WINE O’CLOCK: For every tasty dish there’s a perfect partner
I recently enjoyed the company of a woman who owns a wine bar and the chef who works for her. Unsurprisingly, the conversation turned to matching wine to food. It is an unnecessarily complicated business, in my opinion, as well done by trial and error.
But their opinions were interesting and here are a few of them. The match-making is theirs, the wine choices are mine.
Chianti, Valpolicella or a good Beaujolais. (Madame Parmentier Régine, €9.99, Lidl)
Champagne is traditional, so is Guinness – and who would argue with either. But you could also try Chablis or Muscadet. (Domaine de la Chauvinere Muscadet de Sevre, €14.95, O’Briens).
Socialists are split on this and so were my companions. One said Riesling, the other Pinot Gris. One said Gewurztraminer, the other couldn’t pronounce it. (Insight Vineyard Gewurztraminer, €16.95, O’Briens)
SUSHI and SASHIMI
Sake, if you want to be authentic. But beware, the good stuff is expensive, the cheap stuff can be the equivalent of cooking sherry. The same might be said of sparkling whites which are also a good match for these Japanese dishes. (Cremant de Bourgone Simmonnet-Febvre gives champagne a run for its money for less of your money. €24.99, Worldwide Wines, Waterford).
Also frittata, quiche and other eggy things. Soft light reds such as Merlot, Pinot Noir or the always reliable Fleurie. (Joseph Drouhin Fleurie, €19.50, Ardkeen Store, Waterford).
Riesling or Chenin Blanc. (Jean Cornelius Alsace Riesling €9.99 Lidl).
Good burgundy reds or Spanish reds. (Toro Loco Reserva. A nice blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and other Spanish grapes. Good value at €7.99 from Aldi).
For blue cheese, sweet, full-bodied whites such as Sauternes. For hard cheese, reds from Bordeaux, vintage Port or a good Cabernet Sauvignon. For soft cheeses such as Brie, fruity whites like Vouvray, Picpoul or Chenin Blanc. (Domaine de la Madone Picpoul de Pinet, €12.95, La Touche Wines, Greystones).
One clear winner here. Dadá No 8. Silky perfection from Argentina. (€10 from Dunnes and many other stores).
Sweety sweets and sweet wine strike me as over-powering but the advice of the experts was to pick a wine that is sweeter than your dessert because any wine that is less sweet will taste unpleasantly tart. (Piétri-Géraud Muscat de Rivesaltes, €20.80, Le Caveau, Kilkenny).