How to pick the perfect wine for your meal
Published: 26th June 2019 | By: Admin
At Loxleys we’re really proud of our wine list. From French classics to New World wonders, we’ve sourced wines from across the world to make sure we have a great selection for every taste and budget.
We've even added some vegan-friendly wines in our recent menu launch to make sure we're catering for everyone. Oh, and let's not forget the bubbles - we've got Prosecco, Cava and Champagne just waiting to be popped. Yes, that all sounds great, but we know that sometimes with so much choice it can be hard to pick the right wine for your meal. Lucky for you, at Loxleys our staff are always on hand to give you advice. Even so, we thought we'd give you a few tips on what to think about when you’re working your way through our lovely list.
Colour doesn't always matter
We all know that traditionally white is served with lighter food like fish and chicken while people often think of red wine as the perfect accompaniment to red meat and heavier dishes. That's true in general, but it's not a rule you have to stick to no matter what. A really bold white wine can hold its own with something like duck or game, while a lighter red wine can partner well with some fish or white meat. Look at the flavour and the heaviness of the wine rather than just its colour.
You're not just matching with the meat
People often only think about the meat that's on the plate, but the wine you choose should complement the plate as a whole, not just one element. Then there's the sauce. Spicy, sweet or acidic, it all plays a part in how your dish works with your wine. Take our Spiced and Glazed Gressingham Duck Breast - it's not just the duck on the plate. There is parsnip, pear, Stilton, pistachio, watercress and a red wine reduction. So the wine you choose should complement the dish as a whole and all of its flavours, not just the star of the show.
Think about body and texture as well as flavour
It's easy to get swept up in the floral fragrance or the tobacco notes, but a wine isn't just about its flavour. Light wines to go with light foods aren’t just about the way they taste, but the fact that they're delicate in body. The same goes for the other end of the scale - a heavier dish needs a fuller wine to stand up to it. It's the same when it comes to texture. Tannins - that slightly bitter finish at the end of a sip - work well with textured food, while smoother, silkier wines might be better when paired with more smooth, delicate dishes. For example, a particularly tannin-heavy wine might overwhelm a delicate starter, but complement a dish like our chargrilled lamb cutlets, braised shoulder, broccoli puree, mint potato terrine and green olive jus.
Don't forget the bubbles
Don't be quick to dismiss bubbles when it comes to pairing a tipple with your meal. Sparkling wines are great, especially when it comes to salty and spicy foods. Whether it's Champagne with fries or Cava with something spicy, our sparkling list might have just the right choice to accompany your dinner or lunch.
Acid loves sweet - as well as its own kind
Acidic wines often pair well with sweet or fatty foods and similarly, sweet wines can complement acidic foods. Having said that, acidic wines can often also pair well with acidic foods. Think citrus-fresh fish dishes with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
There is no right or wrong
All these are just suggestions of course. The secret to pairing wine with food is having what YOU want. If you want a big heavy red with our Lemon Sole and that's what's going to make you happy, then go for it. Of course we think wine pairing can elevate a meal, but not choosing the perfect wine isn't going to ruin your meal. It's all about what you want and what mood you're in.