.”
From Corks fine dining restaurant at Enoch’s Stomp, Hamilton prepared Crab Pasta, which features angel hair pasta bathed in a white wine reduction topped with seasoned crab and basil pesto drizzle. He also prepared the Prime Filet of Beef, made with 44 Farms meat; the filet was paired with bacon Brussels sprout leaves and garlic mashed potatoes topped with Enoch’s tobacco onions.
The pasta was paired with Enoch’s white, off-dry, Blanc du Bois. The pasta’s sauce is made with a reduction of the Blanc du Bois, which makes for a smooth transition between the pasta and the glass of wine.
“The Blanc du Bois is an off-dry that’s got a citrus, apple, pear profile to it with a bit of honeysuckle. It’s medium-bodied. It’s got a little bit of sweetness, which always goes a long way with seafood,” Kral said.
Meanwhile, the filet was paired with Enoch’s Hubris, a Left Bank French Bordeaux blend that’s made primarily with Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
“It’s one of the most full-bodied and it’s probably our best dry red,” Kral said. “You often want to pair the intensity, so a rich steak has got a lot of texture … You’re going to want the same thing in your wine.”