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Wine and Food Pairing Guide

The Wine Maestro - Food and Wine Matching - Click to view more about The Wine Maestro Carefully selecting a complementary wine to partner a particular dish can bring out the best of both; transforming a good meal or pleasant tipple into a fabulous feast of flavours. Get this partnership wrong and you could end up with a sour taste in your mouth.

The Wine Maestro simplifies the task of wine and food pairing for you, providing informative, straightforward, expert advice & tips, utilising his wealth of knowledge and experience. Enjoy!

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Chilean Chardonnay Reserva

Recipe:  Christmas Turkey
Chilean Chardonnay Reserva Iím often asked what is the best wine to accompany roast turkey, and I have to respond by asking what are the accompaniments? As it is all the different sauces, gravy and relishes that embellish the simple flavours of turkey that will have to match the wine. So for red wine lovers a classic wine from Spain, Rioja - preferably a Riserva - would be ideal as it has the weight and flavour to chime with the rich sauces. If you prefer white, a dry wine with richer flavours would fit the bill, and I suggest another Reserva, this time a Chilean Chardonnay: it is called a Reserva as it has some oak ageing which gives the wine some complexity without being overwhelming. A special treat which would be fun and very Christmassy is Sparkling Red - yes, I do mean sparkling red! South Australia has a tradition of making sublimely fruity, dry Sparkling Shiraz and you can find them at better wine merchants. Look for one with a few years' age as the flavours will have developed delightfully.
I love a good Chardonnay with Turkey! And why not buy a half case? This versatile wine compliments all manner of dishes from smoked salmon or oysters, to roast chicken or pork.

Claret, especialy Margaux

Recipe:  Roast Goose with Prune and Chestnut Stuffing
Claret, especialy Margaux Goose and Christmas is the ideal opportunity to pull out all the stops. Red goes particularly well but it mustnít have much tannin, so dig out a mature Claret (red Bordeaux) from your cellar or good local wine merchant. If you can look for a Margaux from a good year such as 2003, 2000 or 1996.
A good Margaux is a delicious treat, and a perfect match for game, especially the richer flavoured birds like duck or partridge. Great with barbecued ribs too.

Dry Vintage Cider or Chablis

Recipe:  Chicken with Braised Celery & Cider
Dry Vintage Cider or Chablis The celery goes well with chicken, and as cider is used in the recipe, it would seem churlish not to enjoy a good vintage cider, preferably organic and dry.
Dry Crisp Apple Cider, works so well with pork; whether it is a slab of pork belly or the good old sausage, you have a winning pairing. Also, as with this dish, pair with hearty chicken or pork casseroles, especially if they contain bacon or apple.

English White

Recipe:  Braised Red Cabbage
English White I love this red cabbage dish and it could be eaten all on its own with enjoyment. There is an inherent sweetness as well as acidity from the vinegar, so I suggest a medium white wine from an English vineyard. English wines have come of age and are well worth a try!
English wines are really setting a standard now with award winning vineyards in Surrey, Kent, Sussex & Essex. The 'Surrey Gold' pictured is a really good medium wine to try.

Vermentino from Sardinia

Recipe:  Green Pesto Turkey Salad with Pine Nuts and Iceberg
Vermentino from Sardinia The pesto gives the turkey a lift and a Vermentino dry white from Sardinia would be just the match for the herby, cheesy hints in this good recipe. I sometimes think we have turkey at Christmas for the leftovers...
Vermentino is delicious with fish or seafood dishes, from Crayfish to the prime John Dory or Sea bass. Try with fish broths or stews also; especially the more Mediterranean varieties.


Recipe:  Cauliflower, Broccoli & Mature Cheddar Gratin
Vouvray A lovely warming and satisfying recipe. Donít overdo the cheese and itíll be easier to match a wine, which should still not be too dry. Vouvray from the Loire, an off-dry white wine made with Chenin Blanc grapes, will have the weight and flavour to marry well with this traditional delight.
Vouvray complements chicken or veal dishes in light creamy sauces. On a creamy note, try a glass with a good Camembert - you will not be disappointed.