The world of gastronomy is exciting and complex, full of nuances that together act as a whole in which each piece plays its role. In the best restaurants they know that no detail can be neglected, and that is why the choice of drinks is as important as the preparation of the menus. Hit with the pairing It is key to live a complete gastronomic experience, and that is why the great restaurateurs follow basic guidelines when pairing your dishes.
What is a good pairing?
A pairing is the union of two or more related components that correspond to each other. In gastronomy it consists of the natural combination between food and drink, in which both elements complement each other with harmony. Gastronomic pairing is an art that can mark the success or failure of a great menu, since a bad choice with the drink can spoil even the most sophisticated signature dish.
Professional restaurateurs know that nothing can be left to chance at the pairing and that is why the drinks menu is taken care of in detail with which to taste the dishes. In the same way that a great chef devotes all his attention when designing his culinary creations, the sommelier strives to choose a selection of drinks that complement the food. There is no improvisation or hurry that is worthwhile, in the professional kitchen one works side by side so that all the components of the table combine with success.
But, What are the secrets of a good pairing? The first rule to consider when pairing is that there are no rules as such. If pairing is an art, you have to understand it as One more step in creating a gastronomic value proposition in which one should not be afraid to experiment. The greatest experts put all their experience and know how to make food and drink mutually enhance their virtues, inviting the diner to taste both without hurry, letting them reveal all their nuances.
How is the perfect pairing
While it is true that there are no immovable rules in the marriage, we can point out some general guidelines to be taken into account to get it right. The most important thing when pairing is to get a combination in which all the components are present without monopolizing all the prominence. Food and drink have the same importance, they complement each other to offer a complete experience to enjoy with all the senses.
A fancy dish or a recipe made with quality raw materials needs a drink at its height, which invites you to taste and appreciate all the flavors, textures and nuances. The perfect pairing is one that does not steal prominence from the plate but elevates it even more, creating new aromatic and taste combinations. Like the work of artisans, the pairing has some emotional and intuition, so you should not limit yourself with fixed standards.
There is no single drink that combines with each dish and that leads sommeliers to offer a varied selection of pairings to advise diners. Old myths like beer belongs to snacks are more than overcome. Today we can enjoy, for example, Tasting menus of great chefs paired with gourmet beers as Alhambra Red Reserve of Alhambra Beers, with nuances and aromatic notes that are gradually being discovered.
One of the most classic styles in pairing is the search for affinity, get that the dish and the drink follow parallel paths in flavor and aroma. That is why red wines are usually paired with meat dishes, for sharing similar organoleptic characteristics that reach an elegant balance. But they are not the only option, also in the harmonies pairing it is interesting to look for a drink that is capable of enhancing the most complex details, such as the Alhambra Red Reserve.
Reinterpreting the Central European beer tradition with the Spanish style, Cervezas Alhambra has created a beer with nuances that are progressively revealed. Remember in a first sip to a traditional, more intense and full-bodied bock thanks to its reddish color, but later it is revealed as a softer and fresher liquid. This complexity of textures and aromas make it an ideal beer to combine with more elaborate dishes, inviting a tasting without hurry.
The dish of a great chef presents elaborate elaborations full of details, with sauces and foams that play with the textures and seek to surprise the palate. In an affinity pairing you need a drink that lives up to that complexity, that is able to enhance the product at all levels but always in harmony.
Thus, a full-bodied beer like the Alhambra Reserva Roja is able to combine both spicy flavors and balance the freshest and subtle notes of the same dish. Through the notes of toasted cereal and green apple, along with the subtle touch of licorice, this beer is able to contrast from the most fatty flavors to the lighter recipes.
In addition, the carbonates of this type of drink match very well with marine flavors, also with citrus and fresher notes. In this sense, the beers have been discovered as the great advantages against wine, since by their own characteristics they allow to pair in harmony with traditionally more difficult ingredients, such as garlic, pickles, smoked foods, acid sauces or complex vegetables such as artichoke.
The other great style in the world of pairing is the creation of contrasts between food and drink. It is to put into practice the concept that the opposite poles attract, deliberately seeking the clash between two products that, however, together mutually enhance each other. When a successful contrast is achieved, there is a revolution in the mouth that deliciously stimulates all the senses.
More and more sommeliers recommend daring to break stereotypes by trying, for example, to combine meat roasts with white or sparkling wines. Must Be careful that the drink does not totally steal the prominence to the food, and bet on combinations in which both elements are maintained in equitable planes.
For example, a very spicy or fatty dish can take on a new dimension when paired with a drink that refreshes the palate and lightens its strength. The perfect pairing will be the one that allows also gently clean the most acidic or spicy tones, but doing it little by little, letting food and drink subtly release its aromas, reaching the perfect balance.
A very unctuous and intense cheese will be more pleasant if it is lightened in the mouth with the freshness of the pairing, while a soft and apparently dull sauce can become more interesting with a drink that is able to stimulate its most hidden spicy nuances.
Versatility, detail and good work
Although professionals invite you to experiment, you should never forget that The success of a good pairing lies in creating a meeting point without stridency. It's not just about combining, but also about enhancing and empowering, without highlighting a single protagonist. In this sense, the versatility in drinks is sought, which are capable of adapting to different gastronomic proposals, enhancing their value. And not only should they conform to their flavors and aromas, a good drink too reflects the soul of the plate, transmitting the same sensations in the details.
To present an author's dish, the chef has needed to invest time and work in devising and cooking it - and, in between, in a multitude of tests to find the exact point -, and that effort is reflected in the table. The pairing must be according to that dedication of craftsman, a drink that is the fruit of work and good work of tradition. Food and drink invite to be tasted with attention.
And finally, the environment and attitude are also important. To enjoy the full experience you have to forget about distractions and put all your senses in the tasting, and therefore it is important to choose the correct dishes. Beers Alhambra recommends serving the Alhambra Reserva Roja in a glass of tulip, for appreciate all the details of its reddish color, the consistency of its foam and its different aromas. Because in good pairing, the smallest detail can make a difference.
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