We had dinner not too long ago in one of the top restaurants in the U.S., I won't mention a name, but you've all heard of it. We had the tasting menu, and the "Sommelier" suggested he do a wine pairing. We agreed, thinking we would be in good hands. The food was top notch, but the wines sucked. And I mean sucked. The highlight of the evening was a 2002 Burgundy. We kept hoping that the next wine would be better, but we got 4 poor warm climate whites in a row. The sommelier thought he was impressing us with his knowledge of obscure information and varietals. Sometimes obscure stuff is obscure because it's garbage. What happened in the last few years? How did sommeliers begin to confuse good wine with hard-to-get or different wine? Maybe we are giving too many guys (or girls) who have some wine books and passed a tasting exam, the opportunity to pair wines with absolutely impeccably prepared food creations. Wine pairing is a talent, and when it's done right by the right person, there's nothing to compare it to.
And that's what I expect when I go to one of these restaurants and pay $500 for dinner. I won't go back to that one, even though the food was perfect.