By Michael Stubley
How do you match wines and meat? It’s a mystery that only the wisdom of Stubz can enlighten us to.
Selecting a good wine can be tough, the selections are often vast with a wide spanning price range and the decision will become even more dynamic when matching wines with food.
Food and wine matching is almost as personal as it gets, there are some very basic and almost what is considered to be standard pairings that can be an excellent start for anyone new to this extremely dynamic world.
Matching the correct wine with a meal can dramatically enhance the enjoyment of both the wine and the meal. I would like to outline a couple of guidelines that I like to always consider when pairing wines with a couple of my favourite meals. I certainly do not want anyone to be overwhelmed by what can seem like complicated art / science, just start out basic and grow your understanding of food and wine matching as you continue to have a great time eating and drinking.
Firstly, consider the primary characteristics of the food such as weight, flavour, acidity, saltiness, bitterness and sweetness. When we are selecting the wine we should be thinking of which wine will share a lot of the same characteristics, perhaps there is a wine that may pop into your mind when thinking of the certain characteristics of the food. Once this has been done and you feel confident in this area the next step is to explore the component flavours of the dish. We are now looking past the protein of the dish and now focusing on the spices and sauces that are
being used or even how it was cooked, as an example we would want a different wine at a barbecue than what we would perhaps having something steamed. It is an experience that will really assist you with this moving forward however it is important to begin thinking about these things as you begin your journey through the world of wine.
Here are some simple pairings I have put together that I really enjoy;
Merlot; Bruschetta, baked pork, roast turkey, lamb curry.
Shiraz; Chargrilled steak, beef burger, pizza.
Cab Sav; Mongolian Lamb, Lamb shanks, traditional beef lasagne.
Sparkling wine; shell fish.
Sauvignon blanc; salmon, mussels, scallops, tuna, swordfish (Tip: white wine always with seafood).
Chardonnay; Roast chicken.
These are only a few of my favourite dishes and wine types which I enjoy that will help the beginner with a starting point. Also it should be said that everyone should pair wines with the meals that they enjoy and not feel like these are hard and fast rules. Food and wine matching is a concept that should be enjoyed, so the most import thing is to have fun with it.