Choos­ing the wrong wine can eas­ily turn a great meal out or a swing­ing dinner party into a culi­nary dis­as­ter. Here are some of the ba­sic rules about pairing wine that can help even the most in­ex­pe­ri­enced oenophiles get it right.

Exquisite Taste - - Contents - – By Chris­tian Gal­braith

Stay­ing true to our meaty theme, this is­sue’s Ex­quis­ite Wine Pairing show­cases the finest wines that go best with dif­fer­ent types and cuts of meat. Our edi­tors also elab­o­rate on the qual­i­ties of each to en­sure a more sat­is­fy­ing pairing.


The key to pairing most chicken dishes is match­ing the in­ten­sity of the dish with the wine you choose. For light spiced or plain chicken dishes, the white meat pairs well with white wines like Sau­vi­gnon Blanc or Chardon­nay, while the stronger flavoured dark meat also works with medium-bod­ied

reds wines such as Pinot Noir.

Rich dishes with cream sauces pair re­ally well with oaked Chardon­nay or most whites from Côtes du Rhône, whilst chicken paté cries out for a very dry Chenin Blanc. For Chi­nese sweet and sour try a Moscato or even a sparkling rosé; with Thai or In­dian cur­ried chicken or clas­sic spiced In­done­sian dishes like ayam be­tutu, choose a Ries­ling or Moscato where the in­her­ent sweet­ness is

a per­fect foil to the heat of the sauce.


For smoked, grilled or roast chicken New Zealand’s won­der­ful Oys­ter Bay Marl­bor­ough Chardon­nay is a great op­tion. Sub­tly oaky and backed by a tremen­dous fruity char­ac­ter, it also works with chicken

Cae­sar salad and creamy chicken pasta.


The fac­tor to con­sider most when pairing with duck is that it is a rich, fatty meat that needs a wine with sharp­ness and acid­ity as

well as last­ing flavours. More of­ten than not, this leads to a wine where Pinot Noir is the dom­i­nant grape, how­ever, how the duck is cooked and what spices are used can al­ter

the choice dra­mat­i­cally.

Ital­ian duck is of­ten braised with tomato and olives and a qual­ity Chi­anti Clas­sico matches par­tic­u­larly well. For cold duck, duck ril­lettes, paté or ter­rines then a fruity Beau­jo­lais is your

friend, which will pro­vide an epic con­trast.


Hav­ing made the point about acid­ity, there are al­ways ex­cep­tions. Duck cooked in the

Chi­nese style with hoisin sauces is one such ex­am­ple and pairs ex­traor­di­nar­ily well with Château Clinet Pomerol, one of the

finest mer­lot blends on the mar­ket. This ink-pur­ple wine is silky and in­tense on the

palate with notes of freshly picked wild fruits sprin­kled with spices that bal­ance and

con­trast the sweet and salty sauce.

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