As we leave another bumper summer behind, we thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about some basic food and wine pairing drawing inspiration from the Bordeaux Wine Month from Vin de Bordeaux running in-store this September. We hope you can pop in to our store and help us celebrate!
We love good wine and food at EWWines so if you have a dish already in mind the needs a bottle please do ask. We can happily suggest from our extensive range, a drink for every occasion or read below for some of our basic food and wine pairing tips.
Food and wine pairing
Food and wine matching is about balance. The intensity of the wine should match the weight of the dish. Lighter dishes need a more delicate wine, so the wine doesn’t dominate the dish. Richer foods need richer wines to ensure the wine is not overwhelmed.
Other key components to consider; acids and sugars. The acidity of the wine should be higher than the food and the wine should have more sweetness than the dish.
Red wines pair well with bold flavoured meats, earthy vegetables, truffles or mushrooms and have more bitterness which means that they balance well with fatty foods. On the other hand white wines generally pair better with lighter intensity fish and white meats.
Great matches can be created by mirroring many of the main ingredients flavours to create congruent pairings or create a complementary pairing where few compounds are shared but work very well together. Some wines allow for both if you get creative and is where the real fun is!! A great example would be creamy mac and cheese dish with our Entre Deux Mers Chateau Deville Blanc White Bordeaux. The creamy dish is perfect with the zesty Sauvignon fruit and acidity but the added Semillon component adds weight and creates a creamy feel and texture which is congruent with the rich creamy sauce.
A Merlot blend is perfectly paired with game dishes. A great example would be roast duck with a plum sauce and our Badine de la Patache Pomerol which is 70% Merlot and rich, soft and plummy as you would expect from a good Pomerol with soft fine grained tannins after 18 months in old oak vats.
Not to be forgotten, Cabernet Sauvignon with a ribeye steak. Tannins love fat and a big rib eye has more than enough for the thick-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon. Anything from the left bank springs to mind, we have several hand selected examples for all budgets, see our full range here
The more robust the Cabernet Sauvignon wine also think about bold vintages cheeses too, or a tomahawk steak with one of our new in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines, now you are talking!
Basics of Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a moderate maritime climate in the South West of France that sits perfectly on the mid point between the equator and the North Pole (45 degrees latitude). The Atlantic ocean is just to the West of the vineyards which is a welcomed cooling influence. In the best vintages the ocean also provides great balance of warmth from the Gulf stream in Autumn for ripening and sufficient rainfall early in the season for growth with (hopefully) a dry early Autumn. Such a climate can result in the perfect balance of sugar, acids and ripe tannins which explains the remarkable concentration of outstanding wines of Bordeaux.
Many winemaking decisions can be made from harvest through to maturation stage and all impact the final wine. These human controlled processes add to the quality of the wine and are passed from one generation to the next. If you are interested in Bordeaux winemaking a fantastic resource for future reading is here.
In Bordeaux blending (assemblage in French) is routine and crucial to the region. With the 1+1=3 philosophy firmly believed. Once a winemaker has mastered blending they add soul / terroir / regional typicity to the wine. Winemakers may blend different plots, different varieties or different regions depending on AOC regulations with the aim for the best quality wine and purest expression of time and place.