Gone are the days that the UK was known as a nation of ale drinkers. Wine has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years and has become the most popular alcoholic drink amongst UK adults across all age groups and areas. More than 60% of adults in the United Kingdom name wine as their drink of choice resulting in more than 30 million regular wine consumers country-wide. Despite the increasing number of wine drinkers, most consumers are oblivious of the magnitude of the English wine industry, with more than 50% being under the impression that there are less than 100 vineyards across the UK when, in actual fact, there are more than 450.
The English love their food almost as much as they love their wine, and luckily the two go very well together. When many people think of food and wine pairings they don’t get much further than ‘white wine with fish and chicken and red wine with red meat’. Luckily there is a world of interesting (and even some unusual) combinations that will leave you salivating for more. Here are just a few fascinating pairings for you to try the next time you feel like expanding your palate by discovering new combinations.
Pizza and red wine
For some reason, we have been lead to believe that pizza should be served with beer, and while it is indeed a good pairing, it isn’t the only one worth trying – red wine. Whether you opt for a simple Margherita or a spicy pepperoni, a good glass of red wine will take your pizza-eating experience to the next level. Choose a crisp wine that will pair well with the acidity of the tomato base, making sure you go easy on the tannins as they may bump heads with the delicate freshness of the mozzarella. You can’t go wrong with a fresh wine full of fruitiness, just make sure you have enough to go around as the combination is sure to convert even the staunchest beer drinker to a wine lover.
Sushi and dry Rosé
Sushi is quite a difficult dish to pair with a wine because of its diverse taste profile that is slightly salty yet slightly sweet at the same time. The flavour of sushi is delicate and needs to be paired with a wine that won’t overpower it. While many people are rather indifferent to what drink they pair their sushi with, a dry Rosé just seems to work so much better than a crisp white or a full-bodied red. Another option, of course, is to ditch the traditional wines altogether and sip on a sherry while indulging in your favorite fishy-treat. The distinctive pungency is known to boost the subtle flavours of sushi beautifully.
Bacon and eggs and Bordeaux
Bacon and eggs is a breakfast staple in the UK, one which can be turned into a rather luxurious spread with the inclusion of a glass of wine. The questions however remains, what wine can you possibly pair a basic breakfast with? If you were to follow conventional wine-pairing rules you might have opted for a light, sparkling one. Eggs clash with tannins and are one of the hardest foods to pair with wine while bacon relies on some acidity to clean the palate. Strangely enough, the best wine to enjoy with your bacon and eggs is a good Claret or Cabernet Sauvignon. Give it a try, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Whether you prefer a crisp white or a full-bodied red, there is a wine out there that will be the perfect accompaniment to your favourite meal. All recommended pairings are merely guidelines and nothing prevents you from being bold and enjoying a glass of sparkling wine with your bangers and mash or a Merlot with your apple crumble.