Fruit and Veg wine matches
Thu, 02/07/2013 - 12:34 What Food What Wine team
New research has suggested that people who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables are likely to be more energetic, calmer and happier than their fast-food guzzling counterparts.
The results of the study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Otago, are perhaps unsurprising given the column inches dedicated to the health benefits of getting your five a day.
What is not so obvious is thinking up interesting and tasty ways to hit that target and finding good wine matches to go with fruit and veg.
It's true that some subtle vegetarian dishes can get lost when paired with big, high-alcohol wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are ways to match stronger wines with non-meat dishes.
Chardonnay, for instance, will go well with a creamy risotto or pasta dish.
Don't be afraid to experiment beyond the obvious choices. Polenta is an Italian staple which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and will make a good pairing with an oak-aged Chardonnay.
If you like to pair your pasta with a tomato-based sauce then try and match your food with a complementary wine such as Chianti. A Pinot Noir is also worth a try as the wine's soft, smooth flavours will counteract the high acidity of tomatoes.
Kale is in season at the moment and it makes a great accompaniment to pasta when teamed with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a few shavings of parmesan cheese.
Because Kale has quite a strong flavour it can handle being paired with a fairly robust red like a Zinfandel.
If you're looking for a warming dish then why not try putting together a vegetarian casserole or a spinach lasagne. As with creamy risotto, this will go well with a Chardonnay, although red wine lovers could opt for a merlot.
Fruit is best matched with a sweet wine and an apple crumble will go beautifully with a Riesling or a Gewurztraminer.
It's also worth remembering that sweet dishes, and those which rely heavily on fruit for flavour, always pair well with sparkling wine or Champagne.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to the real deal then a Californian sparkling white from the Napa Valley will go brilliantly with an apple crumble, or you could try it with just baked apples if you're attempting to be healthy.
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Top food & wine matching tips from the What Food What Wine? team