Susie and Peter’s Wine and Food Pairings

As seen on the recent myLakeland Live, “The Wonderful World of Wine” which was presented in partnership with Hattingley Valley Wines, in celebration of English Wines Week this summer. Here are Susie and Peter’s (married Masters of Wine), thoughts around classic food and wine matches.

  1. ‘F&W’: We bet you think this means food and wine – which of course, it does. But also, in our world, F&W stands for matching flavour and weight! So, for example, take a fresh ginger or a green pepper. They are quite light in weight, but really intensely flavoured. Equally, boiled rice or boiled potatoes are heavy but not wholesome. Therefore, when you are thinking about your pairings, you need a wine that matches the level of flavour in the food, whether the food is heavy or not.
  2. Characteristics: You also need to think about the wine off setting certain characteristics of the food, so a crisp, refreshing, (even sparkling) wine works well with fatty food. We love Hattingley Valley’s Classic Cuvee with smoked trout or salmon for that exact reason. At the same time, a sweet wine can offset spice or salt, which is why sweet wines or vintage ports are often matched to blue cheese – and why off-dry wines or really fruity wines are so good with spicy food such as curry. In the latest myLakeland Live event, we enjoyed chicken tikka with Hattingley Valley’s Still Rose. Why not give it a try?
  3. Matching flavours: Talking of curry, another way to go is to match the flavours and the textures in food to the wine. So, a spicy wine such as a Gewurztraminer is great with spicy food – and even better if it’s off-dry too. Or, a creamy, nutty cheese such as Lyburn, Gruyere or Cheddar works well with a creamy, oaky white wine or an older, sparkling wine made from Chardonnay. Our programme showed us enjoying Hattingley Valley’s Blanc de Blanc 2014 with cheese. Worth noting too that Chardonnay has a good acidity to off-set fattiness.
  4. Match sweetness: Sweet or Dessert Wine has to match the level of sweetness of the food or the wine will seem to dry – so never serve a dry sparkling rose with dessert – which many people do! You need a demi-sec fizz at the very least and even then, it’s only sweet enough to cope with fruity puds that aren’t too sweet, so strawberries and cream or perhaps strawberry shortcake or a summer pudding and cream.

There’s so much to enjoy about pairing wine and food – have some fun, experiment and learn as you go.

To learn more about our myLakeland club partner, Hattingley Valley Wines, visit

To learn more about Susie & Peter, our married masters of wine, visit

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