Marriages
between wine and food are heavily prepared these days. On a weekly basis seven
students graduating in “Wine and Gastronomy” test some selected wines on a menu
of Coovi’s hotel school in Brussels. This exercise is just one of a few,
waiting to be written on different fora. Weeks ago, I asked my students to dare
two different wines of the same winemaker and the same variety, with simple and
differently tasting food: potato stew, herring salad with granny smith, plain
chicken stock, bolognese sauce, rice with crispy vegetables.

The
beautifully young Monograph 2016 by Gaia and the monumental Gaia Estate 2014
(both agiorgitiko) were submitted to a separate tasting and to the above
mentioned “dishes”.

Quick analysis:

Fruit/acidity


Earthy

Spicy/chemical


Balm

Perfect

Poor

Monograph

sour cherry

dry sand

warm spices

mint

stew, stock

rice, herring salad

Gaia Estate

black cherry, elderberry

moss

cold rubber, kerosine

pepermint, melting wax

stock, bolognese

rice, herring salad

Both
Monograph and Estate possessed strong tannins, but the first one was light,
easy drinkable and fresh while the second was weighty, complex and ripe.

The greasy stock
lubricated the mouth, giving a rollercoaster experience to the Monograph’s
tannins and offering a noble battle to the tannins of the Estate. By tempering
the bitter aroma, full entry was granted to the peppermint character of the Estate’s
barrel vinification.

The rice
with crisp greens on the contrary dehydrated tongue and mouth and became
metallic in contact with both red wines. The Estate’s tannins got unbearably
strengthened.

These and other findings were discussed when we finished
the rest of the bottles. The after-tasting synthesis is indispensable. Best of
all conclusions: although the perfect marriage may exist solely by the eye of
the witness, details say it all. In this case: a bit a soysauce with the rice
or a herring salad without mayonnaise would have turned the conclusion totally
upside down.