Pair It! started as a personal project of Ehab Bandar to eat well and unravel the mystery of food and wine pairing. By trade, Ehab is perpetually curious, and it seemed odd that one could only get pairing advice from gourmet magazines or sommeliers….He wanted to learn for himself.
But having this information locked away online didn’t make sense either. The information had to be available instantly and on the go, when at a restaurant, wine store or just cooking at home. Then came the iPhone, which would offer a great way to showcase it all in a fun and interesting way. With over 20,000 pairing suggestions (at last count), it also had to be fun, interesting and super easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
It all culminated with the final ingredient, Chef Bruce Riezenman, a renowned Sonoma Wine Country chef, specializing in matching food and wine. As an award-winning chef, wine expert, and gifted educator, Bruce brought years of experience working and cooking with wine. He immediately suggested that food and wine pairings should be hand selected by dish -- that was our special sauce.
Then came the idea of “Flavor Bridges,” which helps you understand what makes a good pairing great. That was followed by pairing tips for each wine that could enhance any meal. This culminated with QuickPairs, which lets you pair dishes by general food categories if your dish is not listed. And for those occasions when you’re not sure of what to have, we offered “Swirl” to help select a pairing based on a random food and wine selection.
We quickly became enamored by the idea of building a powerful tool to enjoy food and wine more. It eventually grew from a few hundred dishes and several popular varietals to over 1,000 dishes and 180 varietals – and still growing. When we saw the final app come together, we couldn’t wait to share it with everyone with one simple goal: to eat well.