How important is vine age to wine quality?
I was recently asked by a student in my wine course to come up with a shortlist of food-friendly wines and, after a little research, produced the following list of attributes in wine that make them easier to match with a wide range of foods:
• Crisp acidity
• Dry or very slightly sweet
• Light or medium body
• Low to moderate alcohol
• Smooth or slightly rough tannins
• Neutral flavours
Using those attributes as a guide here is my (controversial) pick of the most food-friendly New Zealand white and red varietal wines:
White Wines (in order of food-friendliness)
• Pinot Gris (dry or very slightly sweet)
Red Wines (in order of food friendliness)
• Pinot Noir
• Cabernet Franc
Keep in mind that “food-friendliness” is the measure of a wine’s ability to match a wide range of dishes. I was asked by a reader to list wines that were food-unfriendly, or less promiscuous when it comes to finding a perfect partner.
• Sweet wines
• Astringent wines
• Wines that are high in alcohol
Vintage port, for example, forms a wonderful partnership with blue cheese but not much else. It meets my defintion of “food-unfriendly”.