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The Secret Behind The Perfect Wine Pairing

Wine Pairing

Bring out some amazing tannins in Red Wine by pairing a few drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

It is a world known fact that nothing says sophistication like a tall, slim glass of fine wine. There are generations of gourmets and sommeliers who have emphasized that olive oil goes beautifully with red wine when paired together; and to see just how accurate it is, researchers are exposing how lipids, fatty molecules present in cheese, vegetable oils, etc., interact well with grape tannins. A research study by Julie Géan from the University of Bordeaux has examined the antioxidant properties of molecular interactions of the actual sensations people feel when they drink wine, establishing a connection between grape juice and the beloved Olive oil.

The sensory and anecdotal evidence indicates that fatty foods rich in lipid molecules, such as Olive oil, have a mitigating effect on acidic punch. The scientist decided to perform an experiment, consisting of 2 sub-experiments, to find out what was really going on. They started with a biophysical experiment. Adding a grape tannin, which is the phenolic compound found in wine derived from grape skin and stems to an emulsion made of oil, water, and a phospholipid emulsifier, they closely studied the form and size of lipids changing when exposed to Catechin over an eight-day period. However, they observed that the tannin inserted into the layer of emulsifier started surrounding the oil droplets, causing bigger droplets to form and clam up.

In the second part of the experiment, the researchers recruited volunteers and asked them to be a part of a harmless, sensory experiment, while the scientists took notes on how prior consumption of vegetable oils may impact the taste of tannins for the volunteers. They were required to taste an array of tannin solutions paired with a spoonful of oil, such as olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, etc., and provide their individual judgement on the taste of the tannin. However, the team observed that the participants who consumed olive oil in particular before consuming the tannin solution reported the taste of the tannin solution transformed into something “fruity” rather than “bitter” like they were expecting to, causing tannins to be perceived as fruity instead of astringent.

Combining the biophysical and sensory results, it was speculated that this “different” sensation may arise from the Catechin present on the lipid globules, leaving less space for saliva to interact with the tannin molecules and generate an acerbic taste. These results were reinforced by sensory analysis, which indicated that dietary oils reduce the perception of astringency of the grape tannin solution. The results emphasize that dietary lipids are key molecular factors affecting the sensory perception during wine consumption.

Come on over and pick up your next bottle of Tastefully Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oils for your next pairing party!