“Do you know that the front of your house smells just like Sauvignon Blanc?” François Chartier asked as he arrived to demonstrate some of his work in pairing wine and food. Eucalyptus trees surround my home in San Francisco, and their distinct menthol-fueled aromatics pervade the air.
Chartier’s nose is acutely sensitive, which may help explain why aromatic links between food and wine lie at the heart of his theories on vinous matchmaking in a recent French-language book, Papilles et Molecules. I wrote about Chartier and his book in two blogs this past February. An English-language version is in the works for publication this fall, to be titled Taste Buds and Molecules.
Consulting with scientists and delving for hours into arcane reference books, the Canadian sommelier has identified the same aromatic chemicals in both sides of the equation when wines and foods work well together. One tasting on his visit explored the connections that drive successful matches with asparagus.
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