Food and wine pairing can seem like a daunting prospect, especially when considering how many misconceptions surround the subject. Test your knowledge with our quiz and figure out what dishes go and don't go with your favourite wine. If you feel like you need to swot up first, check out our guide on matching wine and food.
1. Which of the following is true?
Wine increases the heat of spicy food
Wines, especially those spicy, full-bodied, high alcohol reds, increase the sensation of chili heat in food. This may thrill some spice enthusiasts but be warned if you don’t fancy a burning mouth!
2. Which of the following is true?
Light foods and light wines match.
More delicate dishes need a lighter and wine to pair with so that the flavours are not overwhelmed.
3. Sauvignon Blanc does NOT pair well with:
Cured ham is high in salt, which the bone dry nature of Sauvignon Blanc may struggle with. The crisp acidity works well with sushi and also matches the tang of goats’ cheese brilliantly. It can also work well with mussels, particularly when cooked in it
4. Tempranillo does NOT pair well with:
The delicate saltiness of the oysters would be overpowered by the rich, fruity flavours of Rioja. The full-on flavours go deliciously with seasoned meats. Pepperoni has enough of a kick in it without overwhelming.
5. Champagne does NOT pair well with:
Chocolate cake is not a good pairing, the sweet and heavy richness completely overwhelms the delicate bubbles and crisp acidity. The fresh acidity of Champagne cuts beautifully through the fattiness of fish and chips or salmon. Also try it with popcorn!
6. Sweet wine does NOT pair well with:
BBQ ribs are far too heavy and in flavour and would pair better with a powerful red. Sweet wine contrasts well with salty richness of Gorgonzola. Foie gras and Sauternes is a classic combo and as with quail, the richness of flavours work in harmony.
7. Cabernet Sauvignon does NOT pair well with:
The tannins in the wine are at odds with the texture and flavour of raw fish. Warm climate Cab Savs particularly pair better with richer foods like venison, lamb and mushrooms.
8. Oaked Chardonnay does NOT pair well with:
Oaky Chardonnay does not fare so well with spicy flavours, where a fresher wine with high acidity would make a better match. It does have the fullness of body to match well with the heavier dishes such as lobster and richer flavours of roasted meat.
9. Pinot Noir does NOT pair well with:
Spicy Pork Burritos
Spicy Mexican food can overwhelm the more delicate fruit flavours. Pinot Noir from hot climates are more tannic and work well with roasted meat. Lighter styles can pair brilliantly with hake or tuna.
10. Viognier does NOT pair well with:
Although aromatic, Viognier lacks the acidity to match up to the tartness of a lemon-based dessert. It pair wells with delicate spicy flavours in Thai or Moroccan foods. It can also be an interesting partner to richer dishes such as risotto.
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