For almost 30 years, Chartier has conducted intensive experimentation and research into the field of sommelerie. In addition, he has studied various world cuisines and has read exhaustively about culinary science, oenology and wine growing. Chartier’s theories of “Molecular Harmonies and Sommellerie” can be summarised as follows:
By combining ingredients and/or liquids that are generally comprised of one or more aromatic molecules of the same family, the result is greater than the sum of its parts. By the effect of "aromatic harmony", 1+1=3, and even at times, 4. Hence, this translates into a "new formula of taste".
The scientific reason behind the harmony between wine and food is explained, as is understanding the creation and success of thousands of recipes that are indeed the culinary heritage of the world. Furthermore, it opens up new possibilities in the area of culinary creativity.
To better understand its principles, let’s take clove as an example. Of the hundreds of aromatic molecules that make up clove, only one predominates and hence defines its aromatic profile.
In some way, this aromatic molecule is its aromatic DNA. The dominant aromatic molecule, called eugenol, is also found in Thai basil, red beetroot and cooked mozzarella and some variety of chocolates, as well as in wines aged in oak barrels, particularly in Spanish wines made from Tempranillo grapes from the Ribera del Duero, Toro and Rioja DOs.
If a dish is prepared using chocolate, red beetroot and Thai basil or cloves, the desired "aromatic harmony" can be achieved, creating the perfect balance of tastes. The resulting taste of this duo (or trio) of ingredients with the dominant molecules from the same family will be magnified. Furthermore, if a wine that has been aged in oak barrels is also served, this "aromatic harmony" between the dish and the wine will be all the more evident. The harmony between the food and the wine will be a success and a harmonic place of comfort can be achieved.
A “new formula of taste” is in play: 1 + 1= 3