The Best Wine With Sushi and Why It’s A Match Made In Heaven

An image of two people enjoying a selection of sushi

Sushi and wine make an excellent pairing once you know what you’re doing. This delicate Japanese cuisine has been enjoyed for many years in Western countries. While you might instinctively pair sushi with sake, there are plenty of exciting wine pairing options that are equally delightful.  Below, we share tips on how to pair wine with sushi and the best wine with sushi pairing options that you can try with this diverse Japanese cuisine.  What to Look For When Pairing Wine With Sushi The best wine with sushi is one that matches the dish’s simplicity and delicate nature. Various cooking styles, ingredients and flavours are used in sushi making. When approaching a sushi wine pairing, you must first look at the dish’s components to ascertain which type of wine would make a good pairing.  Once you have done that, it is essential to look at the following elements of wine: acidity, texture, body, tannin and aromatic profile.  Acidity The main ingredient of sushi and sashimi is raw fish or seafood. Depending on the type of fish used, you will need to be mindful of acidity. A wine with high acidity should be paired with fatty fish such as salmon or bluefin tuna. The wine’s acidity cuts through the fattiness of the fish as well as cleanses the palate for the next bite. Pacific yellowtail or snapper, for example, is lighter, so pair best with a wine with slightly less acidity.  Texture and Body Subtlety is key to a successful sushi wine pairing. A wine that is too bold in profile or lacks crispness can unbalance the pairing. For body, stick to light-bodied wines that complement the richness of the fish. In this instance, because most sushi is delicate yet flavorful, a light-bodied wine that has a complex profile with a good acidic backbone like a good Pinot Noir or Riesling makes sense.  The texture is also essential to keep in mind. Different styles of sushi will offer different textures. For example, Japanese uni is known for its creamy texture. You can use the pairing principle of ‘like with like’ but even between would be a contrast pairing such as a dry sparkling wine to highlight the dish’s texture and richness.  Aromatic Profile Lastly, you need to think about aromas and flavours. Although sushi is designed as a ‘one-bite’ dish, each mouthful is packed with flavour. Additionally, the condiments you use, such as soy sauce and wasabi, will impact your choice of wine. If you prefer sushi options on the spicier side, pair them with a crisp, citrus-forward Riesling or Prosecco to balance the heat.  A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is also a delightful pairing. Its citrus and grassy characteristics will complement the fresh aromas of sushi while also neutralizing the salty flavours of soy sauce.  Best Wine With Sushi: Pairing Options The best wine with sushi can be one of several options depending on your choice of sushi. Whether you are a fan of sweet wines, dry wines or bubbles, …

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Syrah vs Shiraz: An Overview of This Iconic Grape Varietal

An image of a glass of Shiraz red wine

Shiraz, as it is typically known in the new world (also known as Syrah in the old world), offers a juicy and fruit-forward profiled wine. On the other hand, Syrah is savoury, elegant and refined at its best. While they are the same grape varietal, these wines have their own unique characteristics and flavour profiles.  Below, we look at all you need to know about the Syrah/Shiraz grape varietal, including its origins, characteristics, food pairing options, and which bottles of this red wine are our favourite.   Syrah/Shiraz Grape: A History France is often considered the spiritual homeland of this red grape varietal. Famously grown in the Northern Rhône as a single varietal and Southern Rhône incorporated into blends, Syrah was bred in France using the Dureza and Mondeus Blanche varietals. This grape rose to popularity throughout the eighteenth century and continues to be the main red grape variety in the Rhône Valley today.  In 1830, vine cuttings of this grape varietal were introduced to Australia by the viticulturist James Busby. It was here that the New World christened this red wine Shiraz, not to be confused with the Iranian wine region of the same name. Today, Australia has almost 40,000 hectares of Shriaz vines planted across the country – making it Australia’s most planted grape variety.  Famous Wine Growing Regions for Syrah and Shiraz As mentioned earlier, this grape is mostly known as Syrah in the Old World, while it can be called Shiraz in the New World. Yet, here are the most growing regions where you can find this grape varietal:  France France’s Northern Rhône Valley region is renowned for its production of Syrah – particularly in the Hermitage, Cornas, and Côte-Rôtie regions. This prestigious area produces Syrah unlike any other in terms of its style. In Côte-Rôtie, you will find fragrant and delicate Syrah with aromatics of black raspberry, chocolate, and charcoal smoke.  In Hermitage Syrah is best enjoyed when left to mature for over ten years. Grown on the hillside , these wines are praised for their deep and robust flavour profile of blackcurrant, coffee, smoke, and candied cherry. In contrast, Syrah from Cornas is the most tannic, with tongue-staining flavours of blackberry jam, violet, and chalk dust.  Australia  In Australia, Shiraz flourishes in Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Hunter Valley. These Australian wine regions offer warmer climates resulting in various styles of Shiraz. In Barossa Valley, Shiraz is full and complex. The flavour profile of a Barossa Shiraz offers powerfully ripe dried currant and rich mocha aromas. These wines are considered meaty with big fruit flavours.  Shiraz from McLaren Vale is a true product of its region. The region’s Mediterranean climate results in a soft red wine with rich red berry flavours such as raspberries and cherry. A McLaren Vale Shiraz also offers black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves notes upon tasting. While less complex than a Barossa Shiraz, this red wine has a bold personality.  Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region and produces Shiraz that …

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Best Wine with Pizza: Top Pairing Ideas

An image of two girls enjoying their pizza and wine pairing

Who doesn’t love indulging in a delicious pizza now and then? This Italian specialty is one of those rare meals adored by everyone. It can be served during a dinner party or enjoyed alone as a midnight snack. Either way, pizza is truly the ultimate comfort food. Yet, many ask: Which are the best pizza and wine pairings?  The best wine with pizza is a wine that matches two components: the pizza sauce and your chosen pizza toppings. Below, we will share our top pairing recommendations for pizza and wine lovers.  Pizza Wine Pairing: Follow the Basics or Think Outside the Box Choosing which wine to pair with pizza can feel a little daunting. Should you pay homage to the pizza’s origins and pair it with Italian wine? What should you do if you ordered a half-and-half pizza with different toppings? The good news is that there are no right or wrong answers. The best wine with pizza is often in the eye of the beholder. Styles of pizza cover a broad category. For this reason, you can pair pizza with red, white, sparkling, rosé, or even orange wine. Yet, that isn’t to say that there aren’t classic pizza and wine pairing principles you can refer to. When finding the perfect pizza wine pairing, consider the sauce and toppings. Tomatoes and tomato sauce are high in acid, tart and a little sweet and have and have a juicy, fleshy texture. So, the rule of thumb is to choose a wine that compliments the flavour profile of the sauce and toppings not overpowering them. A good example for a pairing for a margarita pizza would be a light, dry Pinot Grigio.  A not so complementary pairing would be a Shiraz for example.  Pizzas with meat toppings such as spicy sausage or pepperoni can handle a full-bodied red with distinct tannins like a plush new world Cabernet Sauvignon or a Tuscan Sangiovese. For lighter styles of pizza, such as vegetarian pizza, pair with a Rose or lighter white wine.  Yet, that isn’t to say you can’t think outside the box when searching for the best wine with pizza options. Experimentation is all part of the fun of the wine and food pairing journey.  Classic Wine and Pizza Pairing Options For those looking for fool-proof pizza wine pairings, here are the combinations that we recommend you try next.  Pepperoni/Sausage with Spicy Reds Pepperoni and sausage are classic pizza topping. They can be spicy, bold, and the fat content in the meat make the pizza rich and savory. As we mentioned, these styles of pizza are best matched with a full-bodied red. A juicy Primitivo or a new word Cabernet Sauvignon are great options. Their plush tannin profile provides enough oomph to cut through the fattiness of the meat and cheese but won’t overtake the sensory experience.  White Pizza with Dry White Wines While not everyone is a fan of white pizzas, they present exciting pairing options. The best wine with pizza with a …

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Exploring French Rosé Wine: By Region

An image of three people holding glasses of French rosé wine

Rosé wine is a hit for many wine lovers anytime of the year. While it may seem that its popularity has risen dramatically over the years , the reality is that rosé wine has been appreciated globally for centuries.  Yet, one country’s expression of this style of wine can differ from another. Although rosé is made in almost every wine region across the globe, the benchmark is usually a classic French rosé.  The French set the bar for this refreshing pink-hued wine. French rosé offers a range of styles, including fruit-driven, simple, crisp rosé to deep coloured complex styles.  Below, we will discuss how French rosé became so popular and explore regions renowned for this ever so popular style of wine.  Why is French Rosé So Popular?  Although this wine’s popularity has soared globally in the last decade, France continues to dominate when it comes to rosé wine production. The Provence region was responsible for producing 38% of France’s rosé wine in 2020 alone. While in 2019, France produced approximately 34% of rosé wine’s global output.  Originating in Ancient Greece, it is believed that the Phocaeans introduced the Marseille region to rosé winemaking techniques in the sixth century. Later the Romans used their trade networks to make these pink-hued wines popular around the Mediterranean. This began southern France’s reputation for producing rosé and is why it’s considered the epicentre of rosé wine.  Today, many wine regions worldwide produce and export rosé, including Italy and the United States. But, many wine enthusiasts associate rosé with the Provence style of rosé wine. Known for its iconic pale, dusty pink colour, the Provence region is home to some high-quality French rosé wines.  As demand for this wine grew, many French winemakers responded by creating a wider range of styles and varieties of rosé enjoyed today by many worldwide.  Rosé Wine by Region: Exploring France While many gravitate towards Provence rosé wine, several regions across France deserve recognition for their craftsmanship of beautiful and diverse expressions of this pink wine style.  Provence French rosé winemakers from Provence typically blend Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah to make light coloured rosé with simple notes of light red  fruits and sometimes a savoury note on the palate.  As we mentioned above, it is a Provence rosé that is mostly thought of when we think of French rosé. As a wine region, Provence has four appellations that produce rosé wine in various ways giving each one a unique identity and flavour profile:  Coteaux d’Aix en Provence: Winemakers in this appellation add the Cabernet Sauvignon grape as part of their French rosé blend. This provides the wine with more structure and body.  Côtes de Provence: The Côtes de Provence rosé is classically simple, crisp and fruit-forward. It displays the iconic red fruit aromas and is a beautiful summer sipper.  Coteaux Varois en Provence: Balanced, aromatic, and rounded are some words that you can describe this appellation’s take on rosé wine.  Bandol: With the addition of Mourvèdre grapes, the Bandol appellation …

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Sauvignon Blanc: Why is This Grape Varietal So Popular

Sauvignon Blanc wine is iconic for its acidity, versatility and food-friendly flavour profile.

Sauvignon Blanc is the second most popular white wine in the world, after Chardonnay. Globally, sales of Sauvignon Blanc increased 38% in 2021, more than the overall average increase in wine consumption. Despite its popularity many wine lovers can be unsure of its origins and distinctive taste profile. Sauvignon Blanc is a wine that has expressive and aromatic aromas ranging from tropical notes to crisp citrus and grassy.  Additionally, its memorable, refreshing acidity leaves a lasting impression on the palate. Below, we explore the origins of Sauvignon Blanc, its growing regions, characteristics, styles, and much more. Let’s get started.  Sauvignon Blanc: Exploring Origins, Growing Regions and Grape Profile  Native to southwestern France, Sauvignon Blanc became recognized during the 18th century, but, here are reports of it being mentioned as early as the 1500s. Despite its origins, this grape was predominantly found in the Loire Valley as a wild-growing plant before spreading to Bordeaux.  One of Sauvignon Blanc’s parental grapes is Savagnin (it’s not clear who the other parent was). That makes this grape a sibling of Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc, Silvaner, and Verdelho, among several other grapes that originated in central France. This grape is also an essential to the creation of the ever so popular Cabernet Sauvignon as it was crossed with Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux during the 17th century in southwestern France. As it’s popularity grew, the Sauvignon grape was introduced to California and New Zealand during the 1960s and 1970s, where it flourished. It is a grape that can be found as a single varietal wine as well as in blends, its reputation as a versatile wine continues today.  Grape Profile Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape known for its high acidity and light to medium body. This grape can produce aromatic and distinctive wines depending on various factors. It is best suited to regions with a cooler climate. Yet, it can adapt to many growing conditions which contribute to the varying styles in the market. Grown in a cooler climate, this grape will produce a wine that displays more crisp and mineral qualities. Whereas, in warm temperatures, this grape will produce a wine that has richer tropical notes.  Where is Sauvignon Blanc Wine Grown? While many will still claim that Loire Valley’s terroir produces the best expression of Sauvignon Blanc there are many other regions who have become known for high quality Sauvignon. Here are some of the top growing regions for this grape:  Loire Valley, France: The Loire Valley region produces a Sauvignon Blanc that is floral, zingy and has noticeable minerality.  Bordeaux, France: In Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc grapes are used as in blended wines. A Bordeaux Blanc uses a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and other white grapes. It is produced in both dry and sweet styles.  Marlborough, New Zealand: Sauvignon blanc comprises 72% of New Zealand’s overall wine production in New Zealand  and the production in Marlborough contributes to a big portion of that. This expression is typically fruit-forward coupled with pungent green …

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The Ultimate Pinot Grigio Wine Guide

A lady holding a glass of Pinot Grigio while waiting for her meal to be served.

Pinot Grigio is a light, delicious, and zesty white wine that is a favourite among many wine lovers. Originating in France, this ubiquitous white grape varietal is anything but simple. Below, we’ll introduce you to one of the most popular white wines worldwide.  Discovering Pinot Grigio: A Versatile White Wine  Pinot Grigio (or “Pinot Gris”) first appeared in Burgundy, France, as early as the Middle Ages. A mutation of Pinot grape family, this versatile grape became known for its peculiar grey-ish purple skin colour – hence, where it got the name of Pinot Gris.  In the 1300s, the Pinot Gris grape was introduced to Switzerland, where the vine flourished. It later had undeniable success in Italian wine-growing regions such as Lombardy, Trentino, the Veneto, and Alto Adige. It is here that the grape got its Italian name of Pinot Grigio.  Many wine enthusiasts often ask: What is the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris? One common misconception is that these are two different grape varieties – but this isn’t true.  They are two sides of the same coin. The core difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio lies in the produced style of wine. Pinot Gris, grown in Alsace, produces a medium to full-bodied wine that can be dry but also can be sweeter and has more texture in the mouth. Pinot Grigio from Italy, on the other hand, is known for being lighter in structure, simpler and fruit forward.  What is the Tasting Profile of This Wine? This dry white is praised for its refreshing acidity and food friendliness. Primary fruit flavours of Pinot Grigio tend to fall within the citrus family of lemon and lime as well as stone fruit such as peach or apricot and tree fruit such as green apple and pear. However, you may also discover some floral aromas such as honeysuckle and white blossom and a faint honeyed note.  Although it is known for its unusual skin appearance, this grape varietal’s appearance can vary significantly depending on how the winemaker vinifies the wine. If the juice is left to macerate on its skins the wine will have a pink hue to it. If not, the colour will be a pale lemon colour. So, this grape can be fun for a winemaker to experiment with. One thing that you are guaranteed with Pinot Grigio, regardless of whether it came from Italy, France or somewhere else is that you’ll receive a wine that is food friendly and enjoyable. Best Pinot Grigio Food Pairings  This versatile wine is an ideal companion to summery, light dishes, and popular Italian staples. Due to its high acidity, light body, and delicate flavours, it is best paired with a dish that will complement and not overpower its outstanding qualities. If you are in the mood for fish or seafood, we suggest pairing a Luigi Righetti Pinot Grigio 2020 with grilled shrimp and lemon. The citrus of the lemon will bring out the crisp acidity of the wine. Vegetable-based risottos such …

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Pinot Grigio vs Sauvignon Blanc: Which is Which?

Pinot Grigio vs Sauvignon Blanc is a comparison that has puzzled many wine enthusiasts

Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are two renowned white wines. Some wine lovers are fans of both. At the same time, others are devoted to one over the other as personal taste plays a significant role in wine preference.  When it comes to Pinot Grigio vs Sauvignon Blanc, you must educate yourself on the core similarities and differences of these two white grape varietals. Below, we’ll explore each grape’s characteristics and how to distinguish one from the other.  Pinot Grigio vs Sauvignon Blanc: A Brief Summary Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio wine both originate from France. However, Pinot Grigio is primarily associated with Italy (the French call this grape Pinot Gris). These white grape varieties produce versatile, distinctive, and aromatic wines.  Many would be unable to distinguish these two wines from each other on looks alone. Despite having similar hues, their flavour profiles set them apart. Pinot Grigio is known for its subtle fruit flavours, while Sauvignon Blanc’s acidity and grassy notes pack a punch upon tasting. Yet, how do these grapes contrast and compare? Let’s explore. What is Pinot Grigio? Pinot Grigio  is light-bodied, dry white wine, and its best examples have zesty acidity with lemon, lime, green apple and honeysuckle aromas. It is a white mutation of the Pinot family, and the skins have a slight grey-blue to brownish pink hue. This grape grows best in cooler climates however it is known and increasingly planted in less classic wine regions that are warmer in nature. Typically, the fermentation process for Pinot Grigio wine takes place in stainless steel tanks to retain its crisp acidity and fruit forward aromas.   Growing Regions Pinot Grigio is primarily produced in northern Italy, especially in Alto Adige, Lombardy, and Veneto.  Here winemakers make a light-bodied dry wine celebrated as an ‘everyday wine.’ But, Pinot Grigio is grown in many other regions worldwide. Here are some of the most popular:  Alsace: Known as Pinot Gris in Alsace, this grape has been cultivated across Alsace since the 16th century. Pinot Gris wine from Alsace comes in three styles: dry, off dry, and sweet.  New Zealand: The Pinot Gris grape is grown all across New Zealand. Unlike an Italian Pinot Grigio, winemakers here produce a full-flavoured wine that is richer in texture.  California: San Joaquin, Sacramento, and Monterey make the majority of California’s Pinot Grigio wine. These medium-bodied wines have crisp, bright acidity.  Aroma & Flavour Profile A Pinot Grigio’s flavour profile varies depending on region and producer. However, there are shared similarities between all styles. Aromas can range from notes of bright citrus and peach to honey to more floral scents such as honeysuckle. On the palate, Pinot Grigio is known for hints of citrus fruits, including:  Lemon Lime  Pear Green apple Peach Apricot White flowers  Almond Spices Style Pinot Grigio wine is a dry wine, particularly coming from an Italian region. Yet, it is possible to find sweet styles in the Alsace region of France. Winemakers in Alsace harvest the grapes later in the …

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Best Wine to Enjoy With Valentine’s Day Dinner

An image of a couple enjoying Valentine’s Day wine pairing options

February 14th is right around the corner which means many of us will be looking for Valentine’s Day wine pairing ideas. Are you looking to spoil your other half with a romantic, home cooked meal? Planning on bringing them to a restaurant but not sure which wine to choose? If so, this article will look at the best wine for Valentine’s Day and share some of our favourite wine pairing options.  Valentine’s Day Wine Pairing: Expert Tips Regardless of whether this is your first Valentine’s Day together or you’ve been a couple for many years, planning a romantic dinner can feel a little intimidating – especially when it comes to choosing a Valentine’s Day wine pairing. This is normal and to be expected.  Experts believe that there are several tips you should keep in mind when picking the best wine to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. First, you’ll need to decide whether you will be pairing each meal with a different wine. If you are only picking one bottle of wine, make sure that the wine’s profile will pair with each of the courses you cook.  If you are choosing to have multiple wine pairings during your Valentine’s Day meal, make sure to follow the wine pairing principle of matching body with flavour. A Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, pairs best with meats and dark chocolate. Dry white wines, on the other hand, pair better with lighter dishes such as delicate white fish.  Of course, no romantic meal is complete without a glass of sparkling wine to toast with. Ideal for pairing with Valentine’s Day dishes or as an aperitif, remember to keep flavour and acidity levels in mind. Make sure that the sparkling wine isn’t overpowering the dish and vice versa.   Best Wines For Valentine’s Day: A Guide Valentine’s Day is the perfect night of the year to enjoy some of the most romantic wines and dishes on the market. Oysters, dark chocolate, Champagne…need we say more? Below, we share our guide to the best Valentine’s Day wine pairings all couples or friends should try this February.  Oysters and White/Sparkling wine Oysters are known as an aphrodisiac. Typically served on the half-shell, many restaurants chose to include this famously romantic ingredient on their Valentine’s Day menu. While you may feel intimidated preparing oysters at home, they can be easily shucked ahead of time and are excellent when paired with Champagne or a Sauvignon Blanc.  Champagne and oysters are considered as an iconic duo – a classic food and wine pairing option. According to science-backed research, the reason for this is that both Champagne and oysters share complementary umami flavours that enhance the taste and make this Valentine’s Day wine pairing work harmoniously.  Clean, crisp white wines work just as well. The fruit-driven and light-bodied nature of the wine will bring out subtle and complex flavours of the dish. While its high acidity will cut through the fatty nature of the oysters. Consider trying the Domaine Robert Vic Mas de la Source …

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Healthy Eating: Food and Wine Pairing Ideas

ATTACHMENT DETAILS An-image-of-a-couple-trying-some-healthy-food-and-wine-pairing-options

Just because you have new health goals in the new year doesn’t mean you have to give up wine. While many will be following a new diet that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a healthy meal with a glass of wine.  Below, we discuss the best food and wine pairings that will help you stay on a healthy track without giving up the things you enjoy.  Food and Wine Pairing Ideas: Top Tips for Healthy Meals Healthy eating is on many people’s minds as January rolls around. Maybe you indulged over the holiday season, or you set new health goals for yourself. Whatever the reason, deciding to eat healthily is the first step to making a positive change in your life. Not sure what this means for food and wine pairing?  Wine pairing principles stay the same regardless of whether you are eating a healthy, homemade meal or your favourite fast food. Think about the weight of the food, the flavour profiles, and regionality.  Healthy meals typically include fresh ingredients on the lighter side such as vegetables, fruit, organic meat, or fish. For that reason, any wines that pair with a healthy dish should aim to balance it out. A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and a white bean and tuna salad do not make a good pairing.  Flavours also play a role in healthy food and wine pairing. By complementing the flavours of a dish with the wine, you can make sure that one isn’t domineering the other. If you have a dish that offers an earthy, mushroom flavour, pair it with a light-bodied Pinot Noir from Burgundy. For a dish with more herbal flavours such as pesto pasta, pair it with a Sauvignon Blanc.  Unsure about the right food and wine pairing option for your healthy eating plan? Focus on the region. Spanish-inspired grilled meat dishes pair best with a Rioja red. Or, a porcini mushroom risotto from the Piedmonte region in northern Italy pairs well with a Nebbiolo.  Best Wine and Healthy Dishes: Pairing Ideas All wine (when consumed in moderation) is safe for your health and can enhance the pleasure of a meal. Yet, some wines are ‘better for you.’ Wines vary in terms of calories, sugar, and alcohol content. Those on the drier side – especially dry red wines – are a healthier option. The reason for this is they contain resveratrol which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Let’s take a look at which food and wine pairings are ideal for your healthy eating plan.  Dry Sparkling If you are opting for a dry sparkling wine such as a Codorniu Anna de Codorniu Brut Reserva that has less than 3 grams of residual sugar per liter and offers fresh fruity aromas, pair it with a mini spinach quiche or a salmon salad as an appetizer. The earthy notes of the spinach or the fattiness of salmon will balance with the fruitiness and acidity of a Cava.  For Champagne, consider one that is extra brut or brut which …

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The Ultimate Winter Wine Pairing Guide

The rule of winter wine pairing is to pair like with like. A medium-bodied red wine pairs perfectly with a hearty beef stew.

Winter is the perfect season to relax beside the fire with a cozy blanket and a glass of wine. As you may know, winter brings with it hearty meals that are not only comforting but flavoursome. Below, we look at the best winter wine pairing for starter, entreé, and dessert dishes. The Basic Rules of Winter Food and Wine Pairing Yes, white wines and rosés still have their place in winter. Yet, the colder months are famously associated with medium to full-bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah while enjoying comforting stews, braised meats, and roasted vegetables during the cold months. Transitioning away from the fresh, crisp aromas of warmer weather requires a different approach to food and wine pairing. Keep the following wine pairing principles in mind: body, alcohol, tannin levels, flavours, acidity, and sweetness levels. When it comes to winter wine pairing, we recommend pairing like with like, e.g. rich foods with the full body wines. If you have a delicate starter then you should avoid pairing this with a robust red. Instead, a light-bodied wine would be better suited. Sweetness and acidity are also important. Make sure to consider how acidic your dish is going to be. For example, tomato-based sauces can tend to be more on the acidic side. A wine that has an equal amount of acidity should be served with this dish. For example, a tomato-based pasta dish would pair nicely with a high acid Sangiovese. This ensures each component balances the other out. Consider winter food and wine flavours. As winter meals can be robust in taste themselves, it is best to continue with the principle of complementing flavours. If you are serving a hearty meaty stew, choose a wine pairing that has hearty notes such as rich black fruit and smoke and leather. Best Wines for Winter Dishes With that in mind, let’s explore the best wines for various winter dishes that you can enjoy this season. Below, we’ll take a look at winter wine pairing options you can try for starters, mains, and dessert.  Starters For starters, why not choose a classic artisan cheese and vegetable platter. The mixture of tangy cheese and earthy vegetables would pair well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. This white wine displays citrus and mineral notes meaning it complements goat’s cheese or Brie. Another winter wine pairing option is a light-bodied Pinot Noir with a butternut squash ravioli or a mushroom risotto. The earthiness of the wine matches the earthiness of the dish – easily enjoyed by all wine enthusiasts.  Entreé Hearty stews are an iconic dish on every table during the winter months. A comforting stew is best paired with a versatile Merlot – regardless of whether it’s made with lamb or beef. This versatile, mellow wine offers a soft finish and easy tannins. Its red fruit flavours blend seamlessly with many winter dishes.  For a vegetarian option such as a savoury potato pie with nutmeg and thyme, consider pairing it with a …

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