Red or white wine with beef or fish?
Growing up it was common knowledge that one always had to have red wines with beef and white wines with fish. Well those were the “rules” and they were touted by waiters and those who were supposed to know such things everywhere you went. Most of us want to fit in so for years I followed the rules even though there were times I would really liked to have had white Bordeaux with my porterhouse steak, I always ordered a merlot or a cabernet. I was caught in the trap of trying not to look stupid and many people have been sucked into that bog along with me. We were ordering what we thought we should order instead of what we wanted to drink with our dinners.
Don’t do that!
I escaped the trap after attending a wine and food paring at a local French restaurant where during the meal each course was complimented with a wine selection the owner of the restaurant chose as the best match for the dish. He started out the evening by giving us a short lecture on wine and revealed the secret about reds and whites and when you should order one over the other. He told us that it all started at the end of World War II. The French had a huge backlog of red wine on hand. They also knew after having Americans in their country for a while during the war that Americans for the most part loved to eat beef. Thus the marketing effort by the French was to convince their American market (and others) that it was proper to drink red wine with beef! Absolute genius! The Americans bought it hook line and sinker. Fish on!!!!!! He also told us to please drink what you like not what you are “supposed “ to drink and enjoy life. Good advice.
For decades as we grew as a prosperous post-war nation Americans ordered red wine with beef and followed the other half of the French marketing effort ordering white wine with chicken or fish. We are nothing if not rule followers in America at least when we are trying to be sophisticated. Eventually we grew up enough to realize that one should drink whatever kind of wine they like with whatever kind of food they are eating. It’s fine to have a chardonnay with your T-bone steak and it is just as fine to have a Pinot Noir with your Halibut. The decades long very successful marketing ploy of the French is finally put to rest. Well maybe. I’m sure there are people out there who are still handcuffed by the old rules please help to free them by passing this information on.
The Whisky Warrior