Pairing food and wine makes all the difference to the enjoyment of a meal, but it should remain fun and simple. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a memorable host
Bright, white Sauvignon Blanc has a really crisp taste and pairs well with light tomato-based pastas, as well as crispy Chinese duck. The fruity apricot, peach and honey flavours found in many Chenin Blancs are an ideal match for Thai curries and other fiery Asian specialties.
The strawberry flavours found in Rosé bubblies makes sushi taste even better, while the fine bubbles and effervescence complement the creaminess and saltiness of smoked salmon.
Dessert wines, especially those with honey and raisin flavours, are lovely served ice cold with caramelised apple tarte tatin or crème caramel. They’re just as good with chicken liver pâté or creamed mushrooms on toast.
The berry and chocolate flavours of a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon needs rich, creamy and robust meats and sauces such as grilled rump with mushroom sauce.
A glass of ruby Shiraz tastes of berries and pepper and is best with wintry casseroles such as oxtail or a slow-cooked meat sauce like Bolognese.
A wooded Chardonnay is my favourite with just about everything, but if you want to be precise, the hints of butterscotch and honeycomb goes perfectly with dishes that are rich and buttery, like chicken à la king, macaroni cheese and grilled asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. Unwooded Chardonnays can also be a bit citrusy, so enjoy them with fish and chips or Caprese salad.
Pinot Noir is an easy-drinking red wine with soft tannins. It’s an easy match with all kinds of food, especially salamis and pork, and is the perfect partner to a cheese platter of creamy Brie and Camembert.
Méthode Cap de Classique is known to be the best tipple to serve with oysters, but try it with goat’s cheese and fresh figs – delicious!