How to: Selecting the perfect match


At Woodlands we have the benefit of having our very own wines and our own Sommelier. Having someone who can say with experience what goes best with what is a wonderful benefit to our guests but mostly its about your taste and personal palate. We offer wine tastings all year round and we offer to match your menu with beverages from our menus.

Our first tip when tasting wines is making sure your palate is not compromised, This includes your nose so smelling coffee beans and rinsing your mouth with soda water or mineral water is a good start. Once you have found the varietals that make you smile sit them aside.

Next you want to look at the meats your dishes hold. Is it a dark meat (beef) or light (pork)? For a dark meat the general rule is a red will go better but if your not a fan of heavy reds turn to the accompaniments. For instance if it is being served with a sweet potato mash and a chili jus you have two strong flavors. Anything peppery usually goes well with a Shiraz, Merlot or a Pinot Noir. With the sweet potato being on the dish I would go for the Pinot Noir to balance the sweet and spicy flavors with the full flavor of the dark meat. However if the accompaniment happens to be a fresh salad a buttery chardonnay can often take the heat of a steak. Especially if it is sliced thinly, rare or served with a buttery sauce.

What about Beer? people tend to forget that you can match any beverage to accompany food. The idea is that they go together and enhance each other. A beer goes very well with curry or spicy foods. Particularly a lager or stout, think Guinness pie. Cider goes nicely with seafood and vegetarian dishes but can also be matched nicely with pork particularly if apple is served with the meat.

Our last tip and the most important is to have fun and experiment. It all comes down to what you like in the end and if don’t try new things you will never know if you like them.

Michael Ellison

Author Michael Ellison

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