When it comes to pairing wines with food, there are some key things to keep in mind when deciding what to go for! The main thing to remember is that you don’t want the wine to over-power the food. You should be looking to complement it and create a wonderful balance of flavours. A few basics to keep in mind are as follows:

  1. Typically, a wine with any oak on it will pair well with richer dishes, such as pasta carbonara or mushroom risotto Our suggestion: Ken Forrester Old Vine Chenin Blanc
  2. Keep to lighter whites with fish dishes. Whilst not in all cases, most red wines will make fish taste metallic, so we typically stay away from red with fish. Our suggestion: Coral do Mar Albarino
  3. Lighter style reds, such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais and Valpolicella will work really well with most grilled or BBQ meats and can even be served slightly (and we mean slightly!) chilled. Our suggestion: Olivier Flavier Fleurie
  4. An off dry wine such as certain Rieslings and Pinot Gris will pair beautifully with spicy food. The slight sweetness of the wine will cut through the spice and balance it out. Our suggestion: Kim Crawford Pinot Gris
  5. Sweet wines pair with sweet desserts Our suggestion: Domaine de Grange Neuve Monbazillac
  6. And when it comes to the cheese board, then one size really does not fit all!

Soft goats’ cheese and mild Brie can work really well with a lighter white such as the Oisly or with a medium bodied red such as Izadi Rioja

Hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Comte and Manchego will work really well with medium to full bodied whites, reds and of course your Ports. Try the Domaine la Haute Marone Gigondas or the Domaine Viranel Viognier.

Blue cheeses work perfectly with sweet wines, so your Sauternes and Ports are ideal. The sweetness of the wine cuts through the saltiness of the cheese. Try the Vallado 10 year old Tawny Port and serve it slightly chilled for a perfect pairing!

By Teresa Wighton


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