Sometimes, whatever it is, we’re thinking, how about now? Or, how about another time? Other times, it’s - HOW ABOUT NEVER?
I think we can apply that thought pattern to just about anything. Sometimes, whatever it is, we can just decide right on the spot, now is as good a time as any. And sometimes it’s not the right time for it but of course later on sounds just fine, of course we’d be open to it. And then there are those things that will never happen. We know it. The answer just has to be no, for whatever reason.
It’s how I see pairing wine to food.
Choose a dish, any dish, at home or in a restaurant. What are the flavors and aromas, and perhaps most importantly, what are the textures? This is how we choose a wine to pair with the dish. Sometimes we’re looking for a perfect contrast, and other times, we’re looking to mirror the characteristics of the dish. And when we find the right pairing, suddenly it’s more than just a food and a wine - the flavors, aromas, and textures marry and what we experience is like another sense, it’s exponentially better. How wonderful! Of course, now was the right time for that wine.
Other times, there may be a wine that we love, but for that dish, it wouldn’t be a good pairing. That doesn’t make it a bad wine - it’s probably a perfectly good wine. And at any other time, it would be our wine of choice. But not with this dish. For whatever reason - the flavors clash, the textures no longer seem appealing, the combination of that food and wine offends the palate, even though both the food and wine would be great on their own. Find another wine for that dish, and go to the incorrect pairing wine some other time, when it’ll be the right time for it, and it’ll shine.
And then there’s that wine that you tried sipping. You didn’t enjoy it. Perhaps it needs food, you wondered. So you tried pairing it with different flavors and textures. It’s still offensive. Why? Well, maybe the wine is off-balance by nature, maybe the flavors are just flat out unappealing, maybe it’s too aggressive and will overpower anything, from your dinner to your own palate while sipping. A wine like that just isn’t for you. Maybe it’s not your style, in which case maybe someday your taste will change and you should revisit it. Or maybe the wine is just plain lousy, it’s a bad wine, from poor quality grapes, or a bad winemaker, or anything else that might make the wine subpar - in which case, you should abandon that one forever. It’s not a bad match - there’s nothing wrong with the pairing, or with your palate - it’s just a lousy wine. Let it go and don’t look back - of course you’ll find something far superior - a wine that won’t let you down.