Italian wine is famed for its ability to pair effortlessly with food. Our quick cheat sheet gives you some simple rules to follow and some of our favourite food and wine matches.
A glass of bubbles makes for a great start to most occasions. It’s also a classic palette cleanser with the freshness and acidity of Prosecco helping prepare the mouth for more food and wine. However, Prosecco is made in three different styles relating to sweetness, so it is always a good idea to ensure you match food accordingly:
Dry Prosecco: This confusingly is the sweetest style Prosecco and works well with sweet dishes like panettone, light sponges and Italian biscuits. The sweetness can also work really well with spicy light Thai or Vietnamese dishes.
Extra dry Prosecco (medium sweetness), can work well with Popcorn ( sweet and salty). It also matches well with salads and grilled vegetables. Try it with figs, sweet potatoes or roasted nuts
We make our Prosecco in a more modern “Brut” style so it is actually very dry. Good food matches are things like quiches, light seafood dishes, crostini’s, frittatas and prosciutto. Plus, our Prosecco and fried chicken is a guilty pleasure you have to try.
Simple rule 1: Match sweet or spicy foods with sweet wine for a real treat. But for our Prosecco, try smoked hams or fried chicken!
Pinot Grigio matches:
Pinot Grigio generally works well with light seafood dishes as the high acidity works well with saltiness. Think tiger prawns and pasta, with a light tomato sauce or some simple fish and chips. Our wine is from Friuli Venezia Giulia ( North-East Italy - near Venice) and a classic pairing in the region is San Danielle prosciutto ( this is made near our wine, but you can get it in good food shops and some supermarkets - Woolworths). If you want to transport yourself to Italy ( because we are not going to be able to get there for a while) grab a bottle of our wine ( make sure it’s nicely chilled), crusty bread and some prosciutto. Amazing!
Simple rule 2: Saltiness and fat in food matched to higher wine acidity can be pairing heaven. San Danielle Prosciutto and Pinot Grigio is the perfect example.
Rosato ( Rose) is generally a great food wine, naturally straddling the pairing strengths of white and red wines. Dry not overly fruity rose is especially good for pairing with traditional pizza, light shelled fish pasta dishes or simple salsa’s – think buffalo mozzarella and tomato or melon and prosciutto through to Nicoise salads – then reach for a bottle of our Rosato.
It’s also a great accompaniment to salt and oil-rich foods like anchovies and olives – the perfect choice for long afternoons grazing in the sun.
Simple rule 3: Rose is one of food’s best friends, it can pair with most cuisines. Keeping a bottle of chilled rose in the fridge will be a match for any occasion.
Chianti and Sangiovese matches:
Chianti is made from Sangiovese ( if you want to know more about Chianti check out our cheat sheet on our blog) and there is a large variety of styles. However, as a very broad guide Chianti is typically a medium-bodied, bright, fresh and fruity wine. Our Chianti falls into this category and perfect matches are tomato-based pasta dishes like spaghetti bolognese and ragus. Also pizza and with mixed vegetable toppings ( mushrooms and peppers).
Simple rule 4: Umami dishes ( savoury earthy flavours like mushroom and tomato), can sometimes be a challenge to pair. Lots of ‘tannin; can really clash with umami dishes making them quite bitter. Look for wine low in tannin ( like our Chianti) but relatively high in acidity.
Nero d’Avola matches:
Nero d’Avola is another great food wine. With it’s robust tannin structure and acidity, it can match the meatiest of meats for flavour. A great tip from awesome wine website Wine Folly is ‘matching a Nero with BBQ burgers and bacon;’ Generally, the gamier the meat the better for ‘Nero’ because it will simply make the wine taste more fruity. Our wine is medium-bodied, but has quite a bold flavour profile. Great matches are spicier tomato-based pasta and pizza dishes as well as barbecued meats. Nero d"Avola is a native grape of Sicily, try a bottle of our wine with ‘salsiccia piccante’ for a truly amazing Sicilian cuisine experience.
Simple rule 5: Look to try and match the flavour intensity of your food and wine. As a general rule, big flavour food needs big flavour wine.
And finally, food and wine matching can be notoriously subjective so personal preference always ‘trumps’ any guidelines. The final and most important rule in food and wine pairing: If you like it then it’s right!