Super Bowl; Because We Need Another Reason To Drink Wine

Don draws the short straw.

Don draws the short straw.

My family always drinks wine during religious observations, whether it’s a baptism, Easter, or Super Bowl Sunday. This year is no different even though the Giants are not playing (I guess God found the New Jersey tithes a little light).

The congregation is meeting at my house this year. That’s what happens when you draw the short straw (see illustration 1). We will gather around the 60″ LED 1080i high-definition altar with a glass of wine and watch colossal men try to maim and kill one another. It falls on me to pick the perfect wine to pair with this joyful occasion.

What is the calling, the hidden force, the innate primal drive that makes violent sports so appealing to men? Can anyone explain the macho impulses that drive men to create life threatening competitions like the Super Bowl, cliff diving and beer pong?

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Not Another Boring Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Article

Chapter Nine, Part Four.
Don Carter Turkey. 2jpgOn Thanksgiving my family comes together, shares some wine, enjoys a harvest feast, and watches football, football, and more football. It’s an afternoon filled with aggressive, smash-mouth offence and bold defensive maneuvers. Then we turn on the TV and watch the game.

Cooking a Thanksgiving meal for 20 people can be a lot of work and very stressful for everyone involved, by which I mean my wife. Of course I help out in a big way as I’m in charge of the wine and stay far from the kitchen. That probably doesn’t sound like much help to you, but then you haven’t been at my house when the wine locusts arrive. The eighth plague was nothing compared to what happens when my people are thirsty.

My wine selection process is simple. I sit on the front porch and sample wine before the guests arrive. Last year the first wine I tasted was so good that I drank the whole bottle. I wasn’t alone mind you, there were lots of people driving by.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I have a lovely family. In fact I love my wife’s brother like a brother-in-law. We gather around the table and I take a heart-warming look at the family, my Uncle Ralph, the turkey, and then my wife brings in the bird. No casual attire at this table. No sir, even the greens are collard.

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The Salt Conundrum In Food & Wine Pairing.

Chapter Nine, Part Eight.
Spanish dinner cooked and served on the tableWhen pairing food with wine, sweet and sour tastes fall neatly into the cancellation category, bitter and piquant are subject to the cumulative effect, and umami is best grouped with neutral pairings, but what about salt? In moderation, salt doesn’t seem to have any conspicuous consequence, but how does excessive saltiness in food affect the taste of wine? To learn how (or if) salt fits into the A. cancellation, B. cumulative or C. neutral categories, I invited some friends over for some organoleptic research. They quickly declined until I told them that meant we were going to eat and drink wine.

Good old fashioned research is difficult and time consuming but in the name of conscientious reporting the WASTED team (Wine Snark Academy for Sensory Testing, Evaluation & Debauchery) created a salty feast and drank five bottles of wine because that’s the kind sacrifice we’re willing to make in the name of, umm … science, yeah that’s it, science.

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The Cumulative Effect In Food And Wine Pairing.

Chapter Nine, Part Six.
tortellini with cream sauceWWhen pairing food with wine the cancellation effect works to your advantage once you understand how to balance the taste or texture of sweet and acidic food with similar traits in wine. While acidity and sweetness cancel each other out when combined on your palate, bitter and piquant sensations accumulate and magnify one another. The same can be said for pairing low acid foods with low acid wines so I’ll go ahead and say it; creamy or fatty traits do not cancel each other out; they accumulate on your palate (and also on your waistline). So after many years of deliberation I’ve decided to call this the cumulative effect.

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The WineSnark Academy for Sensory Testing, Evaluation & Debauchery (W.A.S.T.E.D.) On Food & Wine Pairing Principles.

Chapter Nine, Parts Two & Three.
Wine and cheeseShortly after WineSnark began its detailed research into taste perception it became apparent that an undertaking of this magnitude required a research team of dedicated, compassionate wine professionals, or as they’re known in the trade, drunks.

And so was born the WineSnark Academy for Sensory Testing, Evaluation and Debauchery (W.A.S.T.E.D.). We WASTED professionals do not take our research sitting down, as getting back up is often difficult, and because thousands of grapes have given their lives to further our understanding of human physiology, biochemistry, sensory perception and stuff.

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