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Tips, advice & delicious pairing ideas
No need to look any further than Italy for wine matches to go with pasta or pizza. Tomato sauces can work with either white or red, try a crisp white such as St Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio or a simple red such as the Canaletto Montepulciano Abruzzo. Creamy sauces such as Carbonaras are great with the nutty character of Soave such as Inama Vigneti di Foscarino Soave Classico.
With pizza you need to look at the type of toppings for the perfect wine match. If your pizza has shellfish or fish then look for a light white such as Moncaro Verdicchio or even an Orvieto like La Piuma, - both have fresh fruity notes that cut through the fish much like a spritz of lemon. With meatier toppings red is the best choice - either Melini Chianti Riserva or Villa Antinori which work well at cutting through cheese and can also stand up to slightly spiced pepperoni.Wines to pair with Pasta & Pizza
The word antipasti means 'before the meal' and it provides the ideal opportunity to gather all your favourite Italian nibbles together.
The bright colours also look fantastic: scarlet, juicy tomatoes and silky, white Mozzarella strewn with green basil leaves are a must-have, while salami, Prosciutto di Parma, artichoke hearts, grilled peppers and olives inevitably appear in any authentic antipasti.
The sheer variety of delicacies can make choosing wine a little tricky, but you can't go wrong with a glass of quality prosecco. The gentle flowing bubbles are deliciously food-friendly.
A crisp, stylish white like Gavi di Gavi from Tuscany will also provide an admirable partner, but if cured meats and strong cheeses, such as Parmesan or Taleggio, feature heavily, then an aristocratic Tuscan red is a real treat. From a family with over 600 years of winemaking history,Villa Antinori is a great choice.
Our range of vegetarian wines is now more varied than ever.
It's worth remembering that very often the vegetarian-counterpart to a meat dish will work just as well. For example, either a vegetarian or meaty lasagna will work brilliantly with southern Italian reds such as a Italia Primitivo
If you plan to serve a particularly special bottle, adding a rich mouth-coating ingredient, such as cheese, will immediately make any vegetarian dish more wine-friendly. Pulses and nuts also have a similar effect, while mushrooms have a savoury richness that excels with fine Italian reds.Shop Vegetarian Wine
Australian Shiraz or the Brazin Zinfandel have the depth of flavour required to stand up to the bold flavours of grilled meats and sausages. For those who want to a lighter or chilled option for a sunny day, a ripe rosè could be the answer. Try Finca Flichman Malbec Rosè.
For a refreshing alternative to heavier reds, try a chilled bottle of Jacobs Creek Sparkling Shiraz it is great with the smoky flavours of a barbecue – perfect for red wine lovers on a sunny day.
If you are barbecuing chicken, fish or vegetables, a white will ensure the delicate flavours are not overpowered. A crisp refreshing Sauvignon is always a safe - Waitrose Touraine Sauvignon Blanc will fit the bill nicely.Wines to pair with BBQ food
Asian fusion food is based on balance of flavours; sweet, sour, salty, bitter spicy. And the perfect wine match needs to be equally well balanced. In general, a hint of sweetness works really well alongside chilli heat.
Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris or Riesling are all fantastic matches, while Chenin Blanc with its balance of sweetness and acidity is also great choice. In short, when picking whites; dry, crisp and fruity should fit the bill.
When choosing reds, look for light, fruit driven wines with soft tannins that won't clash with spices, such as Pinot Noir or some styles of Syrah. It is also worth bearing in mind that rosè can work well here too, with slightly sweet pinks being the best choice.Wines to pair with Asian Food
As you move to dessert, it's really worth picking up a sweet wine. The main principle here is that the wine should be sweeter than the food, or both might taste a bit odd.
For the sweetest of the sweet, look out for the classic wines of Tokaji, especially Disznókö Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos. The fortified Rutherglen Muscat from Australia or the sweet red,Waitrose Seriously Plummy Maury. are ideal with indulgent desserts. And don't forget Fortified wines, which have great depth and richness – Sherry, Madeira and Port are all fantastic matches for desserts or cake containing dried fruits, nuts or chocolate.Shop Dessert Wines
If you're having a citrussy style of chicken with garlic and herbs, an excellent match is a fresh style of Chardonnay such as Waitrose Chablis or head to Italy for a Pinot Grigio, Vermintino or a good Soave.Wines to pair with Poultry
The different tastes and textures you find in fish provide an exciting range of wine matching options. Salmon excels with a rich white, especially if there's a creamy sauce or you're serving it with buttery potatoes. A great example would be the Rustenberg Chardonnay, but for many the classic pairing is a sublime white Burgundy.
If the dish has more herbs and a citrus edge, it's worth choosing a bright, crisp style. Italy has a fine array of lighter options, such as St Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio.Wines to pair with Fish
The wine you choose depends on what cut of meat you are serving. A slightly fattier cut of steak such as rib eye can handle a more robust red, such as the Arc du Rhône or even a "King of the Rhône" Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Leaner cuts such as a fillet excel with lighter reds such as the Mischief and Mayhem Pinot Noir Burgundy.
How your steak is cooked must also be taken into account. More charred flavours need slightly sweeter flavours. This is where Malbec, such as the Valdivieso Winemakers Reserva really comes into its own. It has seductive fruity flavours which work beautifully with barbecued steaks. If you prefer your steak rare then go for lean wines with elegant fresh acidity such as the Carbonaia Vino Nobile Di Montalcino.Wines to pair with Steak
Beronia Reserva Rioja, £13.49/75cl
Before you try this wine, take a moment to stick your nose in the glass for a good old whiff to take in that delicious smell. It’ll prepare you for juicy dark-cherry fruit flavours and the velvety and luscious texture. This gorgeous rioja is a real treat, the most beautiful accompaniment for the roast lamb recipe. In fact every aspect of this pairing – from the delicious potatoes to the mint sauce - is complementary.
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Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Brut NV 75cl
If you have white wine with fish and chips, why not have champagne with posh fish and chips? This delicious award-winner, made from Pinot Noir grapes (hence the blanc de noirs, white from black, on the label) is bubbly and fruity, perfect with the frothy tempura batter and the very thin chips in this recipe, which is a fun twist on the traditional dish. I am very happy with this playful match.
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Markus Huber Gruner Veltliner Traisental, Austria, £10.79/75cl
I’d always go to a long thin bottle like this for chilli, spices and Asian flavours. If you’re uncertain of what’s inside, always ask for help. There is a hint of ginger and a real puff of white pepper in this elegant and refined Gruner Veltliner, which complements the fish beautifully. This is a wine almost as good-looking as the winemaker… I am told!
Buy now, £8.09
Tre Fiori Greco di Tufo DOCG with Clams & prawn spaghetti
This wine has a really gorgeous fruity zesty ping ping to it, a citrus overtone that matches the lemon twist in this spaghetti dish, so much so that you might use a drop of it in the cooking. This is a satisfactory match that’s pleasurable on every level.
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Waitrose Amontillado Sherry 7scl
This is really left-field, but the combination of these big flavours - the sweetness of the peppers, the bitterness of the rocket and the spiciness of the chorizo - bring out a really lovely smokiness in the sherry. It’s a surprising and unusual match, but delicious and very very Spanish.
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