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White Wine and Food Pairing

Choosing wine to marry with your food dishes can sometimes be quite intimidating and so here we try to simplify the main grape varietals as a cheat-sheet for you to better understand the food-marrying process. Wine is of course the perfect partner to food. In any case, anyone who makes it complicated is just talking nonsense, let's keep it simple. We’re going from light to heavy wine styles in this list, so generally that would mean light to heavy foods for pairing.

Riesling
Scents . floral, fragrant, perfumed, citrus
Flavours . green apple, pear, lemon, lime
Riesling is at its best when young however it ages beautifully and fits very well with Asian and spicy dishes. This is a cool climate grape varietal and so the acid retention in the grapes is high, thus offering a balance on the palate to go with spicy food and a wonderful structure and backbone that lets the wine age and develop beautifully in the bottle. Aromatic Asian dishes are a match in heaven for this style of wine.

Sauvignon Blanc
Scents . vegetal, green apple, asparagus, capsicum
Flavours . grassy, lemongrass, gooseberry, passionfruit
Sauvignon Blancs (origins from Sancerre / Bordeaux) are quite different regionally and the style of the wine varies from grassy, linear and dry to aromatic and full of tropical fruits. Always drink this young, it just does not keep although there are some winemakers using oak these days but the freshest styles are the best for simple food pairing. Sauvignon Blanc fits very well with any herbaceous Asian dishes, vegetable dishes, salads and fresh fish.

Chardonnay
Scents. cucumber, apple, grapefruit, nectarine, peach
Flavours . fig, cashew, peach, honey melon
Chardonnay is an amazing grape and massively diverse. You can produce unoaked styles like Chablis or heavily oaked, buttery styles like Montrachet. Basically, if you want it fresh, young and clean, go for a young style that is not too expensive and great with for example oysters and fresh seafood and then upgrade to lightly-oaked for your more complex dishes. Then take a more expensive aged barrel-fermented style for your rich and creamy dishes. Chardonnay is the white grape used in all Burgundian wines.

Viognier
Scents. lolly, boiled sweets, dried fruit, apricots
Flavours . apricot, melon, peach, cream
Viognier is the busty blonde of the whites, offering a curvaceous and almost full-figured chaaracter on the pallet, it has everything, fruit, acid and body. Mainly produced in Condrieu and often expensive, Viognier is a beautiful food wine and is often used as a blender with Shiraz. Marry with barbecued fish and light caramelised meat dishes.

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