Tips & Tricks for the Festive Season… Food & Wine Matching

Tips & Tricks for the Festive Season… Food & Wine Matching

There are many different combinations possible in food and wine matching and it has to come down to personal preferences. However, classic combinations are sometimes hard to beat. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Match flavour intensity and body.

When matching wine and food, try to match a wine's body to the power of the strongest ingredient in the food. Serve delicate-flavoured foods such as simple white fish or poached chicken with lighter bodied wines and stronger, more robust foods such as grilled tuna with spiced lentils or osso bucco with full-bodied wines.

When wine is paired well with food, the two can reach a blissful union together in which the performance of each, complements the other.

In which order should you drink your wines?

Go from the lightest, less complex and easy drinking wine to the more full-bodied, rich red wines that are high in tannins. Whites should usually be served before reds, although a full-bodied chardonnay can easily follow a light fruity pinot noir.


Cream goes with rich, creamy wines. If you are using a creamy sauce, go for a full-bodied chardonnay rather than a sauvignon blanc – high acidity wines don’t work with creamy dishes.

Tannins like blood and fat.

If you’re having grilled red meat or roast lamb (which can be quite fatty), pair it with a high tannin red wine such as your favourite merlot, syrah or pinot noir. The tannins of the wine will taste much softer with the juicy or fatty meat and the tannins in the wine will help to cleanse your palate.

Spices & wine.

Strong spices in a dish can easily kill the taste of a wine. Choose aromatic whites such as gewürztraminer and viognier to match a spicy dish. Some sweetness in your wine will also help melding the intense spicy flavours.

Sweet goes with sweet.

When matching deserts and wines, the sweeter the dessert, the sweeter the wine. If you’re having a crème brûlée, choose a late harvest riesling and if you are having a sweeter dessert such as a caramelised apple tart, go for something even sweeter. With desserts, you can also match colours. If you are having chocolate and red berries, a sweet red wine would be a good match.

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