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Tips, advice & delicious pairing ideas
The party season is upon us and finding wines to pair with your party spread can be quite tricky, purely down to the number of dishes and therefore flavours to contend with. Fortunately, fizz is up to the task and adds a touch of glamour to the occasion.
The richness of Champagne works well with seafood and also holds its own with meat and cheese. Alternatively, Prosecco is brilliant at balancing out spicy flavours with its subtle sweetness and soft bubbles. Italian wines are wonderfully versatile with food too, so a good Pinot Grigio should cover a lot of bases. For reds, try ripe fruited examples of Carmenère.
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Wines to match fish can be a lot more varied than you might think; different tastes and textures provide you with an exciting range of options for delicious pairings.
One such pairing is salmon matched with a rich, oaked white, especially if there’s a creamy sauce, or you’re serving it with buttery potatoes. A great example would be a rich South African Chardonnay , or for a truly elegant choice try a delicious white Burgundy.
If the dish has more herbs and a lighter touch, it’s worth moving to a lighter style of wine. Italian whites are often brilliant with herbs, such as a Pinot Grigio or Soave And for full on decandence why not try lobster with the new modern classic Albariño, from Rías Baixas in north-western Spain. It combines white peaches and flowers with a salty tang that seems to come straight from the nearby Atlantic.
Many of us only get round to drinking sweet wines during the festive period – so it’s no surprise that we tend to look to the tried-and-tested classics when the Christmas pudding rolls out.
Golden, luscious wines such as Sauternes, Tokaji or sweet Rieslings, would pair just as well with tiramisu as richer, darker, fortified styles such as molasses-like PX sherry or Madeira.
But the New World has its sweet wine traditions, too. Rutherglen Muscat, from Australia, is like liquid Christmas pudding, while the ‘straw wines’ of South Africa, made from grapes left to dry on straw mats in the sun, can be exotically fruited, honeyed delights.
If you still have room or just enjoying a lighter New Years Day treat there is nothing better than a cheeseboard. There are a lot of different flavours and textures on a cheese board making it difficult to match the complete experience instead of one cheese in particular.