Pairing food and wine – bit of a puzzle? Food / wine pairing is a very challenging topic which could arguably go for a very long time. When faced with a seemingly huge wine list in a restaurant and a table full of thirsty friends who have all selected different dishes, how many of us freeze and look for someone who might know a bit more about the topic to volunteer their immediate help? It can be complex, but in reality it doesn’t have to be and you don’t need to be an apprentice sommelier or Master of Wine to get it right! Let’s go..
Rule 1: Your choice! It’s your meal, your drink, you can and should decide what you want to drink with it! Wine is a great drink to accompany food, but you decide the colour and style.
Rule 2: Start with lighter wines. Best to start with white wines and then go to reds later on. In many cases a white or rose wine is a good companion for an entrée dish, largely because we eat lighter savory foods to start a meal.
Rule 3: Follow colours and tastes. A big powerful dark beef casserole will go best with a full bodied red wine, such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. Roast pork with a light sauce will be happy with either a fuller white wine such as Chardonnay or a lighter style of red such as Cabernet Franc.
Rule 4: Cheese is made for wine. Fine flavoured cheeses love white wines, the big and bolder the get, try a red and for the powerful blue ripe cheeses, a sweeter dessert wine is often perfect.
Rule 5: Desserts beware! The toughest zone of all. We think the French rule is best….Champagne. It doesn’t seem intuitive but it works a treat with desserts.
Above all, try different combinations, appreciate the differences and learn some more. Sheer pleasure!