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Archive for the ‘Food and wine matching’ Category

Not all warm meals are meant to be served hot, and not all drinks are meant to be served cold. Welcome to the wonderful world of your tongue, where temperature plays a leading role in your perception of taste.

Temperature can refer to the actual degrees of a meal – such as a warm soup or a cold salad. It can also refer to the spice levels, such as a hot and spicy meal versus a mild dish. Either way, when you are choosing a wine to go along with your meal you should take into account these different factors. Usually, like goes with like in the food and wine world. A cold salad goes well with a cold glass of sauvignon blanc, while a hot curry pairs perfectly with a spicy red. Read on to find out why temperature plays such an important role in the serving of food and wine:

Temperature of food

The taste of food can be greatly changed depending on the temperature at which you are consuming it. Although it may sound odd, a dish should never be eaten when it is piping hot. The food will burn your tastebuds and you won’t be able to taste the flavours. As the meal begins to cool down, the flavours will become more pronounced and you will be able to enjoy them more. If a restaurant serves you a meal that is just warm instead of hot, take a moment to try the flavours before you complain. Like Goldilocks, you may find that the dish is just right!

Different types of food can change taste quite drastically depending on the temperature at which it is eaten. The Journal of Sensory Studies published a paper in 2005 about an experiment conducted on cheddar cheese. Researchers served the same cheese at varying temperatures; 5C, 12C and 21C. The people tasting the cheese reported very different tastes for each one. As the temperature of the cheese rose, the sourness increased.

In an experiment conducted in the same year, the opposite was found to happen to ice-cream. As ice-cream grows warmer and begins to melt, it becomes more and more sweet until it reaches a point of being sickeningly sweet. Frozen cold ice-cream however, is just the right level of sweetness to be enjoyed. Temperature affects the taste of food and drink in all different ways, for example; ham is salty when cold but savoury when warm, and beer becomes bitter when it warms up.

Serving Temperature of Food and Drink

Serving Temperature of Food and Drink

Temperature of what you drink while eating

Australians tend to drink ice-cold water at mealtimes. In Asia, it is more common to have a glass of warm or even hot water with the meal. In Europe it is somewhere in the middle, as they enjoy their water not far below room temperature. What people are probably unaware of is that the temperature at which they are enjoying their drinks, whether it is water, juice or wine, can make a difference to what they are tasting in their meal. Cold drinks actually decrease the taste of sweetness in food, as well as the perception of creaminess and any chocolate flavours. Researchers are now wondering if Americans, who like their drinks ice-cold like Australians, prefer sweet food for this very reason.

Changing the temperature of your tongue has also been linked to a change in perception of sweetness versus saltiness. Warming the front edge of the tongue can conjure sweetness, whereas cooling that same area evokes saltiness and/or sourness.

Spicy food

You will often hear that wine and spicy food don’t mix. But surprisingly, a full-bodied red goes very well with a dish that is heavy on the spice.

Many people assume that eating something spicy might mean you’re better off with something cold to cool the mouth down. But red wine is said to help dilute the sting that comes from chilli peppers.

Choose a dry red that has been chilled just lightly in the fridge. It needs to be bold enough so the flavour of the wine can still be tasted through the spice of the food. Don’t be afraid to choose a wine high in tannins, as spice will mostly eliminate the taste of tannins. You will be surprised at how different the wine tastes on its own compared to drinking it with a hot meal.

If you prefer white wine, opt for a cold, sweet white to go with your spicy food.

Mild food

If you are planning to serve a mild dish consisting of fish or poultry, you should pair it with a lighter wine. Try a light dry wine, like a sauvignon blanc, or a sparkling wine with fish. For poultry, opt for a rich white wine such as chardonnay or a light to medium red, such as a pinot noir or a merlot. The trick is to try not to have either the food or the wine overpowering the other. It isn’t a competition between the two tastes, instead they should fully complement each other.

At Taylors Wines we have developed a unique, touch activated temperature sensor so you can tell when your wine is at the perfect serving temperature to enjoy. Read more about our new Optimum Drinking Temperature sensor and order your FREE sensor stickers today to take the Taylors Temperature Challenge and see the difference for yourself.

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The house is spotless, music is selected and delicious treats await your guests. Yes – it’s party time! But the big question remains – how will you select the best range and style of wines to complement your do? Well of course there are a number of different types of gatherings, from the rowdy get-together with mates, to the classic dinner party or cocktail soirée. At Taylors Wines, we’re rather fond of a knees-up ourselves, and certainly ensure that the wines selected are perfect for our guests. Here are our best tips for getting your wine selection right for your next event.

Crowd pleasers

Taylors Estate SparklingYou hear them before you see them sometimes… Those initial guests approaching your informal shindig on the deck. Over the sounds of the acoustic duo in the corner, those throaty laughs and tottering heels can be heard approaching the door. Then fairy lights are gleaming in the eyes of the crowd, as the numbers swell and the music starts to lift the party tempo. Now, you might be wondering which wine will be perfect to kick-start proceedings. Well, with all of this fresh and vital energy on your deck, what better way to start your party than with some crisp bubbles? Our signature sparkling, the Taylors Estate Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut Cuvee, provides the essence of citrus freshness, backed up on the mid palate with smooth notes of butter and vanilla.

Keeping with the white wine theme for several hours, you can provide a no-fail selection of Moscato, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc to match the light and summery morsels on your menu. With these choices, you can even take advantage of the temperature scale in our fresh new-look whites in the Taylors range. So, indoor or outdoor, you’ll be able to get your serving temperatures just right.

Later when everyone is getting a little philosophical down around the fire pit, a smooth red like the St Andrews 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon will be the perfect wind-down drop.

That subtler style

Now it tends to happen that as we grow up, our parties can become a little quieter. Not that we’ve become ‘mild’ rather that ‘wild’… it’s more a matter of starting to appreciate the finer things. And that’s when the magic of dinner parties comes to the fore. Candlelight, some cool music on the surround sound, and your guests are ready to enjoy proceedings. As the first course commences, an aromatic Riesling will prove the perfect accompaniment to delicious salads, light meat dishes and summer seafood ensembles.

Taking the night forward, the talk tends to liven up as friends old and new connect on the issues of the day. The main dish provides a chance to get adventurous and team that gorgeous savoury number with a bottle or two of a perfectly blended red.

Our 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc from the Taylors Winemaker’s Project will delight all palates, with blackcurrant and plum notes melding beautifully with your feast.

And as the chat and laughter continues into the night, you can match chocolate, fruit and cheeses with both structured whites and smoother reds. For example, a classic cheese fondue (not that we’re showing our age!) will be best friends with a younger Chardonnay. And you certainly can’t go wrong with a 2012 St Andrews Shiraz to bring your terrific night to a close.

Mingling moments

Cocktail parties, buffet events and wine soirées have their own special magic. These ‘stand and mingle’ parties provide a number of unique benefits. Firstly, everybody has a chance to don their sequined numbers, lounge suits and coiffed hair, then walk about – and actually be seen! Waiters can start by bringing round that fail-safe, icy delight of a great Australian sparkling. This is the domain of canapés, where those glasses of bubbles cut beautifully across delicious and mysterious bites. Whether pastry, balsamic capers, caviar, or salmon with soft cheese – there’s no canapé that a well-structured sparkling can’t handle. Chandeliers glitter and glances are exchanged across the room. Those swishing skirts and alluring jewels move effortlessly about, as a selection of classic whites and light reds are then presented.

Consider the sophisticated elegance of the Taylors Estate Chardonnay, its enticing white peach, citrus and tropical fruit flavours overlaying toasted cashew and creamy nuances from fine French oak will prove irresistible. Red wine aficionados will be swept away by a younger Tempranillo or an opulent Merlot. These standing soirées tend to be short but memorable. And with your array of tantalising and creative refreshments, this is one ‘happening’ that will be spoken of for quite some time.

The party art

There are a couple of key elements to the perfect party. And remember – good preparation will prevent your blood pressure rising on the night. Even that casual deck party needs ice, plates and cutlery! Also consider your guests, and how the food and wine might complement this crowd – relaxed and young? Professional and quiet? When selecting your wine, you can take into account the length of time before eating and how this might impact upon your choices. Food of course is key, as is the season. Make sure that hot summer nights have a greater white to red ratio (unless you’re concocting luscious chilled sangria). And where canapés or tapas are the order of the day, a pleasant sparkling or light Moscato might be the perfect selection. But most importantly, as the guests wander in – relax. You’ve prepared well. Now let the party begin!

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As the weather begins to warm, a natural restlessness can tend to kick in.  So, what better time to shake up your wine selection with something a little new? With something fresh and perhaps a touch unusual? We think it’s a perfect time for us to showcase one of the newer white grapes being cultivated in Australia – Vermentino. A Mediterranean grape of medieval heritage, Vermentino is a wine of delicious, citrusy crispness with awe-inspiring food-matching capabilities.

Inspired voyage

wine-vermentinoIt’s interesting that we think of Vermentino as ‘new’ in terms of Australian winegrowing experience, yet it is certainly ‘old’ in the grand scheme of world winemaking. Like most wines, there is a bit of an historical tussle about the exact provenance of Vermentino grapes. In all likelihood, cuttings of the Vermentino vine first went from Spain to Italy in the 1300s. Medieval sailors took this precious botanical cargo to the Ligurian Coast, via the rocky island of Sardinia. With only 11km between Sardinia and the French isle of Corsica, it was inevitable that this promising white vine also made its way up into Corsica and through the greater French wine regions.

With all of this sea travel, it is perhaps not surprising that Vermentino goes by many names in Europe, such as Rolle and Favorita. But it was the Italians – led by the Liguria and Sardinia regions – who embraced and developed Vermentino to its magnificent best. Winemakers there became excited and encouraged by the striking golden wine that began to emerge from this hardy white varietal. Importantly, Vermentino handled heat like a champion, maintaining acidic balance and flavour integrity in the warmest of Mediterranean seasons. With a tang of citrus plus a fresh maritime minerality, Vermentino became a perfect companion for those long al fresco evenings of Italian seafood and antipasto under the stars.

Old and new

Now Australia, like many other nations, took a little longer than Italy to discover the promise of Vermentino. The first vines began to be planted here in the 1990s, as Australian vintners recognised the hardiness and heat-handling capabilities of this aromatic white. It is a testament to the character and quality of this grape that even in this short time, Vermentino has been moving from an obscure ‘alternative’ varietal to one that is becoming a go-to summer drop for discerning Australian consumers. With parts of our climate emulating the warm and breezy Mediterranean regions, Vermentino has once more travelled across the seas to find a new land in which to shine.  And at Taylors Wines, one of our greatest joys is sourcing fine Australian grape varietals – old and new – and working to create premium wines of quality and integrity.TWP_VER_bottle-CMYK(A4)

Lovely summer drop

Our winemakers have taken the ‘old’ aspects of Vermentino’s Mediterranean heritage and combined them with the very best of Australian growing conditions and oenology.

Within our TWP range, we’ve been drawn instinctively to the possibilities for Australian Vermentino grapes to deliver extraordinary white wines. Knowing that the SA Riverland region produces champion fruit, we source the best of the Vermentino crops from this region for our TWP maestros to work with.

Now the way that we work here is by respecting the past as well as embracing the best that the modern era of winemaking offers. Analysing the fruit in the field gives us the opportunity to apply classic techniques, such as early morning cool harvest and initial whole berry pressing.

Then, with an eye to the delicate flavours of the Vermentino, appropriate yeast strains are painstakingly selected for the cold fermentation. Throughout vinification, our wine makers utilise state-of-the-art techniques to preserve the fine balance and textural nuances of this fine white.

And sure – they sometimes develop a friendly rivalry as they work tirelessly towards revelation of Vermentino’s many virtues… but that’s okay! As we find across the TWP range, our keen winemakers are passionate in their pursuit of an excellent drop, hewn from an unbeatable combination of heritage, technology and beautiful fruit.

An Italian pairing

Vermentino creates a wondrous match with a wide selection of foods. Interestingly, a complex mid palate and that fine acidic tone both work together to facilitate perfect pairing – not only with light summer food, but also with some more full-flavoured morsels. So feel free to team your Vermentino with a spicy laksa, chorizo tapas or well-herbed barramundi. In fact, across the board of seafood cuisine, Vermentino is a loving partner to your entire summer catch of crustaceans, mackerel, calamari and oysters. And of course that hearty Italian platter of antipasto, replete with marinated artichoke hearts, semidried tomatoes, sardines, and chilli olives, absolutely begs for accompaniment with a crisp and lime-tinged Vermentino. Before you know it, you’ll think you’re sipping away on a pristine Sardinian headland, watching the aqua Mediterranean roll gently by… sigh…

 New seasons

It’s safe to say that we continue to be excited and delighted about the quality of our Australian Vermentino. This is a wine that brings to mind freshness, new beginnings and breezy summer enjoyment. With a clarity and structure that sees Vermentino’s fine acidity hold across even the most challenging season, this is a white to be enjoyed in the prime of its younger years. Buon Apetito!

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It’s no secret that for years Riesling suffered a bit of a PR nightmare, with an undeserved reputation for too much sweetness. It seemed for a time that only winemakers appreciated its true beauty.  But as you probably know, here we’re pretty crazy about this elegant white, which ranges in style from deliciously fruity, to crisp and dry. To understand the complex aspects and rich history of the Riesling, we thought we’d start with a wander down the Rhine…

A brief history

When not praying devoutly, monks across the ages have been well-known makers and imbibers of good wine. So it’s probably no real surprise that a medieval Cistercian monastery in the Rheingau region of Germany is generally recognised as the starting point of the aromatic Riesling varietal. As the Rhine winds its way northwest across Germany, its steep sloping banks with rather questionable soil produce a white wine of notable clarity, zest and longevity.

The 15th century saw this popular wine pop up in Austria and across in Alsace, with the latter wine district adding a little French-infused je ne sais quoi to the production of the popular white. The grape continued to grow in popularity across Western Europe, as vintners discovered and celebrated Riesling’s characteristic freshness.

The parentage of the Riesling grape is not entirely clear – a form of  Traminer might well have bred with a local wild German vine, but there’s also the theory that the rather obscure Heunisch grape plays a part in Riesling’s DNA. In any case, a white of gentle acidic balance and light floral distinction luckily came about.

Riesling arrives in Australia

Riesling grapesA bit like our monks, pioneering travellers from the Middle Ages and beyond also tended to take their wine pretty seriously. Vine cuttings were often transported to parts of the New World to ensure the quick establishment of wine in new climes. And aren’t we lucky in Australia that Riesling was one of the originals?

German immigrants brought Riesling vines with them when they arrived in Australia in the 19th century. With travel of course comes new terrain, and Riesling began to show an extraordinary tendency to absorb and reflect the unique mineral characteristics of local vineyards. The Clare and Eden Valleys in Australia were found to be particularly suited to Riesling’s requirements.  As for those soft mineral tendencies, there’s one theory that the poorer soils upon which Riesling thrives tend to lead to more probing root systems, ensuring that the local terroir is never forgotten in the subtle Riesling palate. Beautiful stuff.

Complex and vibrant

Often loved for a dominance of citrus and floral notes while young, one of the best features of the Riesling is in the fantastic rewards of cellaring.

Depending on the vintage, it’s not unexpected to discover musky rewards of smoke, honey and warm spice in the older Riesling. Give it a couple of years and you’ll find the earlier pale straw hue will tend to relax into a peachy, autumnal affair – yet still with a refreshing lift.

Some people get famously put-off by the idea of the ‘petrol’ or ‘kerosene’ – these words often used to describe the character that can come in the latter years of a fine Australian Riesling. We prefer to describe this lovely aged character as ‘toasty marmalade’.  It’s the reward you get at the end of a well-cellared Riesling and we think it’s fantastic.

A quick note on cellaring

The key to sourcing an excellent Riesling for cellaring purposes is in the quality of the vintage while still young. As the Riesling Report notes, ripeness at bottling combined with a fundamentally sound acidic structure can both help to ensure a “wine for the ages.”

Food matching

Riesling should certainly be put centre stage, especially when food pairing calls for a dexterous and adaptable number. When sweetness and acidity are in balance, the refreshing citrus tones of a Riesling that is less than two years old are hard to beat for even the most challenging food partners, while older Rieslings can impart a wonderfully deep flavour and aroma.

Taylors Estate RieslingThere’s no vegetable dish known to man that can fail to pair perfectly with the clarity of a lovely Riesling – think antipasto, stuffed capsicum, spicy tomato soup or vegetable moussaka – all perfect cool weather matches for this versatile white. Our Taylors Estate Riesling 2013 puts forward fresh lime and lemon notes that will compliment antipasto, or even a spicy winter curry to perfection.

And when summer rolls around again Riesling, no matter its age, tends to provide a perfectly refreshing foil to the Australian heat, whatever the menu. We think that maybe somewhere, the heavens must have foretold of the long Aussie verandas, the pan-Asian table influences and of course the easy-going outdoor life that was to typify modern Australian summer weekends – and solemnly declared: “This place shall have Riesling!” Let’s picture a seared and spicy pork number…  Or your favourite chilli chicken salad… Maybe that whole ginger snapper? These and so many more summery dishes all fall beautifully under the spell of Riesling.

About those rumours

Just in case you’re still undecided about the brilliant balance of modern Rieslings, a brief word on the famed sweetness rumour. Yes it’s true that Riesling was once undeservedly mauled and modified in the bad old days. All that inexcusable residual sugar weighed down any possibility for pure citrus tones and luscious acidic complexities to arise.

But we’re so very glad that the times of getting Riesling wrong in production are long gone. And we’re proud to be part of Riesling’s well-deserved resurgence as a noble white.

Whether sipping a crisp, lime-inspired refresher beside the Spring Racing track, or nibbling antipasto by your winter fire with a soft, smoky older number – we’re pretty sure that Riesling will become one of your new best friends – if it isn’t already! Enjoy…

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We’re not afraid to say it – it’s a really exciting time to be working with Chardonnay. And while we’re at it, how about we just name that tiresome elephant in the room right away? Yes, we acknowledge that this versatile white grape copped an extensive pounding to its reputation in the 1990s. And we think that there still might be a few ‘doubting Thomases’ out there, who aren’t particularly inclined to give Chardonnay another go. Well to help change your mind, let us take you on a bit of a guided tour through the nature of this gorgeous variety. And we’ll follow it up with an update on some of the exciting innovations that we’re bringing into play for the Taylors Chardonnays. We can absolutely guarantee that you’ll come across some superb surprises when exploring this beautiful white.

A noble variety

Now we mean this quite literally: Chardonnay is formally considered one of the ‘noble’ grape varieties, due to the superior quality of the wine that can be expected across a wide selection of grape-growing terrains. Chardonnay also demonstrates the enviable ability to pick up and distinctively deliver the local terroir, through subtle variations of minerality, bouquet and texture.

Beautiful Chardonnay

Beautiful Chardonnay

Like most great wines, there are of course squabbles about exactly where and when Chardonnay originated. And not even just the Europeans have tried to lay claim – as well as France and Croatia, Lebanon and Cyprus have also put forward claims about Chardonnay’s botanical provenance! Without doubt however, the Burgundy region of eastern France can take pride in producing some of the earliest and best examples of Chardonnay wine. And look – whatever the ‘truth’, the great thing about such passionate debates over wine origins is that they reflect that burning human desire to be part of something special. With Chardonnay, this has been magnified by the high quality and robust nature of this round and textured white.

Whilst at times a flavour chameleon, the Chardonnay often distinguishes itself across all geography with a magnificent and subtle flintyness, as well as a tendency towards flavoursome stone fruit characters. And due to regular displays of complexity across the palate, this noble white has the capacity to pair with a wide selection of foods, from spiced and herbed white meats to mature cheeses, fragrant curries and beyond.

Exciting stuff – Our clonal changes

In order to harness the beauty of the Chardonnay grape to her best advantage, at Taylors we’ve become deeply selective about sourcing the correct clonal variations to suit both our particular growing conditions and our signature winemaking methods. Getting technical, we have moved away from what is known as the Mendoza (or Gin Gin) clone, now favouring Bernard and Savvy clones for our Chardonnay requirements. In combination, the two Bernard clones that we favour (I10V1 and I11V1) and the Savvy clones 1 and 2, work together with their less dense structures to deliver incredible diversity and fruit complexity. Our project to identify and swap clonal identities where appropriate for our Chardonnay needs has involved 10+ years of painstaking trials. And it’s been more than worth the effort.

In drinking terms our Chardonnays are lighter in palate structure and weight, yet maintain a remarkable capacity to exhibit lots of fresh fruit and varietal expression. Also, it’s a stroke of luck that these clonal changes have coincided with upgrades to our fruit handling, including the gentler art of whole berry pressing. And it might seem the stuff of dreams, but we’re now incredibly happy to be creating Chardonnays that are simultaneously delicate in structure yet rich in both flavour and complexity.

Sticklers for the details – the perfect oak

We aren’t just particular about the clonal and fruit handling aspects of our Chardonnay creation. Less-worthy Chardonnays across the globe were once understandably labelled as ‘too oaky’, with some winemakers getting it all a bit wrong with inappropriate barrelling and oak chipping. Here at Taylors we’re extremely selective – ok, some might say finicky! – about our Chardonnay barrelling processes. For a start, we’ve researched and sourced the best French oak barrels on the planet. And it has to be French – lesser oaks have unfortunately added too much unsubtle strength to Chardonnay, causing some of the problems of reputation that used to exist for this wine.

Over centuries, the Burgundians in France have worked tirelessly with Chardonnay and Pinot, perfecting the craft of assembling the most worthy barrels for their wine-making task. And it’s that sort of exactitude that we know is right for the Taylor Chardonnays.

Medium-fine to fine-grain oak is crucial for subtle and restrained flavour across the palate, and the correct timber is therefore carefully sourced. As well as timber selection, the French also address such subtleties as barrel shape plus the distance of the flame from the barrel during production; too much flavour in the barrel toast and the wine can become unbalanced. In fact, even the individual forest of the oak’s origin can assist in developing particular complexities – for example, we know that the mouth-filling creamy softness of Vosges timber is an excellent choice for Chardonnay. Accurate combinations from different forests also allow us to perfect necessary subtleties across vintages, through careful barrel selection.

Worth the effort

St. Andrews Chardonnay

St. Andrews Chardonnay

If you haven’t already, take a sip or two of one of our gorgeous Chardonnays – the delicious and nuanced 2013 St Andrews Chardonnay for example – to experience for yourself the incredible lightness and flavour that has been brought about by our changes. We reckon it’s worth getting every little detail perfect.

As you can see, we take seriously every step of the journey for our beloved Chardonnays. Light in structure yet beautifully complex across the palate, our range demonstrates the delicious fruit and subtle toast that makes it all worthwhile. Just picture it… a setting sun, nice company, some spicy hors douvres and a cool, well-textured Chardonnay. Life couldn’t get much better than that!

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They say that wine trembles with fear when capers, chili and asparagus are about. But all hope is not lost – as you will find out, most flavour assassins can be tamed with the help of another main ingredient to divert the attention. A creamy sauce, a juicy steak or a fresh salad could be all you need to harness the strong flavours in these foods.

Capers

Capers get a hard wrap for being impossible to match with wine. But it’s not the fault of the fruit – the vinegar they’re preserved in is the real culprit here. Capers are only a real problem if you’re eating them alone. Enjoy in a fresh salmon sandwich alongside Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio and you’ll be just fine.

Chili

Chili has numbing qualities that make it a difficult match for some wines. We suggest steering clear of delicate, fine wines, as they simply cannot match the numbing effect of chili. Tannin rich reds will feel like an assault on the senses when served with a chili dish so try something in between.

 

Artichoke 

Artichoke alone will make wine taste metallic and sweeter. Combat this effect by diverting attention with the help of a creamy or acidic sauce and then pair your wine accordingly – Try a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend with this great artichoke salad recipe.

Asparagus 

Asparagus is a tricky one. This vegetable has quite a sharp and overpowering flavour that most wines can’t handle, with exception of a special few. Try matching with Sauvignon Blanc or sauté in butter and serve with Chardonnay.

Spinach 

Spinach will bring out bitter and metallic tones in most wines. The best way to enjoy spinach and wine is to increase the acidity of the spinach with a hint of lemon juice, or cook in a creamy or cheese sauce and pair with Chardonnay or something similar.

Soy sauce 

Soy sauce will cause bitter and metallic tones in a bottle of red. Stick to an acidic white with a hint of sweetness like Gewurztraminer next time you chow down on that cucumber sushi.

Chocolate   

Chocolate and wine are generally not friends. Which is a shame considering a pairing these two vices would make for a lovely evening. The sweetness of the chocolate and it’s propensity to coat the mouth is most troublesome. Fear not – when all else fails, a delicious muscadel makes a fantastic partner for chocolate.

Fennel 

The intense and overpowering flavours of fennel make it a difficult match for almost all wines except one – Sauvignon Blanc. If you really want some fennel with your wine, we suggest sautéing in butter or serving with another strong flavour, as in fennel and lamb sausage rolls.

If you’re after some good advice about what are some great food & wine matches, we’ve got some on our website – along with great recipes and advice on how to store and serve your wine.

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Navigating an aging, leather bound wine list can be an intimidating thing. Don’t worry; your sommelier is there to help. It is the sommeliers’ job to guide the diner to the best food and wine matches in the restaurant so don’t be afraid to let them know exactly what you like. Here are some tips to get you started on your next wine-tasting adventure.

  1.  To begin, decide whether you’re feeling adventurous or familiar – and let your sommelier know.
  2.  Wine taste is much like a perfume preference. Get to know your unique palate. Descriptors like crisp and dry, woody, spiced or fruity are good. Knowing your favourite grape is better.
  3.  Be explicit about the price point you’re aiming for. It’s easy to do this without divulging dollars and cents: just point to a reasonably priced wine and say, “something in this price range would be ideal.”
  4.  Both aged and young wines have their virtues. A vintage can evoke nostalgia and depth, whilst young wines benefit from modern technology and typically express fresher and crisper flavours.
  5.  It is generally best to avoid the house white if you’re looking for a decent wine. You’ll get a better deal on quality by spending just a couple of dollars extra for the next inexpensive white on the list.
  6.  When dining in a restaurant, wine selections should always arrive before your meal. Don’t forget to match your selection with the meal!
  7. Don’t be intimidated by the sommelier – it is their job to help you find a wine that you enjoy. A pretentious sommelier is doing their job wrong.
  8.  Ordering a half or full bottle is almost always more reasonable than by the glass, especially if you’ll be having a couple of glasses anyway.
  9.  What do you do when the sommelier hands you a cork? The idea here is to check for counterfeits on more expensive wines. All you need to do is ensure the maker’s mark on the cork matches that on the bottle.
  10.  Whether you’re ordering a glass or a bottle, always insist on tasting beforehand. There is no need to gargle, swirl, or slurp – just take a sip. If the taste is pleasing, great! If not, do let your sommelier know so they can find something else for you.

 

It may take some time and a couple of probing questions, but when an excellent food and wine match is created it takes the experience of both the dish and wine to a whole new level. Wines are crafted to be enjoyed with food, and we at Taylors adopt this approach when crafting our wines. Our philosophy of delicacy and balance in flavours means that our wines are never overbearing, but rather full of flavour whilst maintaining balance so as to complement your meal.

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