With or Without Food: U2 can enjoy wine both ways!

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This week we will be suggesting wines to try both with and without food. We must stress though that we are merely paddling on the shoreline of this vast subject, giving you a few ideas in the hope that you will catch a wave and enjoy the ride. You can do as much research into this subject as you like but at the end of the day, you are the one with the answers, after all it’s your taste buds you’re trying to please.

Generally wines which are non oaked, low in alcohol and light in structure are the ones to drink on their own. Your taste buds can home in on the subtle notes and not have to worry about other flavours overpowering the pallet. However, these wines can be matched with some lighter foods such as salad or fish. Here are some links to wines that we would suggest to try on their own:

http://www.evines.co.uk/catalog/white-wines/domaine-michel-girard-sancerre
http://www.evines.co.uk/catalog/white-wines/araldica-piemonte-cortese
http://www.evines.co.uk/catalog/white-wines/ant-moore-pinot-gris

Aperitifs buck the trend a little; although you don’t want a heavy wine before a meal, you do want something a little more aromatic such as a Riesling to accompany a few nibbles or canapés.  Wines suitable for an aperitif have a strong flavour but are easy on the nose, lots of spices and fruity notes to tantalise the taste buds and encourage those hunger pangs. Any sparkling wines or champagnes are good or give the following a try:

http://www.evines.co.uk/catalog/white-wines/turckheim-tradition-gew%C3%BCrztraminer
http://www.evines.co.uk/catalog/white-wines/schloss-vollrads-riesling-kabinett

Rich wines which have a full body and are high in alcohol, such as an Australian Chardonnay, Vienier, Bordeaux or Shiraz can be enjoyed with food. You will know when the wine is too heavy because you will start to feel full very quickly. You have chosen well if you find that the wine is refreshing the pallet during your meal. The flavours from the wine and the meal compliment each other and unify as one on the pallet. You can test this theory by trying the wine before you start your meal and then tasting it again once you have enjoyed  a few mouthfuls of your food.

So, which wines go with which food?  Let’s get personal! Take your favourite dish and set yourself the taste challenge. Let’s use the good old Sunday roast as an example. Over the next four weeks try out a different wine each Sunday, start with Shiraz, then Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and finally Zinfandel. Take notes if you wish but at least remember which one you liked the most and why, so that you know to pick it next time. You can then either repeat the process with another dish or take your favourite wine and serve it with other dishes to see how diverse the wine can be. You might love it with roast dinner and hate it with Mexican, as this all comes down to the flavours unifying on the pallet as mentioned earlier.

Now there’s no excuses, surprise your partner with a romantic night in or invite some friends round and wait for the compliments.

Happy tasting!

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