Many venues choose to offer a set menu for special event days such as Father’s Day. Set menus offer venues the opportunity to predetermine margins to cover overheads and running costs. For an occasion such as Father’s Day, consider a wine-matched menu for extra flair.

While food and wine pairing can be influenced by personal preference, there are some rules to help enhance a customer’s food and wine experience.

“Try to match the weight of the food with the weight of the wine. Rich heavy weight foods, like roast lamb and beef, or more complex dishes such as coq au vin casseroles need full bodied red wines,” says Susannah Galsworthy from Reschke.

“Heavy full bodied reds such as cabernet sauvignon, would pair well with red meat, whilst lighter reds such as pinot noir would pair well with lighter meats such as duck, tuna or salmon.”

The ‘weight’ rule is also echoed by Tyrrell’s managing director Bruce Tyrrell.

“Basic rules for red wine matching are based around alcohol and tannin, the higher these are then the bigger the meal needs to be. A big piece of beef with a Barossa shiraz and at the other end old Hunter shiraz is perfect with salmon,” he says.

“The number one job of wine and food pairing is to leave the palate clean, refreshed and ready for the next mouthful.”

Solotel’s group sommelier Lush Evers recommends the ‘like with like’ rule when matching food and wine.

“Basic rules are ‘like with like’ so red wine with red meats, peppery reds like a Chianti or an Aussie sangiovese with peppery foods. I love a glass of icy cold Provence rosé with crispy skin salmon on those lovely sunny winter afternoons,” he says.

While there may be some basic rules around food and wine matching, you can be as creative as you like so have some fun and experiment.

“Some of the lighter varieties and styles can still match nicely with fish. We’re currently serving Gamay with grilled fish, while Mataro is working great with cured meats and chargrilled octopus,” says Knox from Fix St James.

While seafood and red wine has not traditionally been a match, seafood with the right red wine can work incredibly well. “Spicy prawn skewers with a Spanish mencia with vibrant cherry flavours and the racy acidity is a lovely foil for the sweet charred flesh of the prawn,” says Evers.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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