Pairing Food with Wine in Spring
I am currently in the middle of organising a spring party for friends. It’s not a party for any particular occasion. It is simply an opportunity for me to catch up and to experiment with some of the many wonderful ingredients that this season has to offer.
I have just completed the “food and wine pairing” item on my party planning checklist. And, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of my notes on what wines work best with some of the classic spring ingredients. I hope you find this post helpful for your own springtime merrymaking!
- If you are pulling out all the stops for your soiree and treating your guests to some sparkling wine, I think the best time to serve this is at the start of your party. Dry Champagne and Cava make an excellent match with salty foods. So, serving them with some nibbles, like homemade roasted and salted almonds or little anchovy toasts, will really go down a treat.
- Salmon is at its best in spring. This fish makes a wonderful main ingredient in a number of seasonal starter recipes. For example, asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon with vinaigrette, salmon mousse or pâté. If you are serving salmon with a citrusy sauce or dressing, a Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice as it won’t be overpowered by the tartness of the sauce. For a creamier and richer salmon starter, a smooth Chardonnay will make an excellent match.
- As everyone knows, lamb is the king of spring meats. It is a very strong flavoured meat and so requires an equally robust tasting wine to accompany it. If you are splashing out on a really good bottle, make sure your meat matches the quality. Donald Russell is an online butcher with a sound reputation and is an example of a good business to source your lamb from. One of my favourite bottles to open when eating roast lamb is a Cabernet Sauvignon. The rich red fruit tones balance well with the juicy meat and the strong tannins refresh the taste buds in between mouthfuls.
- I don’t care that Easter has been and gone; I will definitely be finishing my spring party menu with a rich and indulgent chocolatey dessert! Some recipes I am considering are chocolate torte with fresh fruit, steamed chocolate puddings and chocolate tiramisu. For me, the drinks that go best with a rich chocolate dessert are equally sweet dessert wines. A glass of vintage Port is a classic match with chocolate, and once you taste the combination you’ll understand why. Other classic dessert wines that pair well with chocolate are Madeira and Sherry.
Matching food with the right wine can seem like a daunting task. However, I have found that by doing your research, learning the basic do’s and don’ts and testing combinations, finding the perfect match becomes easier. Give it a go this spring and do let me know how you get on. Have a very merry springtime!