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Wine Enthusiast Podcast: Don’t Pair Wine and Food—Pair Wine and Mood

Illustration by Rachel Joan Wallis

People love to talk about wine and food pairings, pairing complementary foods and invoking the tried-and-true mantra of “what grows together, goes together.”

But maybe it’s time to take a fresh approach to pairings.

When Napa Valley-based wine consultant Jean Hoefliger is asked how to pair wine and food, he responds by saying, “I don’t pair wine and food. I pair wine and mood. For me, it’s about the moment and the company. Nobody drinks a bottle of wine looking at their watch. You stop time and focus on the moment and the people you are in conversation with.”

Sounds so fantastically obvious and brilliantly genius, right?

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone taps Hoefliger for the best tips to pair wine and mood with a variety of personalities and occasions around the holiday season. Get ready to meet your perfect wine-mood match and embrace the moments of sharing a well-selected wine with the company you keep for the vibe of your choosing, regardless of what the menu has in store.

But, if you still want to read more about great wine and food pairing ideas, check out our How to Pair section of The Basics.