Introducing the Try This At Home segment of our humble blog. The idea is to send you off into the sunset of the Monday-to-Friday with a new idea for wine pairing, dinner making, cocktailing, or general life-enjoyment that you can easily attempt without immense fear (or chance) of fabulous failure. However, I will say, though fabulous failure and subsequent successful eventual attempts make for greater personal growth and satisfaction, I realize that in the daily hustle-and-bustle, it's a nice insurance policy to know that your chances of success in the pleasure segment of your spare time will be high.
So, without further ado...
Port. Snickers. Or Mars. Or Coffee Crisp. Or Kit Kat. Or Crispy Crunch. Shall we go on?
This is a little impromptu entertaining trick I picked up from a Vancouver restaurateur some years ago. He pitched it as a party trick, if I remember correctly. And I've put it to the test on a number of occasions. You shouldn't be surprised to know: it works.
It really works.
Why does this work? Let's get after it.
Sweetness: First of all, sweetness. Port, be it Tawny, Late Bottled Vintage, or Vintage, we know to be fortified sweet wines. When you eat something sweet, it makes whatever you're drinking seem less sweet. This is one reason why we pair dessert wines with dessert, so as not to make the dry table wine taste bitter. The candy bar is sweet. So is the wine. This ticks a box.
Cleansing: You know when you are gnawing on a Mars™ and the caramelly and chocolatey and nougaty parts get lodged in various corners and crevices? Well, you can spend the next half-hour trying to fish them out with your tongue and subtly dive your index finger back there to help while nobody is watching, or you can simple swish a little Port around. The acidity & alcohol will act like CLR on your shower. And it leads us to what will happen next.
Flavour Combo: Let's see. We checked the sweetness match box. We checked the cleansing capability of port to act as that spoonful of sugar that helps the (delicious) medicine go down. Now, let's get to the feel of this match made in Ted Danson's heaven. Port works with a variety of flavours. Commonly, it's paired with cheeses, notably, Stilton or other types of blue cheese. It is heavenly. Add in a nice cracker and a drizzle of honey, and boom, you've got action. The combination of sweet & salty I refer to as the Salted Caramel Rule. At the port and cheese level, the cheese would be the salt, and the port would be the caramel. It works. In the case of a candy bar like a Snickers, it's extra epic because you've got this complementary sweetness agreement between the port and the chocolate bar (think of honey over ice cream: both sweet, and complementary to each other) AND you've got some salty peanuts in the Snickers bar. It adds a layer of depth. Like pecan pie. Which gives me an idea for the next bottle of Port I crack.
Try this at home.