Top wine and food pairings

Posted on Analysis Sep 2012 - by Tandoori Editor
Top wine and food pairings


A team of wine experts has compiled a list of the best wines to match 16 of the UK’s favourite dishes. The list varies from fish and chips, chicken tikka masala and strawberries and cream.

Christine Parkinson, Hakkasan group’s wine buyer, was among the seventeen wine critics which also included Tate head sommelier Hamish Anderson; and Saturday kitchen regulars Susie Barrie and Peter Richards. They blind tasted hundreds of wines against the dishes for the What Food What Wine 2012 Awards, before deciding which were the best pairings.

The wine that best matched Indian curries was a 2011 Hungarian rose from spice Trail, which came out as an ‘outstanding’ match. Judges attended a special tasting at Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Kitchen to try wines alongside four popular Indian dishes – chicken korma, chicken tikka masala, lamb rogan josh and the restaurant’s own prawn curry – and found it matched all of the spiced dishes. Though notoriously difficult to match wine with curries, other notable pairings included a New Zealand Gewurztraminer (best match to a chicken tikka masala) and South African Viognier (best match to a chicken korma).

The year old competition sees judges blind taste the wines alongside 16 well-known dishes before rating them under four categories – sound match, very good match, excellent match and outstanding. The only information the judges are given on the wines is whether they cost more or less than £10.

The sixteen dishes are: Chicken Korma, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Rogan Josh, Cinnamon Kitchen’s prawn curry, Fish and Chips, Smoked Salmon, Mushroom Risotto, Rump Steak and Fries, Roast Lamb, Lasagne, Mature cheddar, Stilton, Turkey with Sage and Onion Stuffing, Strawberries and Cream, Apple Crumble and Custard and Christmas Pudding with Rum Sauce. 

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