Tango and the Art of Wine Pairing

Appreciating good food alone is like trying to dance with one left foot and…. no partner.

To get the most out of the multifaceted gorgeous food we now eat, one needs the right wine – think  dance – be it the slinky, exhilarating tango; sexy, slithering samba or just plain ol’ twisting in a ’60’s dance hall,  a partner is needed – paid or unpaid!

Think balance.

A wine needs to balance the flavours of a dish so, with a spicy dish, pick a spicy number like a Taurasi from Campania, Syrah from France or Shiraz from antipodean Australia. A zingy lemon, crab and chilli linguine would require a more complexed mouth puckering citrusy Italian Gavi, a wine with delicate balance of acidity and fruit, produced in the restricted province of Alessandria in Piemonte. Chomping into a thick hunk of juicy Chorizo de Bife (ribeye steak), full of flavour, needs a full bodied wine – think Argentinian Malbec and dream of riding into the pampas, poncho clad with gaucho knife stuck round your waist.

There are hundreds of wines available in this country and at least one WILL fit the bill, be the dish oily, fatty, salty or particularly rich.

Think complement.

Lemon is squeezed over crispy deep fried calamari rings to cut the oil. Grilled Mackerel with gooseberry sauce. Roast lamb with a vinegary mint sauce. Think wine. Citrusy, green apple Sauvignon Blanc with fish. Lamb with a morello cherry nosed Pinot Noir from Burgundy. It all works.

Never fear, there are wines to pair with foods from around the world. Chenin Blanc is fabulous with Thai Green Chicken curry. The aromatic lychee scent of a great Alsatian Gewurztraminer to pair with Cantonese YumCha. Even a glass of sparkling Omar Khayyam with the humble Onion Bhaji would work.

Right down to puddings where the range of fabulously sweet, sticky, luscious dessert wines are now so readily available. Sauternes, Vin Santo, Vino Passito, Tokaji Aszu, Port, Pedro Ximenez, the list goes on.

If all fails, think Michael Jackson, Michael Flatley and the Whirling Dervish – you will not be alone…. Advice is everywhere and one doesn’t necessarily need to employ a highly trained sommelier… go online. Lots of the big supermarkets like Marks & Spencer will have in-store experts, eager to help.

A big THANK YOU to Marks & Spencer for their kind support.




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