In preparation for our holiday entertaining my husband and I retreated to the world of YouTube to watch old Julia Child clips. I cannot boast of having successfully prepared any Julia Child masterpieces, as my cooking-with-Julia experience goes only as far as owning Mastering the Art of French Cooking, given to me as a gift and, embarrassingly, still in pristine condition among my other cookbooks.
As I watched the clips, my attention drifted from her cooking techniques to her sensible wine and food pairing tips. Admittedly, I knew this was annoying my husband as I repeatedly made him back up the clips as I admired her straightforward explanations. As we finished up our YouTube binge-watching, I realized even in her early career she was teaching that the importance of understanding wine is essential to understanding food, but in an uncomplicated way.
These are a few of my favorite quotes.
“I would happily die with a bottle of white Burgundy in my mouth.”
Child loved most all types of Burgundy and Burgundy was served with most of her meals. The main varietals are pinot noir and chardonnay. Depending on the region and country of production, these grapes can vary substantially in style. Burgundy is known for its subtle, more restrained elegant styles.
- 2016 Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Pinot Noir, France (about $19 retail)
- 2016 Dom Alain Pautre Chablis, France (about $24 retail)
“Wine is meant to be with food — that’s the point of it.”
Most wine educators and writers continue, even today, to push this concept she so elegantly expressed so many years ago. When wine and food are paired in harmony it makes both even more enjoyable.
- 2016 Chateau Bonnet Blanc, France (about $15 retail)
- 2016 Sean Minor Sonoma County Pinot Noir, California (about $20 retail)
“As you get older, you shouldn’t waste time drinking bad wine.”
Fifty years ago, finding well-made wines under $15 possibly posed a challenge to consumers, but with today’s winemaking technology and growing techniques it’s difficult to find an undrinkable popular selling wine. Consider your choices in price not only by the dollar amount but also quality comparison.
- 2016 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages, France (about $14 retail)
“Just like becoming an expert in wine — you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford — you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simple or luxurious. Then you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”
Finding the exceptional food and wine pairings, unique grape variety or even your “go to” $10 bottle all begin with exploring and learning.
- 2016 Laxas Albarino, Spain (about $14 retail)
- 2016 Reynolds Family Carneros Pinot Noir, California (about $46 retail)