Domestic Sluttery is changing! Visit our new homepage to check out our fabulous makeover.


Wednesday 18 January 2012

A Wine Romance: Matchmaking Food To Wine

Matching the perfect wine to your meal is a scary, scary task (even if you have the cool tea towels Sian showed us yesterday). Not because you're not savvy enough, though, but because it's mission impossible: there is no perfect wine. So you can take a deep breath and put your feet up.

Yeah, there are guidelines you can follow, but your own tastes are as important as what the experts say, and just because a wine is a textbook match it does not mean you'll be head over heels with it. What I mean is: just because George Clooney ticks all the boxes, doesn't mean you wouldn't sometimes rather go on a date with Russell Kane. Just me? Oh. Anyway, you get my drift.

Basically: relax. Remember what you like. And if you want to learn the sciencey stuff, just try and remember the word balance:


Big, beefy food needs big, beefy wine. Aussie Shiraz, hearty Rhones etc. Carmenere from Chile is a favourite of mine in these cases, such as the Tesco Finest offering from £5.99.
More delicate dishes will get lost unless you find a similarly sensitive bottle of vino: creamy chicken just needs a simple, creamy Chardonnay, not all the gooseberry fireworks of a Sauvignon.


Sometimes you need to match acidity, such as dishes full of things like vinegar, tomatoes or lemon juice. Low acidity wines would feel flat with these foods, and the same goes for red as well as white: for instance, I'd serve food with tart, tomatoey sauce with a young Italian red like Mondelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo for £9.99 in Sainsburys.
On the other hand, it's lovely to use acidity to 'cut through' certain foods: for instance, in the case of oily smoked fish. You'd happily squeeze a lemon over food like that, and serving a crisp Loire sauvignon (like this Touraine Sauvignon from Selfridges for £8.99) can be tastebud heaven in exactly the same way.


This is one of my favourite matches. Fatty foods, like duck or pork, love a fatty wine. Grapes like viognier and Alsace Pinot Gris can step up to the plate. The Yali Reserva Viognier is a delicious example of this, for £6.79 from Majestic if you buy two bottles.

Herbs and spices

The more aromatic your dish, the more pungent the wine. Chinese food is my bezza, so I always have a Gewurztraminer nearby, such as Zarcillo Gewurztraminer from The Wine Society at £6.25. Similarly, if your flavours are on the subtle side, try and find an elegant wine to match.

Sweet Opposites

Lastly, if your food is going to either be a salty or spicy feast, think about how opposites attract: like a honey-glaze on salty pork, or sticking fruit in your curry, a sweet wine can be just what you need. Maybe something like this versatile Vouvray Demi-Sec from Yapp Brothers for £10.95.

Do you have a food and wine matching conundrum? What are your failsafes? Tell us about it in the comments, or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Photo by Oiram Ziul

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...