Wed 17 Jul 2013

Wine As A Sauce For Food?


Working in The Society’s Cellar Showroom, our team’s vinous matchmaking skills are tested daily, not only on what wine may suit a particular occasion but also – more often these days – a wine that will complement a particular meal.

Conrad Braganza

Conrad Braganza

It’s often wise to remember local pairings and the natural affinity several regions’ foods have with their wines: the crisp minerality of Sancerre, for instance, is perfect with goat’s cheese, the spice-infused berry and smoke of a pinotage with a Braai (barbecue), the reds and whites of the Rhône with pâté and so on.

However, when studying for the WSET Diploma, a fellow student offered up a useful principle which I have been putting into practice recently: view wine as a sauce to enhance the meal.

Never one to shy away from a challenge that involves gratification of the tastebuds, I have spent several hours experimenting since hearing this principle phrased so eloquently, and it has been upheld:

For example, think of a haunch of venison, served with a blackberry sauce or redcurrant jelly. Northern Rhône syrah or something red from Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits would provide a suitable replacement, and enhancement, with aplomb.

With a salmon steak the squeeze of lime would more than be replaced by the addition of the citrusy precision of a riesling; or a creamy buttery sauce is admirably replaced or indeed complemented by an oaked chardonnay.

It’s an interesting way to think about matching food and wine, and I’ve learned from experience that it works well.

In summary, next time a wine is required, get saucy!

Conrad Braganza
Cellar Showroom

Categories : Miscellaneous


  1. Ewan Murray says:

    Agreed, Conrad. With pork belly, for example, an off-dry riesling is a great substitute for apple sauce.

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