Top drops: Victoria Moore’s concise guide to wines that go with nearly everything

If you’d like to step up your knowledge of wines, while showing off to your dining companions, Victoria Moore’s concise guide to wine will help you talk the talk (and drink the right wines). From her new book, The Wine Dine Dictionary, Victoria shares her top tips for fine drops:

Wines that go with everything (well, nearly everything):

Rosé: Pale dry rosé (from Provence or elsewhere) is a wine that flutters happily along with almost any food, including roast leg of lamb hot off the barbecue, sushi, salade niçoise and camembert. It’s not great with chilli-heat but a sweeter rosé (from Anjou, Australia, or America, perhaps) can fill the gap here.

Italian reds: Most Italian wines have good acidity, which gives them a mouth-watering food-friendliness.

Riesling: When I first encountered Riesling, way back, I struggled to find food that would go with the off-dry styles of wine. That’s because my diet was almost exclusively anglo or Italian – all savoury stodge, meat and potato, or pasta in simple sauces. Off-dry riesling is superb with food that incorporates sweet ingredients (such as pomegranate molasses, or sweet potato) and it’s good with chilli-heat. This makes it a great choice for much tricky south-east Asian food, Ottolenghi-style salads, and fusion food. It’s also brilliant with pork. And with fatty meat combined with sweet fruit, for example pork and apple or smoked goose and apple. How could we live without it?

Orange wine: Leave the fermenting juice of white grapes in contact with the skins for long enough and you end up with wine that glows amber and tastes slightly tannic. Orange wine is like a good conversationalist who can receive as well as transmit. It doesn’t tend to get in the way of food, but it has presence too.

Southern Rhone reds and other GSM (grenache-syrah-mourvèdre blends): If your dinners revolve around Elizabeth David-style food; sausages; roast meats with a Mediterranean slant; and long, slow-cooked casseroles then this style of red wine will be very at ease on your table.

Pinot noir: Light enough to go with meatier fish; good with washed rind cheeses; delicious with game birds; with pork, and with beef and with chicken. If you find the right sort of pinot noir for the particular dish this grape can also work with some of the trickier accent flavours such as fennel seeds, and Indian spices and it has a sappy quality that works with vegetable-based dishes from dauphinoise potatoes to roast pumpkin.

Lower alcohol wines: Lower alcohol wines tend to be a more congenial companion to most foods than their nostril-singeing high alcohol counterparts.

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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