Home Healthy Eating National Wine Day: Food Expert Shares the Best Wine Pairings with Various Cuts of Meat and Fish

National Wine Day: Food Expert Shares the Best Wine Pairings with Various Cuts of Meat and Fish

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It’s National Wine Day on 25th May, and with it falling on a bank holiday weekend, there’s even more reason to raise a glass in celebration. It’s the perfect opportunity to join in the fun, whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just curious about trying something new.

The relationship between wine and food is straightforward: they complement each other and can enhance the enjoyment of any meal. Just make sure you’re being drink-aware and savouring in moderation.

Iain Brown, director from online butchers Campbells Prime Meat comments on his thoughts of wine and food pairings, he says: “When it comes to wine pairings, there’s a certain etiquette surrounding it, but in reality, it shouldn’t matter if you’re following the rules or not. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or a total novice, the most important thing is enjoyment. That being said, for me exploring wine and the different pairing can really add to a dining experience.”

If you’re wanting to try out some new pairings or just looking for a place to start, Iain has shared some of the wines he thinks are perfect match for various cuts of meat and fish:

Red Meat with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Malbec

These wines have robust tannins and bold flavours that can stand up to the rich, fatty nature of red meats and various cuts of beef. The tannins help to cleanse the palate, while the bold flavours complement the intensity of the meat.

“For a perfectly grilled steak, there’s nothing quite like a well-aged Cabernet Sauvignon. Its complexity and structure mirror the depth of flavours in a good cut of beef.”

White Meat with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Sauvignon Blanc

White meats like chicken or turkey are lighter and more delicate, requiring wines that won’t overwhelm them. A lightly oaked Chardonnay can complement the subtle flavours, while a Pinot Noir can add a nice contrast with its earthy notes. Sauvignon Blanc works well, especially with herb-roasted poultry, due to its crisp acidity and herbaceous character.

“When it comes to roasted chicken, a Chardonnay with a hint of oak provides an ideal balance. The wine’s buttery texture and light vanilla notes pair well with the crispy skin and tender meat.”

Lamb with Merlot, Chianti, or Rioja

Lamb has a distinct, slightly gamey flavour that pairs well with wines offering good acidity and medium tannins. These wines have the complexity to match lamb’s richness without overpowering it.

“Lamb and Chianti is a classic pairing for a reason. The wine’s bright acidity and cherry notes cut through the meat’s richness, creating a harmonious balance on the palate.”

Pork with Zinfandel, Riesling, or Pinot Noir

Pork is versatile and can range from lean cuts to fattier ones, allowing for a variety of pairings. Zinfandel works well with BBQ pork due to its fruit-forward profile and spice. Riesling’s sweetness complements cured pork dishes like ham, while Pinot Noir’s light body pairs well with tenderloin.

“For pork tenderloin, a Pinot Noir is an excellent choice. Its delicate red fruit flavours and silky tannins enhance the mild flavour of the pork without overshadowing it.”

Fish with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio

The delicacy of fish requires wines that are light and fresh. Chardonnay pairs well with buttery or creamy salmon dishes. Sauvignon Blanc’s high acidity compliments grilled or citrusy fish. Pinot Grigio’s clean, crisp profile is ideal for lighter fish like sole or tilapia.

“A buttery Chardonnay with a rich salmon dish creates a luxurious texture that’s hard to beat. The wine’s creaminess complements with the fattiness of the fish, making for a perfect and cohesive pairing.”

Shellfish with Champagne, Muscadet, or Albariño

Shellfish often has a briny sweetness that pairs well with wines that have high acidity and minerality. Champagne’s fizz and acidity cut through the richness of dishes like lobster and oysters. Muscadet, with its crispness and minerality, is a classic match for oysters. The citrus and stone fruit notes of Albariño are complementary to a wide range of shellfish.

“Oysters and Muscadet are a great pairing. The wine’s minerality mirrors the oceanic flavours of the oysters, while its acidity refreshes the palate for the next bite.”

Game Meat with Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Grenache

Game has strong, earthy flavours that pair well with wines offering complexity and balanced tannins. Pinot Noir’s earthiness and subtle fruitiness complement meat like duck. Merlot’s smooth texture works well with venison, while Grenache’s spiciness can handle the more robust flavours of pheasant.

“For game meats like venison, a Merlot with its smooth tannins and dark fruit profile provides a perfect counterbalance to the meat’s rich, earthy flavours.”

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