Artichokes or not?

How to handle a difficult wine pairing.


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Artichokes or not? So what should I not write about? Artichokes for starters, a wine paring frought with perils. On the other hand perhaps I should be writing about why artichokes don't pair well with wines. It has to do cynarin, a chemical compound contained in artichokes that is like LSD for your palate. It makes you hallucinate flavors. See it really wasn't that bad of an analogy. For most people it makes wines taste oddly sweet, though for a small number of people it actually makes the wine taste notably bitter instead. Good trip:bad trip you could argue, but it makes the whole wine pairing thing a real mine field.

So what to do? Well, for starters I'm not going to avoid artichokes when they are in season, i.e. now! And while I love beer, you have the same issues arising with beer, so that's not a solution. No the solution is to soldier on and incorporate your artichokes into dishes with wine friendly ingredients. And for those moments when only a wonderfully pure artichoke will do, find the driest wine possible and be content in knowing that the effects of cynarin are very short lived!

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