Let the wine choose the food

Let the wine choose the food

Jonathan Kini, Head of Small and SME Business, Vodafone UK wonders if letting wine lead the seasoning is the way forward.

It was a sunny bank holiday – there was at least one this year, I promise – when I settled down to the pleasure of tasting a couple of wines for BQ Magazine. Now, I’ve sampled a fair number of vintages in my time (more than I’d care to admit) but I’m far from an expert – so I decided to call in some outside help. And, if you need help with consuming alcohol, who better to contact than a couple of hard working doctors.

Luckily, I just happened to have two in the wings, lured by the promise of a glass or two of premium vino. As an added bonus, because this particular wine tasting was technically for ‘work’, there was no excuse needed for cracking open the first bottle at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon.

The first wine we sampled was a 2014 Grant Burge Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. The late, hazy afternoon was a perfect backdrop for this light dry floral white, which is long on the palate but without real depth. It has tones of melon, citrus fruits, peach and even gooseberry, meaning it’s refreshing and not overpowering. All of which make it ideal for relaxing in the sun while the BBQ is heating up. Just a shame I hadn’t prepared any prawns in lemon and garlic for us to nibble on, they would have gone down a treat with this fruity, acidic number.

And, boy did I need those pre-BBQ prawns! After receiving the usual torrent of abuse over the length of time it takes for the BBQ to heat up (a fire is like a fine vintage I replied, worth the wait!), I decided I’d had enough and cracked open the second bottle. But on reflection, this might have been an unwise move before the steaks were even ready.

The next wine - a 2012 Argentinian Blue Melosa Flores blend was deep, intense, complex and threw a literal punch to the mouth. But its smoky nose with plum and smooth vanilla on the palate was an absolute joy - and, it definitely needs to be accompanied by steak. No, more than that, it needs heat.

It immediately conjured up thoughts of South American spice, and so, with my taste buds well and truly stimulated I reached for the piri-piri seasoning and doused the steaks. No longer am I choosing the bottle to accompany the food - this delicious evocative wine very much led the way. The doctors left suitably impressed with the fruity spicy combination of wine and meat, leaving me to wonder if this isn’t the way forward?

Open the wine and then decide on the flavours to accompany it. At the very least this means you are cooking with a glass of wine in your hand - if you think about it, a plan with no drawbacks!

Australian 5th Generation 2014 Semillon Sauvignon, Grant Burge, priced at £9.99
Argentinian Blue Melosa Flores Blend 2012 Gouguenheim, Mendoza, priced at £14.95

Wine was supplied by Firth & Co Wine Merchant. www.firthandco.com
01677 451 952.
Newton Bank, Newton-le-Willows, Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL8 1TE