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Food & Wine Matching – Amps Mini Guide

Sep 16, 2020

What wine shall I drink with this dish?

This is the question that we are asked most, so we’ve put together a few guidelines and classic combinations. Of course not all dishes are the same, as how foods are cooked and the sauces/spices they are cooked in will affect the wine. Please do ask us for advice, although trial and error with a few bottles open can be fun!

Drink what you enjoy
A wine that you enjoy drinking is more important than any recommendation! We start by thinking about the dish as a whole though, what are its dominant characteristics? With these in mind;

Keep flavours in balance
Match subtle foods with subtle wines
Match citrus dishes with citrus wines
Match big flavourful foods with big, flavourful wines
Match the richness of the food and the richness of the wine
If in doubt… 
Remember that food generally goes best with the wines from the same country. For example, if you’re eating Italian food, then an Italian wine would be a good bet. It’s not a golden rule, but often helps.


Classic Combinations


A really versatile white grape – clean, crisp styles such as Chablis go well with simple seafood, grilled chicken and salads. Richer examples work better with cream base sauces as the oak mops up the richness of the dish.


Riesling is very versatile and isn’t afraid of sweetness – off dry styles are lovely with spicy food. Sweeter styles match fruit-based desserts best.


Sauvignon Blanc 
The fresh flavour of this popular grape lends itself to salads and seafood. It’s happy with goats cheese and asparagus too.


A full flavoured variety with intense flavours of apricots, peach and the natural low acidity. It easily stands up to gusty food like pork loin with apricots stuffing, chicken Kiev or spice laden food.


Simply a marriage made in heaven with salmon and cold cuts.


Cabernet Sauvignon 
At its best with beef or venison – the intense fruit matches full flavoured meat.


The rustic flavours of this popular red grape mean that sophisticated food is out and gutsy dishes are in. Think sausages, steaks off the barbecue or a classic casserole.


Merlot and lamb are great friends – the sweetness of the meat picking up the sweet flavours of the wine. Also works well with simple pizza or pasta.


Pinot Noir 
The red fruit flavours, gentle nature and high acidity cuts through the fatness of the lamb. It’s also a great partner to all sorts of poultry, especially duck.


Elegant Syrah with it peppery flavour is great with spicy dishes like Moroccan lamb. Bolder Shiraz is best with bold red meats, especially beef.


Tempranillo is a medium weight variety (usually found in Rioja) but its concentration of black fruit makes it a really friendly lamb or pork match.