I’m not what most people would call a "big drinker." The two main reasons for that are that I live in a driving city, and I don’t do hangovers. Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t drink; it's just that I don’t over-indulge, especially when I’m not at home.
When I'm on my own time, I drink according to my mood, rather obsessing about food and wine pairings. I have to be honest: sometimes, the occasion demands an ice-cold beer.
Or sometimes, if I’m in an “ice” mood, a cocktail of Campari and soda, or Campari, soda and sweet Vermouth (known as an Americano) is just the thing. Or maybe it's just chilled vodka on the rocks. I like to chew the ice. I’m not the fancy martini or Cosmopolitan type. I hate drinking out of those glasses.
Then there are my wine-drinking times. Sometimes I just want bubbles. It's Krug by choice, but if that's not an option, even a wine by the glass house selection will do. Bubbles just make me happy!
As for whites, I like Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Albariño—pretty much anything except Pinot Blanc. I’m just not a huge fan of American Chardonnay made in a heavily-oaked style. When I drink white wine, it's because I want something refreshing and light before dinner, during dinner, or just because.
Reds: well, here’s where it gets difficult. I have a pretty severe intolerance to histamines. Although I like trying a lot of reds, I stick to what I like that I can drink. Pinot Noir (both American and French) seem to work the most of the time, but there are some I can’t even smell without being affected. Rioja, some Zinfandels and some Syrahs are manageable. And the blends I approach on a case-by-case basis. Cabernets are the hardest. I like them—I just have a lot of trouble drinking them.
As for pairing, I’m not committed to white with fish and red with meat—again, I choose based on what I feel like drinking. Most of the time, what I drink leads me to what I eat. If I’m craving a particular food, I’ll start there and find something that I can drink that fits my mood, which a lot of the time ends up being just water.
Moral of the story: drink and eat what you like, and everything in moderation!
Jim Mcclure — DFW, Texas — October 22, 2007 5:57pm ET
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