With tapenade recipe, pair the wine to the salt
Simplify pairing wine with food by attending less to the texture, flavor or weight of each and more to what’s in each: elements such as salt, sweet, acid, fat or alcohol. Those elements pair well together — or don’t. For instance, foods high in salt, such as this tapenade, really appreciate wine that is high in acidity. Look how a squeeze of lemon juice on an oyster helps mollify the salinity. Salty food? High acid wine. Moreover, note that a recipe often sets the dominant elements. If chicken breasts are seasoned with capers and olives, the dominant factor becomes salt. Salty food is all around: olives, bacon and other cured meats, soy sauce, grating cheese, most processed foods — and salt itself, in which we are clearly enamored.
HERE’S THE FOOD …
Tapenade From The Art of Eating Cookbook by Edward Behr (University of California Press); makes about 1½ cups
In a mortar, add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 peeled cloves of garlic; pound them smooth. Add 1½ cups pitted black olives, preferably from Provence; M cups rinsed, drained, pickled capers; and 12 salted anchovies, cleaned of their salt, stripped from their bones, and rinsed.
Grind in some black pepper and incorporate 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, a spoonful at a time, mixing all the while. (Or, in a food processor, combine everything but the oil and reduce it to a paste, pausing several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour the oil in slowly, pulsing and scraping down as needed to ensure the paste is smooth.) Tapenade keeps well in a glass jar in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or more.
Dave Thibodeau, president and co-founder of Ska Brewing in Durango, names his favorite 2016 beers. Courtesy of Ska Brewing