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Pairings: A New Column On The Pleasures of Wine and Food

Photo: @craftandcluster
Photo: @craftandcluster

Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford—you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simple or luxurious. Then you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions.”

—Julia Child

There’s just something about pairing food and beverage, don’t you think? The alchemy; the magic; the coming-togetherness of it all. When things align and there’s that click – that moment when you bite into a perfectly charred burger and wash it down with a splash of Pinot Noir; the crunch of street tacos with a cold, cucumber agua fresca; plump dumplings and fiery noodles with the most refreshing lager? You get the picture.

Putting together the elements of a meal, be it a quick on-the-go lunch or an elegant sit-down dinner with all the trimmings (stemware, cutlery, linens), when done well, is comforting. A great meal nourishes the body and feeds us on a soul level, and sometimes we’re not even aware of it. We’re hungry, we grab a bite. But pausing to ponder and pair what to drink with what you eat can make or break a meal.

Photo: @craftandcluster

I’m here to invite you to explore some of the fun, whimsical and deeply satisfying beverage-plus-culinary combinations that exist. Pairings, as it were. My focus will begin with wine — I make my way as a food and wine writer. But as I poke around and sample the likes of lavender lemonade, hemp milk lattes, and butterfly pea flower-spiked traditional and alcohol-free cocktails, I’ll share what works and why with all sorts of unique and delicious beverages.

Of course tastes vary. The stars of the column will be the chefs, winemakers, distillers and food creatives who design the recipes that capture our attention. Whether I’m discussing food pairings with world-renowned winemakers like Bryan Babcock at his rock and roll tasting room, Kathy Josephs of Fiddlehead Cellars (anyone remember Sideways?) or popping a bottle of Pét Nat from a newer brand like Camins 2 Dreams, I’ll break it down with Beyondish.

Photo: Babcock Winery.

Join me, please. If you have a special place we must know about, drop Beyondish a line. Meanwhile, I’ll be out here sipping, tasting and jotting things down, so stand by and welcome to Pairings with Beyondish. I’m so glad you’re here.


Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro

Anna Maria is a writer based in Santa Barbara County, California. She writes for Wine Enthusiast catalog, Edible Santa Barbara, Coco Eco and the American Wine Society Journal, among others, focusing on the wine and food scene. With her WSET 2 certificate in tow, you'll likely find her tucked away among the vines planning her next pairing.


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