The Co-operative Fairtrade Merlot with chocolate
October 7, 2015

Fairtrade Wine Works with…

To help inspire your culinary creations and to provide some guidance on what to imbibe, each bottle of Co-op Fairtrade wine has some food matches on the back label. For the more adventurous among you, here are some classic wine & food pairings and just for fun some more usual, but eminently tasty concoctions.

We’ll start simply, with an easy to remember rule that governs most of goes on when delicious food and a bottle of something nice collide –
“The lighter flavoured the food, the lighter style of wine you need.”

There you go, easy, we could stop now and let you get on with the cooking, but we’re nice here are a few more ideas:

Lighter, crisper whites like Pinot Grigio go with lighter, maybe seafood & fish influenced dishes. Our Fairtrade Pinot from Argentina is a little richer so we can step up the food flavour concentration and because it’s autumn and we need something warming try a risotto with seafood or an oilier fish like tuna or salmon – the acidity in wine helps cut through the oil in the fish.

Fruitier, fresher whites including Sauvignon Blanc lend themselves to richer, creamier dishes based around poultry and white meats. Our Fairtrade Sauvignon Blanc is quite refreshing with a load of green fruit – think grilled chicken or fish, seasonal green veg and maybe even a touch of spice.

Rounded, more tropical whites like Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc almost require you get the fish pie in the oven, the curry on the hob or boil the kettle for a creamy pasta dish.

Smooth, softer reds like Merlot offer lots of food friendly flexibility, anything from cuts of fish (tried to avoid anything too oily), white through to red meats – casserole time! If you don’t really like reds and the chalky feeling you get on your gums, the tannin, Merlot is good place to start your introductions into reds. Tannin is a protein, so when you eat a protein based dish like cheese – the tannin falls away leaving you to enjoy the fruity flavours! Any red (or white for that matter) pairs superbly with cheese, just remember the golden rule – “the lighter the flavour of cheese, the lighter the style of wine.”

Fairtrade Red Wines

Fruitier, richer reds which include Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec – it’s time to turn up the red meat dial – think steaks, roasts and dust off the slow cooker. With Malbec especially, think steak, steak or even steak…

Spicy, jammy reds more often than not Shiraz influenced love foods with spicy, peppery and smoky flavours, including roasts, grills and slow cooked hearty stews, a classic autumnal wine if ever there was one!

Here are few more usual suggestions that really work:
Carménère and curry – try it, you’ll like it
Merlot and chocolate – it really works
Carrot sticks, hummus and Cabernet Sauvignon – very moreish
Bacon butties and Chardonnay – the bigger the doorstep the better, and not for breakfast

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