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Are food and wine pairings just so much poppycock?

Matt York / AP file

Glug, glug, glug ... who needs food?!

Good heavens, even a Neanderthal knows that you’re supposed to pair a Malbec with a juicy Argentine steak, or a domestic Chardonnay with roast chicken, or a pinot noir with salmon, or a Muscadet with oysters.


Well, if a new survey is any indication, avid wine drinkers in the United States don’t really give a flying fig about such pairing suggestions. They just like to drink wine -- most frequently WITHOUT food.

The survey of 800 high-frequency wine drinkers -- reported on by Paul Franson in the Napa Valley Register  -- revealed that 60 percent of the wine they drink goes down the hatch without meals.

“The average respondent reported that she (54 percent of respondents were women) or he drinks one-quarter of the wine they consume without food,” Franson wrote. “They also drink a significant amount while preparing a meal (14 percent) or with appetizers or snacks (19 percent). Thus the majority of wine is consumed away from the table.”

These findings have caused a kerfuffle among folks who follow such matters. Under the headline “The lies, lies, lies of food and wine pairings,” The Washington Post’s Jason Wilson wonders whether the avalanche of advice out there about food and wine pairings is just a big scam.

What do you think about these survey results? Do they basically confirm what you already suspected: That most Americans don’t bother pairing certain wines with certain foods? How and when do you prefer to drink wine? Do food and wine pairings matter to you? Let me know what you think. I’ve gotta run now so I can go roast a chicken and pop open a bottle of Chardonnay!