What pairs best with wine and food? Augmented intelligence, of course!

By Amy Gross

IBM

There’s a saying in the food and wine industries that what grows together goes together. Whenever I visit a region, my goal is not to only enjoy the food and the wine, but to also enjoy the culinary experiences that masterful combinations of food and wine can make together. That’s why I was thrilled to attend a Catalan dinner party with industry experts, a Michelin-starred chef and his augmented intelligence assistant in the heart of Barcelona while experiencing one of the best meals of my life.

As the dinner started, the smell of roasted garlic and red peppers filled the dining room. One thing was made clear as the food started coming out: the pairing of food and wine was seamless, and each course perfectly melded into the next. From the truffle egg and the peach bloody mary with oysters to the red-pepper prawns and crab gazpacho with kimchi, there were flavor combinations that, while unexpected, worked perfectly.

Just as I thought I had tried the best course of the night, another fantastic dish was served up. I wanted to eat every bite, but as we were on camera for a majority of the evening, I didn’t want to risk food falling into my lap or the sound of my chewing on the microphone.

And while the food was outstanding, the real determinate of a good dinner party is the people with whom you enjoy it and the conversation that takes place. I had the opportunity to share this meal with experts in healthcare, advanced technology and media. By coming together from different fields of expertise, I got a perspective outside of my own on how other businesses are using augmented intelligence and advanced technologies.

With this beautiful food before us and conversation flowing, I was enthralled with what my dinner companions had to say about their use of augmented intelligence. Something we were all excited about was how augmented intelligence played a key role in our dining experience. Our Michelin-starred chef, Carles Abellán, had some assistance from augmented intelligence, Chef Watson, which provided Chef Carles with recipe recommendations based on data extracted from food pairings and recipes. The result of an incredibly talented chef working with a tool that could help him think of new combinations was absolutely astonishing. Chef Watson was able to expand Chef Carles’ culinary repertoire.

This incredible meal brought up another interesting topic: we don’t all like the same types of wine! It was easy for us to discuss the flavors we enjoyed in the foods we were eating, but it was more challenging for everyone to talk about the wines and what they liked and did not like in wines they had tasted in the past.

Pairing technology with wine

It’s this subjectivity in flavor — and the difficulty that comes with discussing it — that led me to build VineSleuth and Wine4.Me.

With the help of a sensory scientist, an applied mathematician and a team of winemakers, we built a unique, objective way to analyze and characterize wines by flavor. Next, we added predictive analytics and augmented intelligence to use that data and match people with wines they would enjoy. This technology enables shoppers to find wines they are sure to personally enjoy, without having to understand flavor principles or talk in “wine speak.”

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Our patented methods enable wine drinkers to compare one wine against another on the basis of flavor and sensorial properties by simply “loving” or “dumping” wines they have tasted to find wines they are sure to love — the technology works seamlessly behind the scenes.

Next, we incorporated augmented intelligence to make wine and food pairing easy. Just like how Chef Watson was able to combine interesting flavors with outstanding results at our Catalan dinner party, VineSleuth and Wine4.Me do the same with wine and food. Instead of the generic red wine and steak or white wine with fish, our augmented intelligence learns wine flavor preferences for individuals and returns the best-suited results for each one.

Similar to how augmented intelligence brings together unexpected food and wine combinations to create delightful, personal experiences, it brought together me and my dining partners for an evening of culinary and technological enlightenment, with gorgeous, perfectly paired Catalan wines. When you have beautiful wine and food, it often sets the stage for interesting conversation.

I’m looking forward to seeing how augmented intelligence will make the lives of consumers, chefs and wine lovers even better as it is incorporated more into our lives. Cheers to a delicious future!

Written By

Amy Gross

Founder and CEO of VineSleuth / Wine4.Me

Amy Gross is the Founder and CEO of VineSleuth/ Wine4.Me, the only company which uses sensory science and predictive analytics to help people find the right wines for them, personally.

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