Wine and Food pairing is an art

Wine and Food pairing is an art Image

And we all like to consume art

As we move into the new ‘rule of 6' we are seeing more people hosting small intimate dinner parties. Wines and food, or is it food and wines? The team have been busy recommending pairings over the past couple of weeks. It's not an exact science, there is no diploma for it yet, but I am sure someone will invent one.

We always say,' where it grows it goes'. This is a big concept to understand, so let me try to break it down a little. In simple terms, if a dish comes from, say Italy, then simply choose an Italian wine and you can apply the same principal if your food is French or Spanish etc. in origin. How does this work? Italian food in general is high in fats (Pizza, lasagne etc), if it's not in the meat then it's the cheese. Those who have eaten in the mountains will know the level of fats used in their cooking! Italian wines in general have the highest natural acidity and such wines will cut through the fats and aid the flavours and digestion.

L’Ormarine Duc de Morny, Picpoul de PinetLet's look at Argentina. Traditionally, their workforce are farmers, working in the fields and plains tending to cattle and sheep. They consume, and always have done, vast amounts of Malbec. The reason behind this are the big tannins in the red wine need proteins to make for a pleasant mouthfeel. Argentinian beef is certainly protein and with a big rich red wine… heavenly.

If we focus in a little more on the ‘where it grows it goes' mantra, we find examples for lighter food matching such as Picpoul de Pinet from the south of France. Grown around the Bassin de Thau, home to much of Frances shellfish production, this wine is the perfect match for these foods. The high acidity of the shellfish with the high natural acidity and minerality in the wines equals another great pairing.

Burgundy, Chablis, New World Chardonnay, all with oak, are difficult to find homes for on the table. They are best with chicken, turkey or pork dishes or grilled tofu and haloumi served with rich, creamy dressings. Burgundy reds, always Pinot Noir, are light and elegant, but also have a deep character that can work with meats but not sauces, a lighter jus is preferable. Regional cheeses work well with these wines too.

Bordeaux can be a mine field of expanse, dependant on age, quality, region, oak used in the production. It's all about know your wines here. Here we recommend you choose the wine first and then the food around it.

Red wine with fish is fine, just don't choose oak aged wines. Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Barbera all must be young to go with fish, vegetarian and vegan dishes. It's the same for meats paired with white wines. If you are careful with the sauce, white Burgundy will work if rich enough.

The thing to remember with matching, whether you pick the wine or the food first, there are no rights and wrongs, however there will be certain combinations which will enhance the flavour experience. So enjoy experimenting.

If you are interested in pairings then please call and one of the team will assist you or have a look at our website where you can search based on foods and each wine is accompanied with full tasting notes and food recommendations.

Happy pairing! 

Last Updated: 16/09/2020
Author: Sarah Hattersley
Sarah Hattersley

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