Still nervous about the whole food and wine matching thing?
It isn’t an art, or a mystery...
Let's start with hot tips
Sparkling is an incredibly versatile food wine: it loves salt, umami and smoke flavours; and its combination of acid and bubbles helps it cut across fats and oils, which makes it a dream combination with a traditional Fish and Chips!
Surprisingly, chocolate and dry red wine is not a match made in heaven: the tannins in each can interact, causing unpleasant bitterness.
BUT – for a mind-blowing taste experience, try pairing white chocolate with… Sauvignon Blanc! Choose a tropical, passionfruity Australian or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and get ready to be astounded.
Black and White? Truffles and Fries?
Contrasting matches take the opposites attract approach - pitching flavour and texture combos from opposite ends of the spectrum to create balance.
Think: a lively young Riesling with scallops in a rich coconut sauce: sweet, luscious Tawny partnered with a stinky blue cheese; or a crisp young Chardonnay with rice and pasta dishes.
Pink and Red? Chili and Crab?A complementary match balances the weight, texture, and flavour of the food with a similarly weighted and flavoured wine.
Think: aromatic and zesty Riesling with Thai red curry… full-bodied Cabernet with a rich Rendang style dish… earthy Pinot Noir with Mushroom based stir fry dishes.
There are a couple of notoriously tricky foods to wine match: asparagus, artichoke, green beans for example. With these, complementary matching is the way to go. Imagine herbaceous cool climate Sauvignon Blanc with a green bean salad.