Here at The O’ Neill Arms Country House Hotel, we have devised some rules of food when pairing with wine. It’s enough to get us in the mood to crack open a bottle of the finest this weekend and with our Menus, it makes it even more tempting… shall we?
Here are some little rules to keep in mind when choosing your perfect bottle.
‘Great with great, humble with humble’
This might seem like the most elemental of ideas, but for us here at The O’ Neill Arms, the first important principle is simply: Pair great with great, humble with humble. A hot turkey sandwich doesn’t need a pricey Merlot to accompany it. On the other hand, an expensive crown rib roast may just present the perfect moment for opening that powerful, opulent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon you’ve been saving.
‘Delicate to delicate, bold to bold’
Second, match delicate to delicate, bold to bold. It only makes sense that a delicate wine like a red Burgundy will end up tasting like water if you serve it with a dramatically bold dish like curry. Dishes that are bold, spicy, and have hot flavours are perfectly cut out for bold, spicy, big-flavoured wines.
‘Choose a flexible wine’
Think about a wine’s flexibility. Although Chardonnay is wildly popular in many parts of the world, it’s one of the least flexible white wines with food. Chardonnays often have so much toasty oak and high alcohol that they taste hard and dull when accompanied by food.
‘Fruity wines for fruity dishes’
Not surprisingly, dishes with fruit in them or a fruit component to them for example pork with sautéed apples, often pair beautifully with very fruit-driven wines that have super-fruity aromas.
‘Salt versus acidity’
The saltiness in food is a great contrast to acidity in a wine. Think about smoked salmon and Champagne. Asian dishes that have soy sauce in them often pair well with high-acid wines.
‘Beware of sweet on sweet’
With desserts, consider sweetness carefully. Desserts that are sweeter than the wine they accompany make the wine taste dull and blank. In effect, the sweetness of the dessert can knock out the character of the wine. Wedding cake, for example, can ruin just about anything in a glass, although happily, no one’s paying attention anyway. The best dessert and dessert wine marriages are usually based on pairing a not-too-sweet dessert, such as a fruit or nut tart, with a sweeter wine.
There you have it… the perfect wine with the perfect food. If you are joining us to try out our Evening Menus this weekend at The O’Neill Arms Country House Hotel, just ask a member of our team to recommend the perfect wine with our chosen dish.