Aperitivi and wine

The rise of programmes like Come Dine with Me has arguably helped the collective British psyche to understand and appreciate the value of home cooked meals.

It may also have encouraged people away from bars and nightclubs and fostered a sense that a dinner party with friends can be just as much fun as a night on the town.

Because it's all about the food, it certainly moves the emphasis of an evening's entertainment from just drinking, to eating and matching wine to your meal.

It seems that the trend for consuming food with your drinks is hitting UK's capital city too.
The Evening Standard has reported on what it sees as food trends for the coming year, one of which is the rise of the free aperitivo.

Not to be confused with an aperitif, aperitivi are small plates of food which are served to customers ordering cocktails at bars and are given out free of charge.

The publication lists various bars which are trying out the Italian trend, including Obika in South Kensington where drinks come with free crostini, pizza and stuffed focaccia.

Banca Ristorante Italiano are also serving pizzette and salted corn fritters when guests order Negroni, Aperol Spritz or Bellini.

When you're pairing food and wine there are some rules to be aware of, although you don't necessarily have to stick to them religiously.

Some food and wines complement each other because they taste similar, others work because of the contrast, but one easy matching rule to remember is to try and pair things from the same country.

So, if you're going down the route of aperitivi, then why not stick to a complementary Italian wine. For instance, pair focaccia with a Lambrusco.

While pizza can go well with red wines, such as Zinfandel, why not try pizette with a glass of prosecco to keep thing light and fizzy, and of course, Italian.

Bruschetta is another great aperitivi to serve before dinner. The trick is to make something that wets the appetite, rather than drowns it.

If you like red wine then Chianti is a good pairing as the wine's acidity works well with the tomatoes. Alternatively, a Zinfandel will also work as would a Barbera.

Fans of white wine may want to try the Italian appetiser with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc, a nice light wine that won't crowd out your senses before the main meal.


 The What Food What Wine? Splats love talking about food and wine pairing. It's their passion, some might say, their obsession!