Everybody's talking about the "Zombie Apocalypse," and even those in fine dining are having a laugh with it.
Take Maynard James Keenan for example. To the public eye, he's the frontman for the rock bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. In his off time, he's a winery owner -- and today he answers the age-old undead question: What wine goes best with human flesh?
He recently offered wine recommendations to would-be zombies who want to wash their down their brains with something besides blood, at the behest of the Miami News Times.
Keenan believes that if someone is chewing human face, a pinot noir is best -- except when you're eating the nose.
"That's mainly cartilege so you're better off with beer. It's more aligned with hotdogs or bratwurst," he told the Times. "That's true of the nose as well as the lips."
On the other hand, oenophile zombies who are going straight for the tongue are better served with shiraz.
"The tongue is heartier and is going to have a little gamier of texture," he told the paper. "I'd go with a larger shiraz with some oak in it. Barolo, if you serve it raw. If you serve it raw with olive oil and herbs, you'll want a Barolo."
It may seem tasteless to pair wines with human body parts, but it's a subject that has been up for debate, at least in popular culture, since Hannibal Lecter spoke of dining on human liver with fava beans and "a nice Chianti" in the 1991 horror classic "Silence Of The Lambs."
However, Washington D.C.-based wine buff Chris McGurn thinks that's a bad choice.
"I would personally avoid this, as the Chianti might be a little too light for the fattiness of the liver," he told The Huffington Post. "A Barolo would be a much better choice of Italian wine."
Brains are considered the body part of choice for discerning zombies. Damien Casten -- who runs Candid Wines, a distributor of small production wines in Chicago -- recommends consuming them with a chenin blanc from Saumur or a chardonnay from the Maconais in Burgundy.
"Of course, this assumes that you are simmering the brain in a cream sauce," he said. "This also assumes that you have time to treat the brains gently, and that will often mean soaking them in milk for a few hours."
Meanwhile, former wine shop owner and confirmed foodie Laurie Chambers Laizure believes that aspiring zombies would best be served -- literally -- by pairing wines from the same region as the person being consumed.
"Grape flesh, like human, is largely water-based. As such, the varietal as well as what it absorbs through its environment will be large contributors in how that tastes," she said. "Other factors might be age, physical and health condition. For instance, an overweight woman non-smoker should taste far superior to a muscle bound man who smokes."
But Nic Pelaez, a sommelier at Saltbox Dining & Drinking in San Diego, disagrees. He said that smokers are the best humans to pair with wine.
"For pairing purposes, I would recommend picking a meaty person who has tobacco notes -- a smoker -- as well as someone who enjoyed berries throughout their life," he said. "Also, the lazier the better -- they’re more tender. So stick to couch potatoes and videogamers."
Meanwhile, Casten believes that cooking method -- or lack thereof -- is important to consider.
"I'd guess that uncooked face is texturally pretty chewy with a fair amount of muscle. If there is no time to braise, I'd need a ton of acid to cut through the 'meat,' so I'm going to pull a magnum of young Grosses Gewachs (grand cru) riesling and drink all I can before the bullets start flying."
Like all of the people interviewed, Casten has never actually sampled human flesh and is not a zombie. He was quick to add that he never expected to use the knowledge he gained working in French restaurants to recommend that reisling and face might pair well.
"I'm going to throw up now," he said.
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