A brief guide to wine and food pairings

Somewhere along the way, I went from being a vodka and coke kinda gal to a wine lady. While obviously I’m not drinking much at the minute – breastfeeding and being woken pretty much every hour don’t go well with a few too many. I do, however, love a glass of good wine in the evening, once I’ve got the little ones snuggled up tight in bed. I’m not a wine snob, tending to opt for what I like, rather than choosing a wine based on its vintage/name/food it goes with.

However, I decided that it was the time I became a little more knowledgeable and raised my palette up a level or two. So I’ve been taking notes on different wines, what goes with what, tips for choosing a good wine. With Christmas around the corner, you’re probably like me and stocking up on a few bottles for the festive period. I have to admit, I do love a glass of Rosé, I went through a phase of drinking red wine last year, but usually, I’m not a big fan, unless it’s paired with a meal.

I popped to Sainsbury’s last week to stock up on half a dozen bottles, and I bought a good selection of wines – a couple of bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa Valley Estate, a couple of bottles of Rosé, Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc by Oyster Bay Wines. Both wineries make some fantastic tasting wines – the Cabernet Sauvignon is deliciously plummy and rich. As for the Chardonnay, it is perfectly dry and fresh. While I tend to buy whatever I fancy when I want a bottle of wine to enjoy in an evening, I was also aware that there are certain ‘rules’ for choosing wine to pair with a meal. Rules that I was a little clueless on, so I thought it best to investigate a little to choose a bottle ready for Christmas Diay Dinner. A little research {and a little wine tasting} and I am beginning to get the basics of wine pairing down.

If you are looking for a few tips before you go wine shopping, here is a rundown of what I learned;

  1. Red wines pair best with red meats and are best balanced with fat
  2. White wines pair best with fish or chicken)
  3. White, Sparkling and Rosé wines create contrasting pairings.
  4. Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling are flexible and go with most foods.
  5. You can either go complementary and contrasting when pairing food – neither is wrong.
  6. If in doubt, go for a Rosé
  7. Bold wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon go best with strong, intense flavoured cheeses, while a white wine will go with pretty much any cheese {bar blue}

If it all seems a bit too confusing, opt for a good bottle of red and white and let your guests choose what they like. Personally, I think that it’s more importnat to have a great tasting wine that you enjoy, rather than the ‘correct’ wine for your meal!

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