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Master the art of wine and food pairing

Make choosing your next wine a breeze with helpful food pairing tips from Laithwaites Wine.

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About Laithwaites 

Ever since Tony Laithwaite went to Bordeaux in the 1960s, family and friendship has been central to the company’s journey. The people at Laithwaites owe everything to the many family growers and wine lovers they support and serve today. 

For over 50 years they’ve been delivering wine the right way – from people who love making it to people who love drinking it. They never overcomplicate things. By keeping it simple at every stage, Laithwaites has been able to keep costs down and guarantee authenticity with every single bottle. 

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If you’re taking a bottle or two to share at your local restaurant – and let’s face it, it’s the economical choice these days – selecting the right wine makes a world of difference.   

Hesitating when it comes to picking a wine is normal. Many people are afraid of making a “wrong” decision – or worse – being judged. What we tend to forget is that food and wine pairing is an art, not a science. 

Laithwaites Wine believe in giving everyone the tools they need to make confident wine choices. They want you to know that, when it comes to wine, there are no rules, only suggestions. 

Below are their top tips for mastering the art of food and wine pairing. And to help you along the way, Laithwaites is offering National Seniors members 15 delicious wines for just $135, delivered. That’s less than half price!

First things first

Decide what you would like to eat first before choosing your wine. This way, the wine won’t overpower your meal or vice versa.

Going out?  

Most restaurants publish their menu online. A quick Google search will ensure you can make an informed choice when selecting BYO wines. 

Names aren’t everything 

Passionate boutique producers working next door to big-name brands often make wines that are just as good, if not better. You’ll certainly notice a difference in the price.

Be adventurous 

Take a chance on some alternatives to your regular go-to wines. Love Shiraz? Try a Durif. Pinot Grigio fan? Give a Trebbiano a go. Chances are you’ll find a new favourite. 

Okay, now to the food!

We’ve all heard the line, “red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat”. That’s great advice for the traditional meat and three veg dish but today we enjoy a variety of different cuisines and styles of cooking. What doesn’t change are the basic taste elements of food. Start with these and you will rarely go wrong. 

Salty food 

Sparkling wine and salty food is a classic combination, due to the wine’s zest and delicate effervescence. You’d be surprised how many wine aficionados pop a bottle of Champagne with their fried chicken or potato crisps. The salinity of fresh local seafood calls out for the green fruit and citrus zip of a restrained cool-climate Chardonnay. For a salty-sweet contrast, pair cheeses like crumbly cheddar and blue stilton with a fruity Moscato or an ice-cold dessert wine. 

Fatty, oily and creamy food 

As the saying goes, fat is flavour. And with the right wine, not only are the flavours of your meal transformed, but your wine is too. A rich full-bodied Barossa Shiraz is the wine equivalent of a waiter’s pepper grinder. The black pepper notes of Shiraz work wonders with meaty dishes like slow cooked beef cheeks or a classic carbonara. Oils from the meat coat the grippy, dry tannins found in big reds like Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Durif, shifting your attention to the wine’s alluring fruit characters.  

When cream or cheese-based dishes are involved, pick a silky full-bodied Chardonnay, textural Marsanne, or toasty oak-aged Semillon. Each promises balancing fresh fruit acidity and a lovely palate weight to match the food. 

Acidic food

Acidic foods like tomato-based dishes, salads with vinaigrette dressing, or any plate where citrus is the star, will be well served by an equally acidic wine. Anything less risks the wine tasting dull. Reach out for a Clare or Eden Valley Riesling with mouthwatering lemon-lime aromas or a vibrant Sauvignon Blanc. Italian reds like Barbera and Sangiovese work wonders with tomato sauces or salsas. 

Spicy food 

If you love dishes with a bit of a kick, try the refreshing palate-cleansing acidity of a Riesling or Albariño. Exotic Asian and Middle Eastern flavours are easily enhanced by a fragrant Pinot Gris or floral Gewürztraminer. And if you prefer reds, go with something youthful and fruit-forward, like a ripe Grenache. 

“Off-dry” wines are moreish without being overly sweet. The hint of residual sugar helps counter the heat of the chilli, perfect for a spicy green Thai curry or Indian lamb rogan josh. 

Sweet food 

If reaching out for something chocolatey, like a torte, go for a light to medium-bodied, fruit-driven red like Pinot Noir or Merlot. Pinot Noir is also a lovely option for anything crowned with fresh berries. For pastries with apples, pears, nectarines or peaches, the baking spice quality of Pinot Gris makes it a delicious white to serve. 

​Now you’re a Sommelier

Well, almost! You have the tips and tricks, now it’s time to put them into practice. As a National Seniors member, you have limited-time access to 15 delicious wines for just $135, delivered. That’s less than half price! Simply follow the link below to unlock this special deal. 

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