[MUSIC] Welcome back. In our previous lesson we discussed food pairing, and the quote, selection from red wine with fish. In this lesson, we will turn our attention to deconstructing flavors. So to make sense amidst all this confusion, we might as well get down to basics. Our best place to start is by deconstructing the flavors, both on the wine side and the food side, so we can get a handle on predicting how these flavor elements will mesh with each other, how well they'll dance together. Approaching this subject, we should probably recall and review our fundamental definition of flavor. Flavor equals aroma which is odors of course plus taste. And here we're talking about basic taste. Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami. And oral sensations, rough, smooth, hot, cold, and so forth. Aromas, the odors of the wine and the food, are responsible for the majority of what we consider to be quote, unquote, flavor. However, as wine liquids and food solids move around on our pallet being probed by our taste buds and sensed by our nerve endings. The basic taste as well as our sensing of texture, lubricity and chemesthesis, and temperature as well, will have a huge importance. I don't believe we've used the word chemesthesis to this point, so let me take a moment and define it. This is an online Wikipedia definition, very useful, though. Chemesthesis is defined as the chemical sensibility of the skin and mucous membranes. Chemesthetic sensations arise when chemical compounds activate. Receptors associated with other senses that mediate pain, touch, and thermal perception. So a simpler definition of chemesthesis, as it applies to wine and food, would be the sensation that we get from feeling things, temperature for example, if something is very cold or very hot and it irritates our palette. The heat that we can sometimes perceive from alcohol is a chemesthetic response. If we take a bite of the food and there's some sudden perception of heat, chili pepper type heat, that is a Chemesthesis response. So, it's all about balance. A proper wine and food match is all about balance. And fundamental to proper balance is the matching of the food and wine by their weight. You must match weight with weight. Imagine a football player on a teeter-totter with a five year old. Imagine using a sledgehammer to drive in a thumbtack. Imagine matching a ballerina with a Sumo wrestler in a dance contest. In a wine and food tango, the partner weighing less will be overwhelmed by the other. Ultimately, our success in wine and food pairing will start with our ability to correctly identify and match weight on both sides. If we choose correctly at this stage, the rest of the match hinges on all of the other details, what I call the accessories. So how is this done, particularly when one partner is solid and the other is liquid. We need to look more closely at weight. Let's first consider the weight on the wine side, since that might be the harder of the two to conceptualize. A wine's weight is determined by assessing its body. Okay fine, so what is body? A couple of my former professors used to tell us that body was quote, semantically difficult to define, end quote. [LAUGH] Of course we didn't stop asking the question and further study shows that this term refers to a Wine's consistency. Its texture or mouthfeel, a measure of a wine's alcoholicity or its degree of wateriness. Does a wine as we move it around on our palette seem alcoholic or seem thin and watery? The degree of viscosity or heft of the wine. Another way to say that is its thickness or thinness. We know from study that increasing ethanol and sugar as well can increase our perception of the body or the weight of a wine. So both alcohol and sugar contribute to this thickness of mouthfeel. But the main contributor to a wine's body really is alcohol. We discussed body in lecture one, and if you recall, it ranges from light to medium to full. And I'd say from my experience, most table wines fall in the medium range or medium plus range. Do you recall how ethanol behaves in wine? How it acts? How it contributes flavor? Let's review that. Alcohol in wine, which is ethanol primarily, contributes sweetness all on its own. Alcohol also enhances our perception of any sweetness that's there, such as residual sugar. If I hand you two glasses of wine that have exactly the same amount of residual sugar, but one has one or two percent higher alcohol, and I ask you which wine is sweeter, you will always pick the one with higher alcohol. The presence of alcohol also diminishes our perception of acidity. It's probably the sweetness that's balancing with acidity. Alcohol can increase our perception of bitterness and alcohol can also help mask the sensation of astringency. If alcohol is high of course, it can give us a chemesthesis response such as sharpness or hotness. But overall, the main important contribution of alcohol is to a wine's body. Recall also that we assess the weight of the wine by flipping our tongue around. We can feel the wine's viscosity or consistency as we move it around our pallet. So just to review, how do we describe body? A wine with lower alcohol is usually described as thin, or light, or low in body. This would include wines that are 10% or less in alcohol concentration. And sugar can influence this perception, as well. So think skim milk. A wine with medium alcohol is considered to be medium or full-bodied, probably more often medium. Most table wines fall in this range. It's in the 12, 12+ alcohol percent range. And again, here sugar can influence our perception of body. Think whole milk, as an example. Higher alcohol wines are said to be full-bodied or high-bodied. This would refer to wines that are in the 14 and 15% range and up. And of course, would also encompass dessert or fortified wines. Many of these, then, can also have abundant sugar. So think half and half or heavy cream. In this lesson, we discussed deconstructing flavors. In our next lesson, we will turn our attention to bridge ingredients.