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The pairing of wine with Soul Food: What took so long?

Mon, 02/13/2023

For many people, the tried-and-true standard for pairing wine and food has long been summed up by the proposition, Red with Beef and White with Chicken. Of course, for those who aspire to a greater dining experience brought by the pairing of the appropriate wine with a given food, personal standards have been largely established by time and experience.  Wine today is virtually everywhere and is served with appetizers, main dishes, and desserts.

But even in this global age, where restaurants offering cuisines from around the globe have wine lists, there are still culinary pockets where the idea of enjoying that fare with wine seems odd.  Soul Food represents one such exception…until now.

It is my pleasure to introduce my wine and Soul Food pairing concept: Grapes, Grits and

This soon-to-be-launched pairing app will provide patrons real-time access to matching the best wines with traditional Soul Food staples when dining out or at home.

I personally became interested in wine as an avocation approximately thirty years ago. My interest would lead me to establish business ventures based on creating wine engagement interactive platforms for the multicultural urban wine consumer, with an eye toward both demystifying the wine culture and promoting the inclusion of wine as a lifestyle choice on a cultural-social level, rather than keeping it restricted to a “special moments” category or occasional celebration.

My intention here is to introduce the first authentic forum devoted to pairing wine with Soul Food, a concept I see as a culturally defining and culinarily significant phenomenon.  The idea has been formulated over the course of my research into hundreds of wine profiles, varietals, and characteristics, as well as the development of digital content delivery capacities for over ten years.

My intent is to deliver this concept as a consumer-centered platform featuring the presentation of wines and regions often overlooked and undervalued in the established wine arena. Many of the prospective wines are indigenous varietals from areas only recently recognized for their production.  In addition, the varieties featured will have characteristics that will appeal to a broad range of consumers, ranging from those with nominal to advanced degrees of wine acumen.     

The pairings to be featured were derived from extensive tasting trials, the men and women who were our panelists representing diverse ethnic, age, and professional profiles.  While our panelists did include wine industry and culinary professionals, wine enthusiast insights were also a significant factor in the deliberations and input on the validation trials.

It is my contention that my wine pairing concept and its wine styling will find a place on many a table where traditional Soul Food is the featured fare. This venture is my tribute to the nobility of this cuisine and the warmth and reverence it evokes in so many.  I eagerly anticipate the pleasure that a growing number of people will experience when this now-novel idea has become commonplace in restaurants and at home with family and friends.

This new effort took a long time to get right and I trust that in coming months you’ll agree that we hit the target. 

I look forward to the day when Please pass the wine becomes a familiar refrain amongst those who grew up with and love Soul Food.  It’s time has come.