Wine would taste different in space, wouldn’t it? I started pondering this question when my boss, chef Emeril Lagasse, joined the team at NASA to be the first celebrity chef to produce a gourmet meal for astronauts in space.
“Does that bottle need to be decanted?” This is one of the more frequent questions I get asked while at work. It seems as though everybody has a different criteria for when to decant a wine. Through experience, I’ve learned that there are basically three reasons to decant: If a wine has so much sediment in it that it would hamper your enjoyment of it; if it is so young and tight that it demands additional air to force it to open up; and, simply, if the customer requests it.
What makes a food-and-wine pairing great? My thought is that if I have to explain the pairing to you, then I failed. It doesn’t matter how great I think a match is if you don’t “get it.” In essence, the most important factor when choosing wines for a meal is knowing something about the palates of the people for whom you are doing the pairing.
What makes wine insanely great? Think back to the single greatest wine you have ever tasted. Surely you remember that experience like it was yesterday. Can you instantly recall everything about that moment? If you answered yes to the above question, you have it.
If I offered you a job as a sommelier for the hottest chef ever, in the most exciting city on the planet, would you do it? Suppose I compensate you well for your efforts, would you do it now? What if I throw in use of the company jet? Are you with me? You don’t have to be a rock star to live like one, you just have to be Emeril’s wine guy.
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