Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to make food more wine friendly

Some food is not easy to pair with wine — asparagus, artichokes, green salad with vinaigrette — but apparently, you can now purchase a seasoning blend called Vignon that makes food more wine friendly.

Vignon's secret ingredient is umami, as the seasoning is an umami-rich blend of Parmesan cheese, mushroom, and tomato, balanced with salt, garlic, and citric acid. Umami, a Japanese word that means tasty, savory, is one of the five basic tastes sensed by the tongue. The four others are sweet, sour, salty and bitter.

Now, is this working? Fiona Beckett, a food and drink journalist that writes for Decanter Magzine, is unconvinced:

With cooked asparagus, it was weird, again removing the vegetable's characteristic grassiness, but also having no perceptible effect on the two unlikely wine pairings I'd put up against it, an over-oaked Languedoc Merlot and a Blossom Hill white Zinfandel.

Vignon is obviously not intended for people like me, who believe in the art of food and wine pairing,“ she concludes. ”But that's not saying it won't be successful. It can be ordered, if you're curious, from

Now, can't you simply add a stir-fry of mushroom to your asparagus or some shaved Parmesan and a drop or two of balsamic vinegar to your salad? I am sure that that should do the trick.

Fiona Beckett's article can be found here.

Technorati tags:


Tim Hanni MW said...

Hi Catherine,

Thanks for the post on Vignon. For clarification, high levels of umami taste in food make wine taste bitter and thin and the salt and acidity negate the effect. I teach anyone who is interested how to acheive flavor balancing. Chef John Ash, a Napa Seasoning Company investor, and I teach this in the Advanced Wine and Food for Culinary professionals at the Culinary Institute in St. Helena. Vignon is just a simple and easy to use way to add all sorts of little flavor secrets that most top professional chefs learn intuitively.

Fiona is a good friend but she is very cynically predisposed and I am not sure she was using the Vignon correctly. Here is a link to another perspective: I would also love to send you some or if you are in the Napa area I will cook you lunch!

Catherine Granger said...

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the clarification and for the additional links. Chef john Ash is a renowned Chef and his food must be delicious.

And thanks for the lunch invitation!


Rachat de credit said...

It has been a good guide, thank you so much, now to make food more wine friendly is simple and easy with your help. Thank you