Our top tips to get the best out of your wine…
Last month, our lovely caterers, Ampersand arranged for one of their wine suppliers, Jascots Wine Merchants to come and meet the catering and events team here at BMA House and spend an afternoon teaching us about how wine is made, how different regions affect the taste of wines and most importantly to us (and you!) how to best pair wines with food.
We started with a brief overview on the climate and how a cool climate produces fresher, more acidic wines and warm climates create a bolder flavoured wine. This is mostly due to how ripe the grapes can become in different countries. Most wine producing countries lie between 30 – 50 degrees latitude as wines grown in a climate too cool are typically too acidic and wines grown in overly hot temperatures are generally too sweet and cloying. You need a balance between sweetness and acidity.
Next came the tasting where we tried four wines and paired them with sweet, savoury, spicy and bitter foods to see how this changed the taste of both elements. When tasting a wine it is useful to first assess the colour, swirl the wine in the glass to release the aromas, sniff it briefly and then taste. Assessing the notes on the nose and tongue, and finally consider the quality. A basic rule of thumb is to compliment the characteristics of the wine to the food and counterbalance any overpowering characteristics of either. For example, salt softens the tannins in wine, so a steak for instance is well paired with a Cabaret Sauvignon which is high in tannins.
Despite the ‘rules’ of pairing, we all enjoyed different wines and combinations, illustrating that wine is a very personal preference and although we can appreciate wine with a degree of detachment and assess it for its quality, when enjoying wine with a meal, these are just guidelines which when recommended, can make a difference to the overall taste of a meal.
Finally, we went through our wine list and dinner menus to pair both together including our Bodega Sendero Royal Lacrimus, Rioja with our Roast Rump of Southdown Lamb main course and our crisp Marterey Chardonnay with our Tomato Tart Tatin starter.
Our top wine picks:
Chablis Louis Robin, Burgundy, France, 2014 –This classic Chablis is packed with flavours of green apple and ripe zesty citrus notes, it goes really well with a variety of seafood dishes due to the acidity of the wine cutting through the oil of the fish. This wine offers a refreshing alternative to what most people characteristically think of as a ‘Chardonnay’ i.e stone or tropical fruits notes and oak matured.
Pinot Noir Reserva, Vina Mar, Casablanca, Chile, 2014 – A favourite of mine, the light and elegant light bodied red full of fruity flavours is the perfect red to enjoy with or without food. Not too high on tannins, it makes a great wine to enjoy alone but won’t over power a lighter meal like roasted pork or salmon.
All our events team are trained in wine and food pairing and both Hannah and Maxine hold certificates from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
To view our current menu and wine list, please click here: www.bmahouse.org.uk/conferences-meetings/food-drink
For a further overview of wine styles and tasting notes, this book makes for a really interesting read:
Written by Hannah Anderson & Maxine Reynolds
Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP