Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

Master of Wine Emma Jenk­ins pro­vides a few tips for find­ing great meal mates.

WINE AND FOOD – a match made in heaven? Po­ten­tially, but be­ware the match made in hell, as any­one who has taken a sip of red wine right after a bite of choco­late can tell you. So, how does one ne­go­ti­ate this mine­field?

It used to be sim­ple: Cham­pagne, then sherry with the soup, white wine with the fish, red with the meat and port to fin­ish. As set in stone as the cor­rect knives and forks. These days, though, with fu­sion food, shared plates and global graz­ing, it’s not so clear. What then are the new rules?

I think the most ob­vi­ous is to eat and drink what you ac­tu­ally en­joy. There is no point match­ing Cham­pagne with oys­ters if you loathe Cham­pagne or can­not bear oys­ters. Far bet­ter to have the Cham­pagne with your favourite fish and chips or the oys­ters with your usual Aussie shi­raz if that’s what rings your bell.

That said, well-matched food and wine el­e­vates a good meal to a great one. The key is to match like with like, so if your dish is rich and heavy, choose a richer wine style to match; like­wise, a lighter dish re­sponds best to more del­i­cate wine styles. These guide­lines may help:

Fish is best with white wine – al­though salmon also suits lighter reds like pinot noir.

Spicy dishes suit fruity wines with a dash of sweet­ness such as pinot gris, gewürz­traminer and ries­ling, but re­ally hot spice over­whelms wine so stick with a good beer in­stead.

Meat + Big Reds = Good Things. But pork is fan­tas­tic with aged semil­lon and chicken will love a but­tery chardon­nay.

Duck was ap­par­ently in­vented to be matched with pinot noir.

Cham­pagne is def­i­nitely fan­tas­tic with oys­ters but part­ners so much more – you’ll be amazed at what it does for a hum­ble as­para­gus roll.

Dessert wines must al­ways be sweeter than the pud­dings they match – or try do­ing as the French do and en­joy them at the start along­side re­ally good liver pâté.

They don’t talk about port and blue cheese for noth­ing...

Go forth, ex­per­i­ment and en­joy. Bear in mind the above, but re­mem­ber rules were made to be bro­ken!

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