With tape­nade recipe, pair the wine to the salt

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Bill St. John, Spe­cial to The Den­ver Post

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

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