‘Like so many of the best things, it was entirely accidental’ — Victoria Moore on a career in wine

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Whether it’s a drop of rosé or a crisp white refresher beneath the beating summer’s sun, or perhaps a spicy red to accompany a hearty winter’s feast, the perfect glass of wine can set the scene for an idyllic moment of relaxation. If you, like most of us, are the kind of person who orders the second least expensive wine on a menu simply because we’re not sure where to start and don’t want to look too obviously novice, it’s time you met Victoria Moore. The author of The Wine Dine Dictionary is here to help with your every wine-and-dine-related query. We asked her about her new book and how she got into working with wine.

You’re passionate about good wine and delicious flavour; what made you start a career in the food and wine industry?

Like so many of the best things, it was entirely accidental. I had an English degree and a job that essentially involved opening jiffy bags on the back corridor of a newspaper and I kept writing to people asking them to give me writing work. Every time someone in the industry got a new job, I’d write them a letter. Eventually Cristina Odone, who had just become deputy editor of the New Statesman, gave me a drink column.

Do you believe there are health benefits that come from occasionally drinking wine?

I live by my mother’s maxim of ‘a little bit of what you fancy does you good.’ And, yes, there are studies that support the idea that drinking in moderation might be better for you than being teetotal.

Do you have a favourite food and wine pairing?

Albariño and baby octopus; champagne and crisps; fino sherry and jamón ibérico de bellota; riesling and lemongrass; cheeseburger and Chilean cabernet sauvignon – carmenère; strawberries and cabernet franc; malbec and steak; prosecco and pecorino. Sorry, that’s more than one…

What are your top tips when pairing a wine and recipe?

Think of the wine as another ingredient on the plate. It’s like a sauce – it needs to chime with the other flavours. Wine works well with food as a contrast (think of a richly fruity Chilean cab-carmenère with a burger, it’s like adding another relish) or when it’s similar (think of the marine flavours of a Muscadet with moules marinière). It’s also good to match heavy with heavy and light with light so that the food doesn’t out-shout the wine or vice versa.

Tell us a little more about your new book, The Wine Dine Dictionary. What’s it all about?

I felt we were all missing out. We love to talk about what foods taste good together –basil and peaches or strawberries and cream or cheese and toast – but wine is often left out of the equation. So I wrote a book that’s all about choosing wine and food that taste really good together. It’s arranged like a foreign language dictionary. You can look up a food and find ideas for what to drink, or look up a wine and find ideas for what to eat. It’s packed with suggestions and recipes, too, for happy eating and drinking. I hope it will provide inspiration for some really good dinners.

Love a good drop of vino? Follow Victoria’s wining and dining adventures on Instagram.

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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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Khoollect encourages responsible consumption of alcohol in accordance with the laws of the country you’re drinking in. Everything in moderation, right?

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Read Victoria’s simple guide to selecting wines.