A lot has been written about food and wine matching but as long as you stick to some simple rules you can’t go wrong

The simple rule with food and wine is to make it easy for your customers. Recommending wines to partner dishes on your menus and specials boards gives you a double selling opportunity. It can also prompt and assist your staff to make informed recommendations.

We have introduced an online food matching tool as well as a food and wine matching wheel which can provide you and your staff with a quick, easy guide to help make recommendations.

Perfect partners

These can be applied to lists regardless of outlet style.

  • Flavour profiles of food and wine should complement each other. Light dishes suit a lighter wine and heavily flavoured dish needs a richer wine. A simple white fish dish suits a delicate Verdicchio or Gavi, while a full-bodied Chardonnay complements a rich fish pie.
  • Meals, and wines throughout the meal, are generally a progression. Move from lighter to fuller flavours and from drier to sweeter. A light-bodied Pinot Grigio can taste thin if your palate has adjusted to that full-flavoured Chardonnay; a dry Sauvignon Blanc can be too acidic after a juicy Viognier.
  • Don’t be constrained by the standard white wine with fish, red wine with meat approach. Just ensure that the flavour and body of a wine work with a dish. A full-bodied Chardonnay will work beautifully with a roast chicken and a light red such as Pinot Noir will perfectly partner tuna or monkfish.
  • Spicy foods and wine can mix. Juicy reds such as Shiraz or Carmenere will be a great partner for an Indian curry whilst aromatic whites such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer will work with fresher Thai dishes.
  • You can reduce the risk for your customers by offering a choice of wines with each dish. Try to include a safe bet and a more adventurous choice. The same applies when thinking about your range of wines available by the glass.
  • Make recommendations for wines to partner dishes on your menus and specials board. This gives you a double selling opportunity.