Ask a sommelier the first question they get from a guest, and here’s the winner: “What goes with my steak?”
Or the lamb sliders. Or the thousand-year-old quail egg. Or the squid ink campanelle.
We wondered, though: Why not start with the best part of the meal?
So we asked three of our favorite area wine experts to build a meal around their favorite bottle, rather than the other way round, in this:
Let’s face it: even the most culinarily inept among us has one great meal in his back pocket. The one we save for dinner parties, special occasions, promising dates.
We get there by trial and error. (Speaking of the latter, never try to make a South African a steak, unless you want your kitchen immediately commandeered by someone whose very culture is based on the barbecue.)
But we have one. And we prepare it, and then we buy a bottle of wine — because winemaking is part art, part science, part divine conjuring of a time and a place and its weather and the attendant dirt and sun and stars.
The French named it terroir. We call it magic. And you're not replicating it in your garage.
So why not prioritize this magical thing, the one we’ll never be able to do ourselves?
Wine first. Then food. Here’s your guide.
As lifestyle philosophies go, we can all do worse than “Wine before all.”