Food & Wine - pairing to perfection

Bucket & spade; rhubarb & custard; Torvil & Dean. Some things just work better in pairs – what would Punch do without Judy? Luckily wine & food are no exception. Variety being the spice of both, however, means it’s not quite as gloriously simple as a puppet show on the seaside.


And of course, it is immensely personal. No right or wrong. Although whilst I wouldn’t turn my nose up at someone going for punchy Malbec with their sole meuniere, or a delicate Riesling with their sirloin, I might question their palate. A little. Ok, I admit, a lot. Either way, it’s good to experiment. & luckily a glass won’t tide you through the entire plate


That’s the other beauty of these old gastronomic pals, like any partnership worth their pairing, each makes you appreciate the other more, perhaps even notice something new; to savour the experience rather than cramming everything in as quickly as possible before moving on to the next thing. Oh yes, an immaculately refined & culturally erstwhile pair. Where do I sign?


This clever infographic from Wine Folly goes into immense & intricate detail, charting 9 different grape groupings against 35 food & cooking types. As if that wasn’t enough, it then shows you how to use the data with a series of ingredient & preparation pairings, resulting in some clear ‘shared pairing’ Venn diagrams – why stop at a pairing when you can have a quadrupling?


This may feel an overly-scientific approach to one of the greater pleasures in life, but it actually consolidates a wealth of information in a fun & accessible format. Not to mention throwing up some interesting suggestions. (sole & Malbec notwithstanding) So, just as Torvil & Dean’s well-rehearsed figure of 8s, let’s indulge in a bit of well-circled preparation before popping that cork. Your tastebuds (& guests) will thank you.

The Author

Helen Richards

Hely's love of wine was born from a young age, spending summers exploring the vineyards of France. After studying Modern Languages at Oxford, she worked in publishing and branding before joining the JF Tobias team to help build our blog / written content. She loves wine, writing, yoga and adventure in equal measure and strives to balance all four, although not necessarily all at the same time!