Category Archives: Wine & Food Matching

Please take a look at the type of food you wish to match your wine with in the sections as follows. Hopefully, we have provided you with an insight into some suitable wine suggestions and selections from our portfolio of wine that will match perfectly to your chosen menu.

Aperitif | Wine Matching

Aperitif Full Border

Aperitif Ideas

Whether you are serving a one course supper, or a full blown dinner menu, you may wish to start proceedings with an aperitif. Although traditionally served before the meal begins, nothing dictates that you cannot continue to drink it with the meal as well.

Your choice of aperitif should take into account the food to be served, however, please consider that appreciation of your efforts in the kitchen may be somewhat lost o your guests if their palate’s have been saturated with strong spirits or highly flavoured concoctions beforehand.

Ideally your aperitif selection should be fairly high in acidity in order to make your mouth water and choose the most suitable aperitif according to your taste.

Please see below some options you may like to consider:

Champagne:

The aperitif par excellence for every conceivable situation, with Cremant d’Alsace, Cava or Prosecco sparkling wine making an excellent budget alternative.

White Wines:

Light-bodied dry or off-dry still or sparkling white wines make excellent all-purpose aperitifs. Lighter Alsace wines such as Pinot Blanc, aromatic dry whites from North Eastern Italy, Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa or New Zealand the list is endless!

Asian & Spicy | Wine Matching

Asian & Spicy

Matching wine with Asian & Spicy Food

Although many may consider several bottles of Kingfisher beer a perfectly suitable accompaniment to the joys of oriental food, wine is also worthy of consideration. However, if you do elect to serve wine then careful thought has to be given to the sweetness, spiciness and heat of the dishes you will be eating.

Below is a simple guide to help inform you of the choices that are available:

Chinese Dishes:


Good quality German Riesling Kabinett wines are very good at partnering many Chinese dishes, particularly those in black bean, oyster or ginger sauces. For those with chillies and other hotter flavours an Alsace Gewurztraminer or medium bodied Australian Shiraz are ideal.

Sweet and sour dishes tend to serve well with light fruity reds or some rosé wines are a superb match.

If electing to go for delicate ingredients such as water chestnuts, bamboo shoots or cashew nuts, then choose a fresh or soft white such as a light Australian Chardonnay.

Indian Dishes:

Surprisingly a light and slightly tannic red can go well with a number of Indian dishes, such as Chicken Tikka, Korma or Tandoori. A good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or nice dry Chablis are always good options for a Madras curry and if you prefer a classic Vindaloo then a big red wine would suffice or alternatively a fruity German Riesling.

Thai Dishes:

Much spicier than Chinese with a more intricate mix of flavours these dishes are far more difficult to match wine to. For the very hottest chilli-charged dishes forget wine and have an iced cold Singha!

For the classic Thai Green Curry or other coconut milk dishes Sauvignon Blanc is a safe bet, whilst those that include lemon grass, lime and other zesty flavours why not consider a good Australian Semillon.

BBQ | Wine Matching

BBQ

Wine & BBQ Food Matching

Grapes grown in hot climates (The Mediterranean, Australia, Chile and South Africa for example) ripen easily, consequently, the wines made in these climates tend to have more residual sugar in them making them full-flavoured and seemingly taste ‘sweeter’. These characteristics match those found in barbecued food. The ripeness or sweetness in some wines also will balance the flavour of smoke and any heat and spice.

Australia is often regarded as the home of the BBQ and it is no surprise that ‘Aussie’ Shiraz is definitely a great accompaniment to sausages, chops, steaks and burgers, so too is Californian Zinfandel or Argentinian Malbec.

Warm-climate Chardonnay from Chile, Australia or South Africa for example, work well with BBQ Chicken, Salmon and Prawns or you could choose a soft fruity red such as Merlot or possibly a Pinotage.

Sauvignon Blanc works well with everything from salads to barbecued fish as does Australian Semillon.

Beef | Wine Matching

Beef

Wine & Beef Matching

For those of you who love the classic roast beef dish, a delicious beef steak, beef burger, or any other beef dish for that matter, almost any drinkable red wine of medium, medium-full or full body from anywhere will accompany them with a degree of competence.

We’ve listed some of our favourite choices below; however, remember with beef dishes you can’t go far wrong by just choosing your current favourite red wine!

A good red Bordeaux wine is the classic accompaniment to roast beef, although choose a younger perhaps lighter style if the meat is to be served cold (on a buffet perhaps).

A good Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia, Chile or South Africa would do just as well and would be preferable in the case of beef steak’s that are charred on the outside and pink in the middle.

For pure beef-burgers a great Côtes-du-Rhône with a chunky, peppery flavour is ideal.

Casseroles & Stews | Wine Matching

Casserole & Stews

Wine Matching Casseroles & Stews

Dark meat casseroles and stews require full bodied red wines from Bordeaux, the Rhône or Rioja. Italian wines from the Nebbiolo wines of Piemont, through the fuller Sangiovese wines of Chianti to the Montepulciano wines of Abruzzi are also ideal partners to these dishes. The richer the casserole the more robust can be the flavour of the wine and the more tannin needed.

Light meat casseroles and stews are best with young Beaujolais, Loire reds (particularly Bourgueil or Chinon), various medium-bodied reds from South west France and the Languedoc or Alsace Pinot Noir.

For the white wine drinker white Rioja or South African Chenin Blanc are well worth trying.

Cheese & Cheese Dishes | Wine Matching

Cheese

Wine and Cheese Matching

It is often considered that Wine and Cheese make ideal partners, however, I believe that if you are serious about marrying the two equally, it’s far trickier than you may think to find the ideal match; this becomes even more so if you intend serving a wide range of different cheeses at the same time.

To assist you in making a more informed choice in your wine and cheese selection please take a look below at some suggestions for you to consider.

Blue-Veined Cheeses:

A good-quality blue cheese is best partnered by a sweet wine, many different dessert wines will suffice and the choice may well come down to personal taste. Hard blue cheese such as Stilton is probably best served with Port, while the soft blue cheeses are greatly enhanced by sweet white wines. Try a mature Sélection de Grains Nobles from Alsace for the more powerful-flavoured Roquefort or Gorgonzola.

Soft and Semi-Soft Mild Cheeses:

A light Beaujolais or elegant Pinot Noir from Alsace will partner most soft and semi-soft mild cheeses. And should you opt for a double or triple-cream cheese then one of the many fragrant white wines from North Eastern Italy are worthy of consideration.

Soft and Semi-Soft Strong Cheeses:

A rich Gewurztraminer is the ideal partner for Munster, whilst well-aged vintage champagne is a decadent choice for perfectly ripe Brie de Meaux; alternatively a good Pinot Noir would be a happy match. Washed skin cheeses need a robust claret or Côtes du Rhône.

Hard Cheeses:

Mature Cheddar and similar well-flavoured, hard English cheeses will serve best alongside a full and flavoursome red, such as a fine Bordeaux, or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Sangiovese wines bring out the best in fresh Parmesan, while Alsace Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer is an ideal partner to Gruyère. Something with a little more acidity such as a South African Sauvignon Blanc is better with Emmental.

Goat Cheeses:

Goats Cheese tend to require an assertive dry white wine such as Sancerre, although a light Cru Beaujolais would be a good option too.

Cheese Soufflé:

A cheese soufflé is best served alongside good sparkling wine, Champagne is best! If you are considering a very rich soufflé, perhaps with blue-cheese, then the wine must have the power to match; the Ridgeview Knightsbridge Blanc de Noir vintage would be a worthy consideration.

Christmas Food | Wine Matching

yulelog and mincepies

Wine & Christmas Food Matching

Christmas is always a popular time for entertaining friends and family, whether it is the traditional Christmas Day luncheon, Christmas Eve or Boxing Day gatherings, or any of the numerous parties organised between the Christmas and New Year holiday break. Consequently, there is good reason to consider you have the ideal selection of drinks for you and your guests to enjoy choose whatever the festive menu.

We have provided a few wine and food matching solutions that you may encounter at this time as follows:

Champagne:

Champagne or Sparkling wines are a great celebratory drink and so it’s a good idea to have a few bottles on hand. They are fantastic to serve as your guests arrive, as an aperitif and especially if you’re planning to toast in the New Year.

Christmas Dinner:

If you are planning on having a traditional roast Christmas dinner then big fruity reds are always a good option to serve with the main dish. Popular choices to serve with the traditional ‘fayre’ include full flavoured Rioja’s, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and fine red Burgundy.
For white wine drinkers Alsace Pinot Gris or fine white Burgundy are good options and if you are planning on serving roast Goose then maybe consider a good Chenin Blanc as an ideal accompaniment.

Christmas or Plum Pudding are ideally suited to a fine Moscatel or Muscat, while a good Asti is the ideal partner to mince pies.

Port is a popular Christmas gift and useful tipple to have, especially if you have a nice piece of Stilton to go with it.

Finally, you must not forget to have a plentiful supply of everyday drinking wines especially if you’re planning a party. Great value white wines and red wines are ideal to ensure all tastes and palates are satisfied.

Desserts | Wine Matching

Desserts

Wine & Desserts Matching

While a dessert wine can easily be drunk on its own there is no reason why it should be, however, the one golden rule for matching a dessert wine to your pudding or dessert is to make sure you choose a wine that is sweeter than the dish being served.

With this in mind please find as follows some further guidance you may find useful in your dessert wine and food matching process.

Cakes, Gateaux, Puddings and Pastries:

Many cakes and pastries really do not need wine to partner them, however, should you feel the urge to do so Tokaji enhances those with coffee or vanilla, while a good Moscatel is ideal when almonds or walnuts are included in the dish. Sparkling Vouvray is a good match to fruit-flavoured cheesecake or fruit-filled, fresh cream gateaux.

Crème Brûlée and Crème Caramel:

Sweet and luxurious is order of the day where these desserts are concerned and a good Sauternes is an excellent choice or Alsace Pinot Gris Sélection de Grains Nobles.

Fruit:

Fresh summer fruits (soft or stoned) served individually or as part of a salad make great partners to late-harvest botrytized Riesling, Asti or a new world Muscat. Fruit pies made with dark rich berries like blackcurrant or blackberry would ideally suit Sauternes, while Apple Strudel or similar spicy fruit desserts require a Moscatel or Beerenauslase.

Meringue:

For any meringue served as part of a pavlova or vacherin then choose either a still or sparkling Moscato, late-harvest botrytized Riesling or Sauternes. Eiswein (Icewine) is a great partner to lemon meringue pie.

Fish | Wine Matching

Fish

Matching Wine & Fish

Most Fish and shellfish go well with dry white wines, however, do not be put off serving red, rosé, sparkling or even sweet wines if the fish dish being served permits.

Fish Stews, Fish with Sauces and Pan Fried Fish:

Choose whichever fish, if it is pan fried or in a creamy, butter sauce then the wine selection will have to have sufficient acidity and more intense flavours than normal. For fish stews, particularly the highly flavoured style adopted in the Mediterranean, then red wine would be worthy of consideration in this instance.

Mackerel and Sardines:

Fresh mackerel would match up nicely with most Loire style Sauvignon Blanc, however, if the Mackerel is smoked perhaps opt for a richer New World style of the same grape. Sardines are a great match with Portuguese Vino Verde.

Shellfish:

A modest Sauvignon Blanc or Mosel will suffice with most forms of shellfish (prawns, mussels, cockles etc.), although a more assertive Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé is best served with crayfish. For crab, lobster, oysters or scallops Grand Cru Chablis or a good champagne are nice options to choose.

White Fish:

White fish have the most delicate flavours so it would be a shame to over-power these with a full flavoured dominant wine. Grilled Sole or Plaice are enhanced by wines such as Alsace Pinot Blanc, North Eastern Italian Pinot Grigio or a good Muscadet; these wines are all worthy matches to Haddock, Halibut, Turbot, Cod and Sea Bream, although these fish could easily take a slightly richer dry white wine.

Smoked Fish:

A simple tip to offer when considering a smoked fish dish is ‘oaked for smoked’. An oak matured version of the white wine you would serve for the un-smoked dish of the same fish is often a safe bet as the oakiness in the wine does blend well with the smokiness in the food. Oak aged Chardonnay is a popular choice.

River Fish:

Most river fish are generally well-paired with a assertive style rosé wine, but Sancerre is equally as effective. Top quality white Burgundy or similar fine examples from New Zealand, South Africa or Australia are classic matches to salmon, whether baked, grilled, pan-fried or smoked. Riesling whether German or Alsace are the perfect match with Trout.

Game | Wine Matching

Game

Wine & Game Matching

There are many varieties of Game (winged and ground) with each offering different flavours and textures to suit a wide range of wine styles.

For lightly hung winged-game then consider selecting the same wines as you would for poultry. For well-hung birds (Pheasant & Partridge) a great Barolo would be fantastic as would top quality red Bordeaux or Burgundy. For lovers of new world styles then a good Australian Shiraz would be an ideal match.

For lightly hung ground-game consider wines similar to those chosen for lamb and for mid-hung meat the same as beef. Well hung ground-game can take the biggest boldest reds like Côte Rôtie, Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Amarone. White wine drinkers should opt for a fine white Rhône, Rioja or Alsace Pinot Gris