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When drinking is interrupted

Have you ever noticed how a wine`s taste and mouthfeel changes with food? And not always for the better? When deliberately matching wine with food it is par for the course: you choose a wine which will, hopefully, complement the taste, and the texture, of the food; you might also consider the level of spice, and acidity, in the dish, and even its weight and richness. A good match should brighten the wine noticeably. The wine`s flavours will intensify. A red wine with grainy or chalky tannins, set against roasted meat, will smoothen. The tannins so evident in the wine earlier immediately disappear, like magic. The well-chosen wine flatters the dish too, without overpowering it. However, the opposite is also true with the poor choice of wine, and when drinking is interrupted.   So, if I am quietly enjoying a crafty glass after work, perhaps from a bottle left unfinished a day or so before, a drink for its sake or to see how it has evolved, it comes as an interruption to suddenly be affronted with the wrong food. Now I don`t wish to seem ungrateful because clearly my beloved wife has gone to some trouble in the deliverance of said food, but I know right away I`m in dangerous territory. It`s Chilli Con Carne, a favourite on any other day.  But I`m not sure the five-year (two-days open) Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir is going to cope with the spiciness of it. It`s a fragile thing, my red, delicate and beguiling. Yet it might just work. Whatever happens, I know for sure the taste of the wine, for me, will be changed, the moment quite possibly shattered. Of course, I could simply drown the glass and tuck into my food. In that way another couple of generous mouthfuls are guaranteed. Instead curiosity gets the better of me and I take a bite, my large glass still one-third full. The food, steaming, is delicious. Alas, the wine afterwards is sharp, and dull; my palate ruined for this wine on this night, a gamble lost. Drinking interrupted.

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