There is nothing better than finishing work and going for a drink with friends. Wine is a great drink to enjoy with friends, as you can get a bottle and share the experience. But of course wine, unlike most other alcoholic drinks, is also great for enjoying with food – just as long as you get the food /wine combination right. In this article I will try to make a couple of wine/food recommendations to help you along the way.
In summer, at parties and BBQs, a rosé wine or Chardonnay is recommended. However, if you are a big carnivore and will be indulging in lots of red meats and steak, you can’t beat an Australian Shiraz. Shiraz is perfect for BBQs and also, because it is Australian, it typifies this kind of eating. The BBQ is a place where you need something with a bit of flavour to compete with all the rich tasting meat and highly flavoured salads and accompanying sauces.
If you are not keen on red wines, then a rosé wine is a great alternative and will stand up to the flavours of the foods on offer. It also goes well with desserts. A New World Chardonnay, which is a heavier style of white wine, will work well with all BBQ food. In fact, it complements spiced chicken or barbecued fish very well.
If you are having any kind of spicy food (i.e. curries, Thai food and other dishes with a bit of bite) you’ll need a strongly flavoured wine to go with them. This way, the big flavours of the food won’t overpower the wine. There is no point drinking a lightly flavoured Sauvignon Blanc with this kind of food. The wine is hidden. Instead pick a red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, that has some substance and fruitiness. These will work well the fiery nature of the chilli.
For picnic style eating, why not be inspired by the Spanish? A bottle of red Rioja or a sparkling Cava will work well in a picnic situation. A Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc would work well with fish and chicken dishes. And if you are having pasta or pizza, work with the sauce; a red sauce is better with a red wine and a white sauce with a white wine. Go for a Pinot Grigio or Chianti for that typical Italian meal, and enjoy with a big group of friends!
And since wine is a fantastic social drink, get a case in and start planning your next dinner party now. You know you want to!
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Fiona Muller has been writing for over 20 years. She is a qualified journalist and has worked in food and drink writing for the last few years especially about wines for dining. For a great selection of wines, including more information about what foods they go best with, go to laithwaites.co.uk
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