After a prolonged lockdown, every gourmet or food enthusiast is finally gaining back their palate through adaptive dining experiences with occasional food pairing.
With the emergence of a new Covid variant, the pandemic still shows no signs of ending anytime soon, thus keeping people from stepping out of their houses for a longer time. While the good old days of enjoying carefree outdoor dining now seem a distant memory, people have grown accustomed to having meals at home and even figured out ways to elevate their home dining experience.
Take home parties for a closer look. These indoor events are no longer deemed a mere alternative to the pre-pandemic style of celebration feasts (which usually takes place in a restaurant), but rather a signature and unique experience with food and wine pairing trends.
Darren Seifer, a food and beverage analyst at the NPD Group, Inc. once said at the webinar Trends and Innovations, hosted by Food Business News, “We’ve also noticed that there’s this premiumization happening ... Consumers are spending a little bit more on some higher-end items in the grocery store, because they’re still saving money by eating that meal at home (compared to a meal at a restaurant)."
Restaurants and cafés have witnessed a rising trend in consumers’ ordering habits. Diners are now open to a more diverse choice of food and pay more attention to the food and beverage pairing menu.
After surveying some well-known restaurants like Zumwhere and Hoang Yen, along with the usual demand for popular beverages, diners show an increasing interest in trying food-pairing-style drinks like wine when ordering.
In response to that demand, adaptive dining experiences such as “occasional food pairing” are emerging as a solution to enhance diner’s culinary experience in the post-pandemic period
Unlike flavor pairing in which only foods sharing flavor compounds can match each other, adaptive food pairing offers diners more space to freely create different food and wine combinations. The only matching rule is that the flavors of pairings must suit the atmosphere, the spirit, and the time of the events.
Take a summer dinner party or a pool party for example. If the preparation for a ‘combo’ of spaghetti, beefsteak and cocktail bowls is too complicated and laborious, the host could totally switch to more quick-prep dishes like salads or sandwiches paired with glasses of wine, yet still ensure the quality of your party.
Not only is it an easy and standard option for hosting parties, meetings, or gatherings, “occasional food pairing” even helps promote many new culinary trends in the world to domestic diners during the pandemic.
A typical case benefiting from this trend is brunch - a hybrid between breakfast and lunch -- which has been gradually gaining popularity in Vietnam, especially on the weekends.
Brunch – a new movement
After a stressful week at work or a Friday night party, brunch is perfect to save you more time in bed. Even more appealing are the various items available for both breakfast and lunch – some light dishes such as salads or tapas and an early daytime drink. This is the premise for the “occasional adaptivity” of brunch.
Brunch is best for fresh, sweet and sour dishes with "natural flavors" from fruits, vegetables, or herbs as the main background. This also has a certain influence on the recent trend of F&B product launches.
Jacob's Creek, Australia's veteran winemaker, recently introduced to the Vietnamese market three new wine products - Jacob's Creek Moscato, Moscato Rosé, and Cherry Red, carrying the spirit of "A Wine Worth Sharing" with the inspiration drawn from the natural sweetness of herbs and fruits.
These are low-alcohol wines, featuring natural sweet and refreshing flavors from summer fruits – a refreshment for leisurely gathering time with friends and family.
According to Jacob's Creek, the new products will represent popular flavor trends for brunch parties. The new line is also expected to create a "breath" of taste for the domestic wine market in the last quarter of 2021.
Brimming with a fruity, floral aroma complemented by citrus notes, Jacob's Creek Moscato is a summer beverage for brunch parties in the garden.
The aromas and flavors of ripe red berry fruits and fresh strawberries from Jacob's Creek Moscato Rosé will bring up the atmosphere for your brunch dates or romantic dinners.
Finally, Jacob's Creek Cherry Red stands out with purple-red hues. With the aroma of ripe black and red berries with a touch of toastiness from oak and a plum finish, this wine can enhance your dining experience when paired with delicious dishes like kung pao chicken or stewed pork balls in brown sauce.
The new Jacob's Creek wine line brings sweetness to your brunch and conveys perfectly the spirit of this Australian wine brand – "Enjoy sweet moments with your loved ones with Jacob's Creek". This message reminds us of the social dimension of wine: Wine is not only a beverage but a "substance" that evokes affection and intimacy among people in a get-together. That’s a moment of sharing and reconnecting to your friends and family, especially in the increasingly disconnecting world.
To sum up, despite the pandemic remaining complicated, if you are a gourmet or a food enthusiast, you can still create your own fine dining experiences with occasion pairing formula.
Besides, you should also look for new products specifically made to serve this trend. This way, you will have more diverse experiences or simply draw inspiration to create new culinary combinations.
Translated by Bich Tram