The Wall Street Journal, April 23rd 2011, by Jay McInerney
Is there such a thing as the perfect match? As someone who has been married four times, I’ve done my share of research on the subject of compatibility in the realm of Eros. The subject of food-and-wine pairing is perhaps even more bedeviling. Is there a perfect wine for oysters? For Camembert? For baked lobster with red-wine-braised sunchoke and fava-sprout bergamot emulsion? Does fish always call for white wine?
You could do worse in your search for answers to these questions than to go to New York’s Le Bernardin, the Michelin three-star temple of piscine cuisine. Aldo Sohm, 39, who was named Best Sommelier in America in 2007 and Best Sommelier in the World in 2008 (in a contest organized by the World Sommelier Association), is a master of matching food and wine. He has converted more than one skeptic, including my wife, to the concept of pairing. “I can make the food look good,” he says. On the other hand, chef Eric Ripert, his boss, likes to drink red Bordeaux with pretty much everything, including oysters. This makes for some interesting discussions in the kitchen.