Fine Wine and Food Connoisseurs

At the London based independent brokerage BWC Management & Consulting, it is all about the quest to explore the finer things in life. We believe that the delicate balance that a top quality wine brings to the palate, when correctly combined with culinary fare, is a voyage everybody should regularly embark on. Wine is not only a flavour enhancer, but also an excellent alternative investment and an age old art form. To harness the full potential of this exquisite liquid, it is important to be aware of the social decorum attached to tasting and drinking wine – and also to know a bit more about the wines and how to successfully pair it with food.

It is not Just About Swirling and Sniffing

Wine can be enjoyed in many different ways but most commonly as an aperitif, at the table during a meal or as an end to a meal to provide a sweet closure. Temperature is the first consideration and a good rule of thumb is to serve red wine at 18C and white wine at 11C. Depending on the age of the wine, it should be decanted between 30 minutes and an hour before being served. This allows the wine to breathe and improves the flavour and aroma. Red wines in particular are enhanced with aeration. Use a stemmed glass to keep the temperature stable, enjoy the bouquet and finally savour the taste. The fundamental food and wine pairing rules are: red with meat and white with fish, and the heavier the meal, the more robust the wine should be.

Vigorous Reds

Fine Wine and Food Connoisseurs

The full-bodied, earthy and spicy flavour of a quality Shiraz is ideal with red meat and hearty stews and the celebrated Cabernet Sauvignon can be similarly matched with stronger flavours. Merlot is softer and more flexible when paired with food. This wine’s signature ’round’ taste makes it easy to drink with a large variety of dishes. The complexity that Pinot Noir offers is particularly well matched with chicken, lamb and salmon.

Refined Whites

Versatile and balanced, Riesling increases in intensity with age and complements most chicken and fish dishes. Spicy food is particularly enhanced with the fruity flavour of Gewürztraminer and the wider-bodied Chardonnay is ideal with flavourful seafood dishes like smoked fish. Young Chardonnay suits Italian dishes and the older and smoother Chardonnay is better suited to being enjoyed with strong flavours like mature cheese. The crisp elegance of Sauvignon Blanc is a distinguished accompaniment to even the most delicate fish dishes, while also being suitable to poultry and light meals like salads.

To end it all

In conclusion, a good dessert wine brings the journey of flavours full circle. It appeases the senses and leaves the diner ready for yet another taste adventure, made particularly enjoyable by having the right wine as travel companion.

What to uncork when you light the barbecue

We’ve had a few glimpses of barbecue weather already this year, and if that wonderful smell of charcoal and grilled meat wafting from gardens hasn’t tempted you to dust off your own barbecue yet, it’s probably just a matter of time.

There’s nothing wrong with just cracking open a beer with a barbecue but it’s also a great opportunity to experiment with some interesting wine and food combinations – that lovely smoky flavour and texture that you get off barbecued food lends itself to wines that you might not usually consider. Below are some combinations that we’ve been tentatively exploring when the sun’s been out, and that we’ll definitely be experimenting with once the warmer weather is here.

Halloumi

Grilling at summer weekend

This hard Cypriot cheese has become a barbecue favourite in recent years. It’s saltiness and the smoky flavour that develops when it blackens make it a great classic match for Alsace Riesling – the racy acidity balances the salt and neither the wine nor cheese is overpowered. If you want to try something different, try a youthful New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The sultry smoky whiff from the wine makes it a really interesting accompaniment.

Sausages, burgers and steak

The Australians know a thing or two about barbecuing and their robust Shiraz-based wines provide a match made in heaven for barbecued red meats. However, if you want to try a different approach, how about a Primitivo from Italy? Primitivo is a similar grape to Zinfandel and has a slightly spicy, earthy edge to it that just loves a barbecue.

Chicken

You might want to reach for a full-bodied Chardonnay with just a little oak – either a good Burgundy or something from California perhaps. If you are marinating your meat in a spice rub, it is worth taking this into account when you match your wine – a spicy Gewurztraminer from Alsace or aromatic Southern French white would also be a great match.

Seasonal grilled vegetables

we’re coming to the end of the British asparagus season now but in any case most of the vegetables of spring are green in colour. Vegetables like asparagus, artichokes and fennel have strong flavours and it pays to be adventurous with the wines you choose. Think about Gruner Veltliner, Albariño or Semillon – served lovely and cold all of these will go down a treat.

Don’t forget to keep some rosé in the fridge too – it’s not just a marketing gimmick that rosé is great with a barbecue, it is absolutely true! Consider a big Australian rosé with spicy pork or sipping on a delicate Provençale as an aperitif while you are savouring the aromas and waiting for your food to cook.