food and wine

12.18.20  \\\  Posted by Cellars Wine Club  \\\  Wine 101

Since ancient times, food and wine have been a critical component of human cultures around the world. The marriage of food and wine dates back to Antiquity, and it crossed the Middle Ages and enrich itself during the Renaissance until becoming a true classic nowadays. This alliance has evolved from an essential source of nutrition to a cultural element of conviviality.

Wine is a lively, growing topic. Along with food, it combines many cultural elements that have been woven together for the better as palates become more refined, more sensible, and more adventurous.

From its early start, wine has been perceived as a potent, spiritual substance, deeply rooted in the masculine. In contrast, bread (and therefore food) has been a symbol of the feminine, the mundane and earthly. Historically, the cultivation of vine has been inextricably linked to the religious uses of wine. As a result of man's labor, wine cannot just be seen as an ordinary commodity. Its consumption is related to its production, and by consuming wine, we are consuming space, time, and symbols.

On top of that, food also provides us with something more symbolic than mere nutrition, as it is meant to be exchanged and shared with family and friends. No matter where you are from, culturally speaking, food is fundamental. Food can be nostalgic and provide valuable connections to our family or our nation. It can be a bridge that helps immigrants find their place in a new society. Food can have several different meanings that might not be immediate to us when, for example, we take the first bite of our favorite dinner.

What grows together, goes together.

Foods and wines with a sense of place, the same place, and there is a well-known phrase that says: "What grows together, goes together" inferring that a sense of terroir that because of seasonality, sense of place and regional cuisine, the food of a specific place, pairs perfectly with the regional wines. One can safely assume that Barolo and Barbaresco in Piedmont were made to pair with dishes such as agnolotti del plin or tajarin al sugo. Similarly, winemakers and chefs worldwide have found a way to design their goods in a complementary way so they can grow and enrich their culinary tradition.

The analogy of "what grows together, goes together" holds in those wine growing regions of the old world, where chefs and families still cook classic cuisine. Even though a Modern International style is making inroads, European countries like France, Spain, Italy, and Germany still have strong local wine and food traditions.

The modern world of food and wine

The new culture of food and wine started to emerge and shape as we know it today in the early 1980s. This new wine culture is defined by the broad diffusion of journals, magazines, guides, photographs, or other types of publications, mainly edited or written by wine experts, journalists, historians, professionals, or even politicians. This growing literature was accompanied by the explosion of places devoted to wine drinking as a specific social act, of associations, festivals, and clubs as wine drinking places. Such initiatives' success illustrates the decline of the traditional and private culture of wine and the emergence of an emblematic and fragmented culture of wine. At the same time, a fast-moving globalized world, with a flourishing economy, contributed to the spread of many different cuisines in the world's most distant corners. Eating Thai food with German wines in the middle of Texas is as easy as getting Japanese food to pair with South African wine in Rome. Food and wine lovers can enjoy the perks of globalization and not only indulge in the unique local flavors but also get to play discovering and experimenting with flavors from all around the world.

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