Thursday, 07 November 2019 12:55

Food-Friendly Wines — Bob's Blog

Written by  Bob Campbell, MW
Wines that are high in alcohol aren't so food-friendly. Wines that are high in alcohol aren't so food-friendly.

What are best food-friendly wines? Bob Campbell, MW offers his picks.

I was recently asked by a student in my wine course to come up with a shortlist of food-friendly wines and, after a little research, produced the following list of attributes in wine that make them easier to match with a wide range of foods:

• Crisp acidity 

• Dry or very slightly sweet 

• Light or medium body 

• Low to moderate alcohol 

• Smooth or slightly rough tannins 

• Neutral flavours

Using those attributes as a guide here is my (controversial) pick of the most food-friendly New Zealand white and red varietal wines:

White Wines (in order of food-friendliness)

• Pinot Gris (dry or very slightly sweet)

• Albarino

• Chardonnay

Red Wines (in order of food friendliness)

• Pinot Noir

• Merlot

• Cabernet Franc

Keep in mind that “food-friendliness” is the measure of a wine’s ability to match a wide range of dishes. I was asked by a reader to list wines that were food-unfriendly, or less promiscuous when it comes to finding a perfect partner. 

Food-unfriendly Wines

• Sweet wines 

• Astringent wines

• Wines that are high in alcohol

Vintage port, for example, forms a wonderful partnership with blue cheese but not much else. It meets my defintion of “food-unfriendly”.

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