Shannon Borg from Seattle Magazine writes:

When people talk about “food-friendly” wines, what do they mean? Wine and food just naturally go together, right? Well, yes. And no. Sometimes you just want a glass of wine—when you’re on a boat or in front of the fire, say—and at those times, you want a wine that will stand alone. But when you think of a meal—especially one with multiple courses—a different mindset will help you highlight a carefully chosen menu, rather than just emphasize the wine. In a good pairing, the wine’s fruitiness, acidity or tannin won’t overwhelm the food.

The way we eat today is vastly different than dinner parties of yore—or even 10 years ago. The influence of world cuisines on our menus along with the attention to individual diets—vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan—make a dinner party or holiday meal a more fascinating, albeit sometimes confusing, proposition. Today, sometimes the easiest way to go is to have a potluck, allowing people to choose what they wish.

So how does Washington wine play into all this? It’s amusing to look at turn-of-the-century etiquette maven Emily Post’s set-in-stone menu lineups—hors d’oeuvres, soup, fish, entrée, roast (yes, separate courses), salad, dessert, coffee—just for giggles. But even she was flummoxed by the whole operation at times: “Aspics and desserts are, it must be said, occasionally Chinese puzzles, but if you do help yourself to part of the decoration, no great harm is done.” Aspic? Now, we put the cheese and salad first, rather than at the end of the meal to aid digestion. Now, we accommodate individual diets and don’t feel we have to serve white wine with fish and red with meat. People eat what they like, and people drink what they like. But if you’d like to do a multiple-course meal, or just make a potluck seem less chaotic, carefully chosen wines can help build on flavors and make the whole endeavor seem more cohesive.

Feelin’ the vino? Read more here.

This is our weekly guest post from our friends at Seattle Magazine, which keeps readers on the pulse of restaurants, personalities, arts, entertainment and culture that reflect the tapestry of our dynamic landscape. We’ve teamed up for an exciting partnership to bring you a weekly dose of fantastic Date Night ideas throughout greater Seattle.