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Petersons Wines

Michael Partridge
1 November 2018 | Cellar Door | Michael Partridge

The Fundamentals of Food and Wine Matching

Food and wine matching does not have to be a difficult task, however a lot of customers often find the process quite daunting, especially when dining out. So we have asked our resident expert Michael Partridge for some basic rules to follow to ease you into the process.

1.Think about your matching as if you were entering into a degustation. Drink Sparkling wine first. Follow that up with a lighter unoaked style of white wine. Then move into an oaked or more mature white. After this a lighter to medium bodied red will do the trick. Fuller bodied reds to follow with something sweet to finish.

2. White wine with fish and seafood is a general rule. White wine generally displays more citric acid, a major component in lemons or limes. The exception to this rule is oily fish. Oily fish, like tuna or trout will work beautifully with a lighter red such as Pinot Noir, Grenache or Zinfandel.

3. Chardonnay with poultry is a wonderful marriage. So too can a lighter red work with poultry dishes such as Coq au Vin or duck.

4. Aromatic whites with spicy foods is a great rule. Varieties such as Riesling, Vermentino and Verdelho work astoundingly well with Asian foods. The influence in these foods of chilli, ginger, coriander and galangal are balanced and complimented by these wine’s aromatics.

5. Red wine with red meat is an age-old rule. Although this may be the case, think about the red wine and the type of red meat you are consuming. Shiraz is a perfect accompaniment for beef with its underlying pepper and spice and juicy red fruits. Cabernet Sauvignon works beautifully with lamb because of its greener more herbaceous flavours, along with the inherent black
currant flavours.

6. Dessert wine or sweet wine can be broken up into two groups. Non-fortified
sweet wine such as Botrytis Semillon needs to be served with lighter, fruit driven desserts such as pavlova, citron tart or a fruit souffle. They also work wonderfully with lighter creamy desserts such as crème brulee. Fortified wines such as Tawny, Muscat or Madeira are amazing accompaniments to chocolate based desserts.They can handle the richness and tannin of chocolate that a non-fortified is just not capable of doing.

Remember it is meant to be fun, so don’t stress too much over it! The joy of food and wine is trial and error. Be prepared to get it wrong sometimes. Keep trying and when ‘magical marriage’ happens its well worth the wait.

Happy matching M.P


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