Food & Wine
It's a question that we're asked over and again in our Dedham shop and one we are delighted to answer as best we can. It’s a subject that floats our boat (or pops our cork?) as it gives us a chance to do what we do best: help customers choose better wine.
Here are Mr.Wheeler’s top ten tips for choosing the right wine for the food you're serving...
If you are a fish foody it's the texture of the fish you need to consider first; For example oily fish like sardines are best accompanied bycrisp, white wines, such as Muscadet or Soave. Meanwhile, fleshier fish such as sea bass or turbot are partnered better by richer dry whites such as oaked Chardonnays, Chenin Blancs or Alsace Rieslings. If you are a red lover, you can try a light Pinot Noir with denser tuna or salmon.
If you're serving richer foods, sweeter wines can be a better accompaniment. Scallops are delectable with a demi-sec Vouvray, lobster is luscious with Alsace Grand Cru Riesling while foie gras is sublime with Sauternes.
Curry lover? Serve a hearty Rioja with dishes made with strong Indian spices. Aromatic, oriental spices often require a more fragrant, vibrant white wine such as a Gewurztraminer, a Viognier or Grüner Veltliner.
There's nothing like a family Sunday roast and for this we recommend you present the finest red wines; mature claret with beef, fine Burgundy with chicken and reserva Rioja with lamb - sheer heaven!
If you're serving cured meats or hams, match them with a light red; a Beaujolais or new world Pinot Noir. But it's best to steer away from tannic reds with salty foods.
And don't forget the sauce! If a sauce or jus is central to your dish then it is this that you should match your wine to rather than the food it tops.
Passionate about pasta? If you're eating Italian, drink Italian. A vibrant Sangiovese or fresh Pinot Grigio balances tomato or olive based recipes well.
Summer's coming - or do you generally prefer vegetarian, salads or lighter eating? Marry Sauvignon Blanc with quiches, roasted vegetables or tempting salads.
And don't forget dessert. Here the trick is to serve a dessert wine that is sweeter than your dish. Fresh fruity puddings are lovely with opulent Muscats; serve richer botrytis-style wines if your guests enjoy more caramelised flavours. Chocolate? try a sweet red.
It's a myth that Port is always the perfect cheese companion. Apart from with Stilton, that is, where it is sheer prefection. It can be better to choose a mature red to go with a mixed cheese board, one that is not too tannic. White wines can play their part: try Sauvignon Blanc with goat's cheese, Gewuztraminer with 'stinky' cheeses and Sauternes with salty blue cheeses.
So... there goes our top ten tips, to guide you in the right direction. However, rules are made to be broken, so don't be afraid to experiment and try some daring food and wine combinations. And if you do, call in and tell us all about it!