Some fool proof rules to find the perfect food and wine combinations!
Rule #1: The No-Goes
While white wine and red meat is not necessarily incorrect (you can drink Champagne with pretty much anything), the more traditional approach to red meat would be a full-bodied red wine. It is also untraditional to pair red wine with fish, for example.
Rule #2: Sweet with Heat
For the most part, a sweeter wine with a low alcohol content is the perfect match for a spicy dish. Even if you haven’t a sweet tooth, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how the flavours are modified when heat is brought into the equation. We recommend a Riesling or a Gewurztraminer.
Rule #3: Matching Ethnicities
It’s the safe option to pair foods of a particular region with wines from the same region; for example, Spanish food with Spanish wine. Regional pairings are a classic match as the vineyards and farms share the same terrain, giving them flavours that naturally enhance each other.
Rule #4: Complex Wines go with Simple Foods
When it comes to cracking open the 1959 Chateau Margaux your attention should be on the wine, not the food; therefore a simple meal would be a favourable match. You don’t want to overpower the subtleties of fine wines.
Rule #5: Don’t forget dessert
The dessert wine must always be sweeter than the dessert; if the dessert has more impact, the wine will seem dull in comparison.
Armed with these tips, go forth and experiment. Sometimes, you stumble upon the perfect match and it just works. When that happens and the food compliments the wine and the wine compliments the food, it really is a wonderful thing!
Here are some great wine/food matches to get you started!
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Washington State, USA £12.75
This wine is from the Columbia Valley region of Washington state, two states up from California on the west coast of the USA. The grapes come from a cool site producing fruit with sublime minerality. A lively number with tonnes of character, this wine is bursting with delicious stone fruits and citrus notes. Will be an ideal match for spicy Chinese food or Thai fishcakes!
Terrazas de los Andes Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina £13.95
Intense purplish colour with red shades. Very expressive, revealing a floral and red fruit profile of violet, raspberry and cherry, with marked aromas of toasted coffee and chocolate. Characterised by a broad and sweet mouthfeel, delicate tannins add finesse to this great Malbec. Try with a big, juicy steak with chimichurri sauce
Moscato Passito Palazzina, Piemonte, Italy £6.45
A nose of intense lemon meringue pie, marmalade, hard caramel and toffee apple. The palate has lots of ripe apricot and acacia honey characters with a core of homemade lemon curd running through to the long, fresh and lingering citrus finish. Could this be the perfect match for lemon tart?