Wine & (Casual) Dine

Blog, Food Pairings, Wines 15 April 2019 Published by Tegan Philp

In the last decade, casual dining has become increasingly popular with sometimes there being no better place to eat than in a good old cosy pub!

Customers are looking for that genuine pub experience and to reconnect with the community through their ‘local’. By having a good quality menu that features simple pub classics along with a traditional setting that a pub has to offer, this results in an atmosphere which every modern day pub-goer desires. Besides the typical pint of local ale, wine can be a great alternative to this straightforward yet tasty style of food with the opportunity to provide a glass of something interesting, enhancing the customer’s experience.

Let’s take a look at what to pair with some of the nation’s favourite dishes…

For customers whose go-to meal is hearty Bangers & Mash with lashings of rich onion gravy, then you’ll be needing a hearty wine to pair with it. You could play it safe with a soft and plummy Merlot, however if you’re feeling a little more adventurous we recommend trying Urmeneta Carménère.

A fun little fact about Chile’s indigenous red grape variety Carménère is that until the 1980s, it was believed to be Merlot as they share similar characteristics – both deep ruby in colour, velvety and fruity; however Carménère reveals a new layer of complexity with earthy, green pepper notes and  some punchy spice. Go on, give it a try!

Fish & Chips – a national treasure of a dish which turns up on nearly every pub menu. The usual suspect for pairing here would be a Kiwi Sauvignon but if like us, your customers have been there, done that and are up for something a little different, try them on a Azabache White Rioja. You heard us right, Rioja isn’t always red! It can in fact be white or pink too. White Rioja is typically made from the Viura grape variety and has lovely fresh fruity flavours and zesty citrus character making it an ideal match for seafood.

With vegetarianism soaring in the UK, the Veggie Burger has secured a regular spot on many pub menus. Chardonnay loves vegetables and is up to taking on even the chunkiest veggie flavours but for something more off the beaten track, try Les Vignerons Vermentino-Colombard to add a bit of ‘oo la la’ to the combo. Two grape varieties blended together to make a seriously fruity wine; Vermentino (thought to originate in Corsica) is floral, citrusy and light, and Colombard, the queen of easy-drinking to keep things versatile.

Steak and Malbec is one of the key wine and food pairings being bounded around at the moment, but if you want to give your customers something a bit more unusual and will have them ordering a second bottle, we recommend trying the Casa Vinironia Appassimento from Italy which is full-bodied with notes of plum and raisins. The oak-ageing gives tasty notes of spice and vanilla, ramping up the intensity and making this the ideal accompaniment to a mouth-watering steak, not forgetting all the trimmings of course. Delicious!

Want to know more about these wines or how to perfect pairings to your menu? Enlist the help of your regional Wine Development Manager.

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