Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 5th 2015 Contents |WINE|
WHETHER YOU SACRIFICED meat or alcohol, or both
like me, or any other sacrifices that you would have
made during this season; it's Easter, and it Springtime,
too. If your family is anything like mine, the end of Lent
is one of the happiest of days. Chocolate, red meat and
wine, whatever you may have given up for the last 40
days, it's time to reintroduce yourself. The Easter meal
should be a happy occasion, and what better way to
enjoy good company than with a little vino at the table?
The nature of the meal itself leads to difficulties in food
and wine pairing. What to serve with our favourite roast
pork or lamb, and what wines do we pair with these?
And, what about the family members who only drink
red wine, and what about the ones who do not? Fear
not, finding a few good wines for the Easter table is as
easy as giving up hops and black pudding for Lent.
Mesmerise your guests with some light appetizers, and
maybe a glass of wine to lighten the mood. Champagne
and Rose sparkling wine will put a smile on the hardest
of hearts and makes a great food wine as well. Look for
light and dry wines to match with light hors d'oeuvres.
The combination of light foods and the high acidity in
dry wines stimulates the palette without stuffing.
Try bruschetta; they make a light and easy beginning
to a nice meal, and pair well with a vigorous, young
red such as a Chianti. Shrimp cocktail is as classic as
it gets; the richness of an American Chardonnay
works well with meaty shrimp. Another very simple
starter is just a wheel of high quality Brie with crack-
ers on the side. Cheese is often served as an appetizer
in the United States and here as well, as opposed to
the more classical way of serving it after the main
course. Try it with a simple white such as an Italian
It matters not what the entrées are, each can have a
recommended wine pairing if you follow these simple
suggestions. The pairings are made based on weight
and flavour profile. Two easy rules to follow are to pair
like flavours with like flavours, and match weight with
weight. Thus a lightly flavoured fish will go nicely with
a lightly flavoured white wine, but not well at all with a
rich, robust glass of red. The wine would overpower the
delicate fish. Conversely, a heavy red wine is a delicious
addition to a hearty beef stew, but a light Pinot Grigio
would get lost in the shuffle.
If you are having salmon, which is a rich and fatty fish,
look for an American Chardonnay to find a similar heav-
iness. A Burgundian red can work as it has a silky mouth-
feel and zippy acidity to bring out the flavours in the fish.
The delicate flavours of the roast chicken are a match
made in heaven for the elegant and flavourful Pinot Noir.
But what would Easter be without a roast ham or pork
leg? These meats work well with the Vacquerays, a
bright and lively red from the southern part of France's
Rhone Valley. The sweet spices and blackberry jam
notes of the wine blend with the richness of these
roasted meats. Veal dishes are usually hearty yet re-
fined, and practically cry out for the dried fruits in Rio-
This brings us to one of the most classical of wine pair-
ings: that is, of lamb and Bordeaux. While a little BBQ may
not be what the Bordelaise had in mind when producing
the like of, say a Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac, sometimes
breaking from tradition can be a good thing. The earthy
and lush flavours of the lamb are a delicious match to the
fruit, finesse and power of this Bordeaux wine.
Often a dessert wine is sweet and delicious enough to
serve by itself. If you have a very heavy dessert wine, it
may be best kept to the side or served after dessert is
over. Other than that, the other rules for pairing wines
apply. The sweet and savoury-like apple pie works won-
derfully with the spiced apricot flavours of a Riesling.
Sugar, peaches, pastry and honey flavours go well with
a Beerenauslese and a seductive peach cobbler.
Perfecto! And not to be outdone, the silky texture of the
likes of chocolate cheesecake blends seamlessly with
the unctuous richness of a Port. Be adventurous, try
new pairings; who knows what you may discover! One
last rule to follow regarding wine and food pairing:
There are no rules. These are just a few suggestions
and guidelines to follow. Ultimately, the wine that you
and yours like the best will be the right choice for the
Sometimes the best pairing is the one that is the com-
plete opposite of what should be right. Don't be afraid
to experiment and to try new wines. One thing is for
certain though, the best pairing is the trio of family,
friends and Easter dinner. To quote top Bordeaux wine-
maker Christian Moueix, "More important than food
pairing is the person with whom you drink the wine."
10 | WOW MAGAZINE
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