It’s back to ‘wine’ school! Class #1: Matching food & wine

All the kids head back to school this week and you might need an extra glass of wine (or two). At Savvy Company, we want you to put your feet up and get ready for this weeks lessons while we serve up a roster of mouth-watering themes such as: Food & Wine Pairings; Tasting & Storing Wine; Ordering Wine.  Ready for this delicious time table?  Rest assured there is no homework, just practice, practice, practice!

Wine 101: Matching wine with food

Red wine or white wine?

White or red? Forget the old rule of thumb that you match to your meat. Fish, chicken and meat is the canvas—what matters is flavour. Make your choice on the spices, marinade or sauce—choose the wine that will make your meal sing.

Stay close to your roots. Or, rather, stay close to your wine’s roots. Wines are always best matched with foods from the regions where they’re made. Uncork a bottle of wine from Italy with a meal of Italian cuisine.

Wine & Eggs…who’d have thunk it

Matching wine with egg dishes is always a sommelier’s challenge! Be gentle—match a quiche or soufflé with a light-bodied Pinot Gris or unoaked Chardonnay to avoid overpowering the delicate flavours.

Wine & Salad…go dry

Think dry and crisp when matching to salads. The acidity of the vinegar in the dressing can play havoc with the wine, making it taste more acidic or ‘tinny’. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or sparkling wine are always safe bets.

Wine & seafood…try it all

All mussels are not alike. Steamed mussels in a tomato-based sauce match brilliantly with red Italian wines such as a Valpolicella or Chianti. Mussels in white wine sauces go best with the wines they’ve been cooked in: usually Pinot Grigio or Semillion.

Wine & soup…follow the soup’s lead

If you’re serving a rich soup—say a creamy seafood chowder—go with a medium-bodied Chardonnay barrel-aged in oak.

Wine & Oysters…flavors will pop

Make the flavours of fresh oysters pop with chilled Champagne, Chablis or Chenin Blanc.

Wine & holiday feasts…go buttery

For those traditional holiday turkey dinners, a buttery Chardonnay or an earthy Pinot Noir will perfectly complement savoury stuffing, rich gravy and tart cranberry sauce.

Wine & spicy food…look to the hard-to-pronounce wine

Spice it up. If you’re tucking into an Asian dish or Mexican dinner, pop the cork on a bottle of Gewurztraminer – a classic pairing.

Wine & veggies…go dry or go home

Asparagus, spinach, goat cheese, or fish with butter lemon sauce—pair any of these with a dry, crisp, zingy Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine & fish…smell the flowers

Sure, you can enjoy the light floral and apricot aroma of a chilled white wine Viognier (pronounced vee-oh-NYAH) on its own—but why not go for a fuller savoury experience, matching a glass with roast chicken, light cheeses or grilled fish.

Wine & heavier meats…spice it up

Spice, smoke and plum go superbly with lamb, spareribs, barbecued beef and vegetables—and you will find all three flavours swirling about in a glass of medium to full bodied Chilean Carmenère (pronounced car-men-EHR).

Wine & light lunch…think fruity

Appetizers, salads, tapas foods and lighter lunches all go perfectly with the violet, cranberry and strawberry aromas of Rosé wines.

Wine & everything else…

Not too heavy, not too light—for red or white meat Pinot Noir’s often just right.

What does a glass of Aglianico (pronounced ah-LYAH-nee-koh) red wine go best with? It’s partly a question of age. A younger Aglianico has the acidity to suit pasta and other dishes with tomato-meat sauces; an aged bottle, however, goes best with heartier dishes such as stuffed beef tenderloin and veal marsala. 

Call on us for other food & wine lessons!

Our Savvy Team of Accredited Sommeliers would be happy to help you out if you have any questions on which wine to serve at your next dinner party – or better yet, we can organize your very own wine tasting from start to finish. Call us or email us to talk about wine.



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