Here are 5 quick wine tips for foodies. There are lots of ‘food lovers’ and amateur cooks who are very knowledgable and in many cases adventurous with food and ingredients but not when it comes to wine. So here are a some quick tips to help you in selecting wines for your dishes. Choosing a wine to accompany a meal does not have to be an ordeal if you keep in mind a couple of simples rules:
- Think of wine as an ingredient of the meal.
- When selecting the wine don’t leave it to the last minute.
- You don’t have to be an expert nor be intimidated to choose a suitable wine.
- In a short period of time you will have 3 or 4 wines that you like and trust for most occasions.
- Having a wine cellar with a varied selection of international wine is useful (you would expect me to say that being the owner of an online shop of international wines!)
Tip 1: A Wine to go with Whatever is Left the Fridge
You know this scene. The fridge is nearly empty except for some eggs, half a lettuce a couple of tomatoes and some other bits and pieces. Something quick for lunch or in the evening like a tortilla patata, with grilled asparagus and a tomato salad – or similar. Basically you want a wine with crisp fresh flavours will combine well and will enhance, not overpower, this dish. I would suggest a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a South African Chenin Blanc or a Verdejo from Rueda.
Tip 2: Which Wine for Cheese and Cured Meat?
I like surprising people with different combinations of food and wines that waken their palates and senses. Just the thought of cheese and cured meats makes my head spin with aromas, flavours and textures so combining a wine with a plate like this can be a little trickier. This wine needs to have medium to full bodied with a good level natural acidity so the wine is not overpowered by the cheese and cured meats.Try a Malbec from Argentina or a Sangiovese from southern Italy.
Tip 3: A Wine to go with a Mildly Spicy Chicken Dish
You want to surprise your guests (fellow open minded well travelled professionals) with your chicken curry. I must say that beer works well with curry and other spicy dishes, but there are also wines will make the meal special, for example Riesling from the Mosel, Germany or a Gewürztraminer from the Alsace, France or from Somontano, where this grape variety produces some excellent wines. The natural sweetness of these wines combine well with the oils and spices to complete the meal. Try it and let me know what you think.
Tip 4: Red Meat
Some good friends come over and a relaxed meal why not throw some lamb cutlets on the grill or bbq. Simple and tasty. Which style of wine will make it even better? Surprise your guest with a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, one of my favourites is Fromm, a top notch and works great with lamb, a closer to home a really good Rioja, one of my favourites is Artadi, Rioja Alavesa. These wines are really different in style both are excellent wines and will work well with lamb.
Tip 5. Desserts are Better with a good Sweet Wine
Do you know how a good sweet wine be the crescendo of the evening? A homemade pie or cake is a personal and time consuming effort often overlooked. It can be the highlight of the evening if served with a sweet wine that gives this final dish of the evening a really boost? Impress your guests and leave them wanting more. So you could choose a Sauterne from Bordeaux or a German Spätlese or even a Late harvest Muscat from Chile. The sweet wine has to have the right balance of sweetness and acidity to be enjoyed on its own or to accompany the dessert.
(picture cheesecake and Chile sweet)
(top image thanks to Perthnow.au)