In today’s world it is all about the experience. But is the culture of social media and an eagerness to share actually keeping us from having the experience? The famous Roux brothers seem to think so as they have decided to ban food photography from their three Michelin star restaurant.
“What are they doing? Maybe once during the meal you want to take a little photo of something because it’s unusual. But what about the flavours? A picture on a phone cannot possibly capture the flavours,” Michel Roux of The Waterside Inn Restaurant in England told The Daily Mail.
The Roux brothers are worried that by the continuous focus on sharing their experience, diners will miss out on the actual experience of tasting and appreciating the food. In a three Michelin star restaurant?! This makes me think. How important is the actual food and wine experience to today’s consumer?
Other than the focus on experience and the aspirations of the Millennials, the modern era is very much about everyday enjoyment and accessibility. In such an environment, are people really considering their food and wine choices? Has it become only an entertaining activity on a wine estate? Is it only the food and wine industries that are making a fuss?
Why is food and wine pairing so important to the industry?
Having a good food and wine match ensures that our product performs at its best. For the restaurant it is important not to serve sushi with Syrah as the customer might not return, blaming the taste of the food. For the winemaker, it is important that those enjoying his or her wine opt for the Barbera rather than the Cabernet Sauvignon when a tomato stew is on the menu. The Barbera should be juicy and delightful and the Cabernet Sauvignon probably metallic and watery. Try the Cabernet Sauvignon with a fatty lamb chop however and the wine might be the best you’ve had and your trusted choice in future.
More than content for social media and photography for lifestyle pages, the importance the industry gives to food and wine pairing is easy to understand.
Does food and wine pairing really matter to the consumer?
The idea of food and wine pairing is a better tasting experience. And experience has become what it is all about, hasn’t it? Experience is that picture on Instagram, the status update on Facebook or the hashtag on Twitter.
I eagerly participate and love sharing what I do with others who might find it interesting, but are we not losing the plot? What about the actual experience? The real smell and taste and touch. Those things that we can’t (not yet anyway) share on social media. The things that are happening to you and your senses in the moment of the experience. Perhaps in finding a proper match between food and wine, there is a lesson for us all.
The Roux family might just have a point. What I admire about their decision is that for them, it is not about the experience for experience sake, regardless of the possible publicity. For them it is about the actual enjoyment of the food. Food is their passion and they want to share it with those who visit their restaurant.
Why are we so adamant about finding the right wine to pair with your meal? It is so that you can really enjoy the wine and the food – that is the experience!