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Today is February 18

Today is National Drink Wine Day

Pairing a delicious meal with the perfect wine can be a match made in heaven. Wine novices may be intimidated by the challenge of making the perfect pairing, but they need not put themselves under such pressure. Just because a certain wine might make for a perfect pairing, that doesn’t mean others cannot step in and serve an equally flavorful function.

People who appreciate a great meal accompanied by an equally great wine need not have an encyclopedic knowledge of food or wine to successfully pair the two together. In fact, some basic pairing knowledge might be all that’s truly necessary to make a meal more memorable.

  • White and light: White wine fans should know that such wines tend to pair best with light meat, such as chicken or fish. According to Backbar, a platform designed to help bars and restaurants manage their inventory more effectively, white wines pair well with fish because the acidity in these wines enhances the taste of the fish. Chicken dishes vary greatly, and the online wine resource Wine Folly (www.winefolly.com) notes that the sauce will greatly affect the flavor of the meat. That means a wine that pairs well with a certain chicken dish may not necessarily pair as well with a different one. Representatives at local liquor stores or wineries can help people choose which wine to pair with chicken dishes.
  • Reds and reds: Red meats tend to match up best with red wines. Though they can be found in white wines, tannins are predominantly found in red wines. According to Backbar, the tannins in red wines soften the proteins in the meat, thereby helping enhance the flavors of the fat. That makes for a more flavorful meal.
  • No need to spice things up: Spicy foods are beloved across the globe. Such foods can be among the more intimidating to pair with wine, as spicy foods have bold flavors that no one wants to detract from. In a 2016 interview with Eater.com, professional chef Sean Pharr advised against pairing high alcohol wines with spicy foods, noting that the alcohol can intensify the heat and spice of the food. That can prove disastrous for anyone trying to impress a date or show off their skills with spice. Many people prefer a Riesling with spicy food, as the sweetness of this white wine can help offset the spice, making for a satisfying, flavorful meal.

Pairing wines may seem intimidating. But a few simple strategies can help novices find a wine that makes a homemade meal that much more delicious

Today in History: In 1879, Sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi is awarded a patent for his design for the Statue of Liberty
Fun Fact: In 1869, Bartholdi went to Egypt to propose a new lighthouse to be built at the entrance of the Suez Canal, which was newly completed. The lighthouse, which was to be called ‘Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia’ The lighthouse would have been constructed as a massive draped figure, with the light being a torch the figure was holding. However this proposal was not approved nor commissioned by the khedive and Ferdinand Marie, vicomte de Lessups, citing how expensive the cost would be.

Lagniappe: The importance of computers as a means of keeping in touch with each other has come to the fore during the COVID pandemic.  Online services such as Zoom allow you to engage with multiple individuals at the same time via “virtual” get togethers, for example, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. But it can take practice to learn the ins and outs of these applications. Just ask Rod Ponton, an attorney in Texas, and Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. Ponton was participating in a virtual District Court hearing via Zoom, recently, and instead of appearing on screen as himself, he showed up on the video as a cat due to a technical malfunction. Meanwhile, a similar glitch occurred when Congressman Emmer logged on for a House Committee meeting via Zoom, causing him to show up on screen upside down. Emmer took it in stride, posting his upturned screenshot on Twitter with the caption, “I am not a cat.”