What better person to ask how one might apply wine tasting technique to choosing e-liquid flavours to accompany food? Devin shares what he sees as the basic principles of wine tasting so you can make your own decisions on what e-liquid flavours may be best for your post-meal vape.
Who Can argue with personal preference?
If it feels good, do it. If you like it, that’s all you need to know. What’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to such first world problems as matching wine to food have never been of great concern to me and, as far as I can tell, there’s nothing much wrong with a few broken rules in the wake of a bit of trial and error.
Equally, however, you simply can’t deny that when done right perfect sense can be made as the gastronomical stars align and the reasons as to why they work can usually be found through simple reasoning and common sense. If you’re interested and find some merit in the idea of pairing wine then a few little guiding lights will probably be enough to get you on your way to applying the same technique to pairing your e-liquid with food or wine.
Invariably, some wines work better than others with certain foods and the key, as far as I’m concerned, is balance. Whether the wine is there to compliment or contrast the flavours of the food, an imbalance will lead to something being lost along the way.
Too much of any one of the wine’s characteristics, be it fruit, acidity or tannin, and the food will suffer. Not enough, and the wine risks being lost. In the same sense, then, an overpowering e-liquid flavour will do exactly that with any dessert or wine you choose to accompany it with. When choosing e-liquid flavours, go for something that compliments everyday life.
Size is important.
Bigger, heavier wines, be they red or white, need bigger, heavier dishes.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better though, as at the same time lighter wines will seize the chance to shine alongside more delicate dishes. Electric guitars for the rock and roll band and violins for the orchestra.
It can be tough to find an e-liquid with a “heavy” flavour as they’re typically made for prolongued use. That said flavours based around toffee, caramel or dark fruit definitely deal a heavy blow to the pallet, in a good way.
Consider too, acidity. Acidity in your choice of red or white can cut through rich, hearty sauces and oily food – and help cleanse the palate as it does. It comes armed with the power to give everything a lift and leave you hankering after your next mouthful. The Italians know this very well, scything through their olive oil rich tomato sauces with their bright, acidic Chianti as they go.
Salt is probably worth a mention here…
Clear and present acidity is a very good friend of salt as anyone who has ever had a bottle of Champagne and a bowl of salted almonds to themselves will testify. Sweetness has a salty soft spot too. Two words; port and stilton. A quirky, off dry Gewurztraminer and a soy sauce seasoned Asian dish know what we’re talking about.
Salt has little time for tannin on the other hand as heavier, tannic reds bear a grudge and become more bitter in the company of salty foods. Tannin needs a little fat in it’s life before it lightens up and starts singing. Typically found in the thicker red grape skins (Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon for example) and the grape stalks used in the wine making process, tannins will not only dry out your mouth and gums, they will clean out all the tasty flab left cloying after a leg of lamb or a red raw chunk of duck. The fat in the meat, like the good sport that it is, returns the favour by softening the tannins in the wine. Bingo and, indeed, fair play.
Salt and acidity is something best kept to wine. You will struggle to find a flavour relevant to wine in this way.
And so to sweetness.
If we’re pairing with dessert then, word is, the wine should always be sweeter than the pud. With cheese or pate, or fois gras if you will, a sweet wine with a lick of acidity will do a double act, cutting through the fat to complement the richness. Again, there are no regulations here. It’s really just simple, behind the scenes common knowledge and a couple of basic principles to bear in mind. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, but imbalance doesn’t hide and we usually just know – even as our tastes change with the times, the circumstance and our mood.
Sweetness in wine is perhaps the most comparable to e-liquid flavours, as it’s a flavour type that runs consistently through most e-liquid ranges. Some of the best to be paired with desserts or dessert wines would be The Judge, Micky’s Girl or Eton Mess.
Unlike wine, we don’t recommend you vape during your main meals. Unless you’re going for the retro Madmen vibe, vaping is best kept in the ban bin along with novelty hats and political conversations.
However, Devin’s wine tasting theory could suggest that the sophisticated vaper would do well to pair their desserts with a sweeter eliquid flavour.
Have you ever considered the similarities between wine tasting and e-liquid pairing? Have you ever found any sweet flavours that go particularly well with a dessert? If so, let us know in the comments!