The truth about food and wine matching: in defence of its supporters

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by Robin Goldsmith in Drink, Food, Wine

Fish with wine

The debate

There’s been a good deal of talk recently in social media and newspapers about whether wine critics’ advice is worth its salt and whether food and wine matching makes any sense, has genuine scientific worth or is just a load of pretentious nonsense?

The argument

First and foremost, wine should be enjoyed, so if you happen to like drinking Château Plonk with your vindaloo, that’s fine. Yet certain combinations do seem to taste better than others and some combinations are really quite unpleasant. Consider the following. When you bite into a piece of meat or fish and take a sip or swig of wine from your glass, the chances are that some of the meat juices or even bits of fish are still in your mouth. Treat wine in a similar way to a sauce or gravy and all the flavours mingle together. Now, if you are lucky enough to be eating grilled fillet of sea bass, would you want it smothered in gravy? No – because it would be horrible! It would simply not taste right, the gravy ruining the flavour of the fish. This can’t be just a subjective observation, as surely most people would arrive at the same conclusion, so perhaps there is, dare I say, a more scientific reason for this.


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A Fond Farewell to Kemp’s Wines !

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by Robin Goldsmith in Drink, Wine

Kemps Wines

A selection of Kemp’s wines, including the appropriately named “Swansong”

After 26 years in the wine business, John Kemp retired at the end of last year. An extremely talented winemaker in Suffolk, he cites age (72 but looks considerably younger), a desire to do the things he wants for the rest of his life, like kayaking (!) and the rising cost of petrol affecting transportation costs as reasons for stopping. Previous owner of Giffords Hall, in Hartest near Bury St Edmunds, he decided to set up a small winery nearby in three acres of land, approximately nine years ago. Keeping his operation small, he decided to sell wine at country shows and through mail order only. John retires at a time when English wine is receiving an increasing number of accolades and the future is definitely wine-coloured, if not orange.


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English Rosé

Posted on January 30th, 2012 by Robin Goldsmith in Drink, Wine

With English wine coming first in many international competitions, is now the time to stock up on our victorious vino? I explore the rise of home-grown rosé.

Vineyard

Although English wines have been produced since Roman times, there are only around 400 vineyards in England and Wales, compared to France, which has about 27,000 wineries. Previously, English and Welsh wine suffered from a reputation for low quality, which would have been partly due to the lack of choice, in addition to climatic effects, inferior grapes and an underdeveloped industry. However, as someone famous once said, "The times they are a-changin" and retailers and customers are starting to discover the true potential of our domestic wineries.


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