Food Matching 101 – just in time for Christmas

The ultimate treat with any meal is finding a matching wine to truly make the whole experience sing. A good food & wine match is where the elements complement each other, and one doesn’t overshadow the other one. The flavour components of the wine and the elements of the dish should be brought together in perfect harmony, in an experience that’ll make you want to keep eating and sipping all night long!

Wouldn’t it be amazing this festive season to WOW your guests with some incredible food & wine pairings? We can definitely help get you starting to think about your Christmas menu.

Let’s start with the basics:

There are four components of wine: acidity, sweetness, alcohol and tannin.

As a general rule, follow these guidelines:

  • Red wines tend to be more bitter.
  • White, rosé and sparkling wines have more noticeable acidity.
  • Sweet wines are, unsurprisingly, sweeter in taste.

There are similar basic components that can be applied to food, too. Is your food sweet, bitter, acidic or salty? A helpful thing to keep in mind is matching the fundamental elements of the food and the wine. Pair delicate with delicate, and bold with bold. That way, one won’t drown out the flavours of the other.

In short, here are some basic food/wine pairing tips and tricks to help you perfect your pairing:

  1. The wine should be more acidic than the food.
  2. The wine should be sweeter than the food.
  3. The wine should have the same flavour elements as the food, eg. delicate with delicate.
  4. Red wines pair best with bold flavoured meats (e.g. red meat).
  5. White wines pair best with light-intensity meats (e.g. fish or chicken).
  6. It is better to match the wine with the sauce than with the meat.

Below we’ve got some wonderful food & wine pairings that should cover most of what we love to eat around Christmas in Australia.

Gorgeously fresh seafood: This will pair deliciously with stunningly vibrant white wines.

Christmas roast with all the trimmings:

Top tip: If whites aren’t your thing, deliciously light reds will go with these foods too. Think about a Pinot Noir like this one from Alex Russell in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley

Desserts: The all-important end to the meal! Whether you go traditional with Christmas pudding, or keep it Aussie with a pavlova, you’ll always want to go with something sweet like the food. Try this triple Gold-winning dessert Semillon or this scrumptious Muscat by Geoff Hardy.

Summer salads: These are a staple meal in the warmer weather, and will pair deliciously with vibrant, lip smacking whites and moreish pinks depending on the fillings.

We hope this gets you started on your festive menu planning! At the end of the day, the most important thing is about enjoyment – Christmas is a time for fun, friends and feasting, and if you find a wine you love that doesn’t follow our advice above, go for it! You should always go for what makes you happy.

Merry Christmas!