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What are the basic principals of food and wine matching?


To achieve the best match it is necessary to analyse the basic components in both the wine and the food. The principal is to try to balance 

them so that neither the food nor the wine overpowers the other. Balance the flavour intensity between the wine and the dish. Don’t forget 

to look at the flavours of the sauce too. 


Does it matter what wine is served with a particular food or dish?


First of all it is important to take into account personal taste. If a particular combination pleases you then it is the right choice for you. 

The principal reason for food and wine matching is to enhance the overall experience of a dish or meal by pairing it with a wine that 

will complement it. Think about strawberries and cream, how when combined they are more delicious than when eaten separately, even 

though they are tasty foods individually. It is untrue to say that red wine should be paired with red meat and white wine with fish. In fact, 

a delicate light red or rose wine is superb with Turkey, Ham or Tuna Steak. 


What should I think about when matching wine with food?


Remember it is a matter of personal taste, so choose combinations you find particularly pleasing. 

Many wine styles evolved to complement the cuisine of the region, and so this is a good starting point for finding a food and wine 

combination. Have fun, be brave and experiment. Many excellent combinations have been discovered this way. 

Match ‘like for like’ for example spicy food with spicy wine, subtly flavoured dishes with delicate light wines, sweet wine with sweet 

dishes etc. Balance the sweetness, but importantly never serve a wine that is drier than the food or you will end with a flat, dull tasting wine. 

Look at how the dish is prepared. Delicate flavoured foods, poached or steamed, are best paired with delicate wines, whereas roasted 

dishes are often better with full-bodied heavier wines. 


Is there such a thing as a safe bet food and wine pairing?


Some food and wine combinations work so well that they are truly marriages made in heaven. For example:


Asparagus                                                                Sauvignon Blanc

Christmas Pudding                                                   Liqueur Muscat

Consommé                                                               Fino Sherry

Foie Gras                                                                  Noble Late Harvest / Sauternes

Fruits de Mers                                                           Muscadet

Goat's Cheese                                                          Sancerre / Vouvray

Oysters                                                                      MCC / Champagne

Parma Ham and Melon                                             Pinot Grigio

Roast Lamb                                                              Bordeaux Blend

Roast Pork                                                                Pinot Noir

Roquefort                                                                  Noble Late Harvest / Sauternes

Stilton                                                                        Port

Strawberries and Cream                                           Muscadet / Sweet Vouvray

Sushi                                                                         Rhine Riesling


Are there foods that are impossible to match with wine?


Listed below are foods which are very difficult or impossible to match well with wine. In these instances all you can do is find the best 

possible match, or better still limit the amount of that particular food. For example, horseradish spoils the flavour of wine so take a 

small serving rather than great dollops of horseradish sauce with your Roast Beef.


Artichokes                            Horseradish

Asparagus                            Lemon/Lime

Capers                                 Olives                               

Cheese                                Spinach 

Chilli                                    Tomatoes 

Chocolate                            Truffles 

Eggs                                    Vinaigrette 

Fennel                                 Yoghurt


 How can I match cheese and wine?


Matching wine with cheese is not easy, but have fun and experiment. Not all red wines compliment all cheeses. Blue cheese/Stilton 

certainly works very well with port, but it could work equally well with a sweet enough white wine. Goat’s cheese works much better 

with Sauvignon Blanc or dry white wine than with reds for example. Soft cheeses like Camembert and Brie should be served with 

either full flavoured Chardonnays or soft ripe Merlots. 

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