Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
To fully experience the joys of a wine-and-food pairing, should I sip the wine while I still have the food in my mouth, mixing them together? Or is that an optics faux pas?
—Tarek, Pebble Beach, Calif.
When I was first learning about wine, a mentor told me to chew on a piece of parsley and take a sip of Sauvignon Blanc before I swallowed it. Taste bud fireworks went off in my mouth.
There is no right or wrong way to enjoy food and wine together. But do some experimenting. Take a sip of wine on its own, try the food on its own, and then play around; mingle the food with the wine, or sniff the wine while chewing. Saliva is a kind of solvent for helping us taste things, so I do enjoy discreetly sipping while there is still some chewed food in my mouth, and I take a moment to soak it all in before swallowing.
Pro tip: Take small bites so you have better control on the “optics” as you say.