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The intense savoury flavour of a rib of beef
demands depth and backbone making the
reds of Bordeaux an excellent match.
Particularly those of the left bank, such as Saint-Estèphe
or Haut-Médoc, which traditionally have more Cabernet
in the blend. Scientists have even suggested the high
levels of tannins in Cabernet help break down
the proteins in beef making it easier to digest. Sounds like
a great excuse to open your best Claret.
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.
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
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 treat there is nothing better than a
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.
With gentle tannin alongside sweetness, Port has the
best chance of coping with the diverse flavours, and
it also doubles up as a digestif after a big meal. When
it comes to matching wines and cheese specifically,
there are some divine matches! Sauternes is wonderful
paired with blue cheese, Sauvignon Blanc is ideal with
goat’s cheese and white Burgundy (or a very mellow red)
can be brilliant with soft cheeses.