Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wine and Cajun Food

Wine and Cajun Food...ever wonder what to eat with the spice of Cajun. Some cajun food is hot and others is just spicy.

Red wines are out....the tannins - the substance found in red wines that leaves our mouths feeling dry and our teeth chalky - does nothing to combat the deadening effects of excessively spicy food; instead, you're just left with a dry mouth full of over-spiced 'buds. So, when Cajun's on the menu, skip the reds. Also skip the wines that are high in alcohol. Because alcohol in wine creates a sensation of heat as it goes down, it generates a sensation akin to swallowing a lit match when consumed along with food that generates a lot of heat on its own. Clearly, these wines should be avoided at your crawfish boil! High alcohol wines are generally those whose alcohol content clocks in north of 14%.

Cayenne wines to the rescueIt should come as no surprise, then, that you ought to reach for relatively low-alcohol whites when pairing wine with Cajun fare. These wines will provide relief from the heat of the food with their brisk acidity without unnecessarily upping the hot factor with high alcohol. The best whites for spicy fare are those whose flavor profiles include spice notes; these include Gewerztraminer, Viognier, Muscat, Pinot Grigio, and Gruner Veltliner. Two of these wines - Gewurztraminer and Viognier - can be perilously low in acidity when grown in hot climates, so reach for versions from France or cooler new world outposts like Sonoma or Washington state, or New York.
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