As Henry John, marketing manager at 3663's wine company Vivas told us last year, the golden rule to matching food with wine is to consider the weight, acidity and intensity of both the dish and the wine. To whet your appetite futher, we asked our selected sommeliers to reveal their favourite food and wine match from their restaurants and tell us why they consider them to be a match made in heaven.
Gabriel Gonzalez, managing director Lima
Dish: Sea bream Ceviche with Tiger's milk, ají limo pepper, red onion and cancha corn.
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc Ventopuro, from Sant’ Antonio Valley in Chile 2012.
Why: This signature dish works best with delicate, subtle yet well structured wines with a well defined acidity and a gentle, yet complex body. Our Sauvignon Blanc is a beautifully structured wine with both great length and crispy, citrussy notes that pair particularly well with the tiger’s milk. It is also a great value wine.
Mark Perlaki, chef sommelier, Hotel du Vin Harrogate
Dish: Apple Tart Tatin
Wine: Király Tokaji Late Harvest, Szent Tamás, Mád, Hungary 2011 from Hárslevelű and Yellow Muscat
Why: Muscat brings white flowers and spring blossom notes to the fore, whilst the palate reveals ethereal baked apple and sweet tangy lemon scored with a zingy acidity and utter delicacy. Dessert wines are what seals a dining occasion, and can elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary. A great dessert wine is always a trump card when seeking to enhance a dish, and are appreciated equally as an accompaniment to dessert or in place of. It is also one of the easiest prejudices to shatter. Dessert wine marries well with the fruitiness of the desserts, amplifying and enhancing their flavours whilst never getting lost amongst the sugars. It's a play of textures, sweetness and zingy acidity.
Kathrine Larsen, head sommelier Zuma
Dish: Wagyu Tataki - seared wagyu beef with a black truffle ponzu sauce, freshly shaved black truffle and spring onion.
Wine: 1999 Charles Melton Shiraz
Why: The perfect food and wine matching comparison at Zuma is always subjective due to the unconventional style of food we serve. The Charles Melton Shiraz matches perfectly with this dish due to its burnt leather and blackcurrant driven flavour. The flavour is enhanced when the shaved truffle is further mixed into the ponzu sauce creating a perfumed mushroom and citrus flavour to the dish that the Shiraz balances perfectly with. The palate intensity of the Shiraz with its firm tannins, well integrated oak, perfumed tabacco and leather aromas creates a balanced yet truly opulent food and wine matching experience.
Jan Konetzki, head sommelier Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Dish: Isle of Gigha halibut with Atlantic King crab, cauliflower couscous, finger lime and ras el hanout infused broth
Wine: Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.
Why: It can be difficult to find a wine to match with spiced food but Chenin Blanc has a great ability to support spices (in the ras el hanout), but not argue with them. It also brings out the iodine flavours of the fish in a nice way.
Clement Robert, head sommelier, Medlar
Dish: Crab raviolo with samphire, brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce
Wine: Meursault “Les Narvaux”, Domaine V. Bouzereau, Burgundy, France 2010
Why: The freshness of the wine and its minerality marries perfectly with the seafood.
Gal Zohar, sommelier Ottolenghi & Nopi
Dish: Baked cod, squid ink, venere rice, borage (Nopi)
Wine: Cremisan winery's Hamdani/Jandali blend, Palestine.
Why: This wine is only found in Palestine and can only be produced from these grape varieties. It is consistently very good and it's not too rich or cloying. It pairs very well with fish.