Summer Feast

Sunshine, long warm balmy nights, good friends and a bottle of refreshingly crisp wine. If you ask any of us at S&K, these are the essentials to a perfect summer. 

But how do you know which wine to pair with your delicious summer feasts? Together, let's explore the art of pairing food with those crisp summer wines we love so much. 

Now, before you blow your guests away with your incredible wine pairing skills, there are, of course, a few concepts we first need to understand. First, we need to be familiar with the six basic tastes of wine. When deciding on pairings, these are the tastes we're looking for: 

  • Acid
  • Bitter
  • Fat
  • Piquant (Spiciness)
  • Salt
  • Sweet

The first three tastes: acid, bitter, and spice, all clash. We need to avoid pairing highly acidic flavours with anything bitter. For example, you probably don't want to be pairing your bottle of 2019 S&K Fortitude Durif with a fresh zesty citrus and vinegarette salad. 

The other three tastes are: sweet, fat, and salt—Now, these all pair well with one another. We know that most wine lacks the tastes of fatness, spiciness, and saltiness; this works in our favour as it will help us find those flavours in the food. 

When it comes to the other three flavours, red wines will have more bitterness, white and rosé wines will be more acidic, and sweet wines will be sweet (surprise, surprise!) 

Understanding that food and wines all have varying tastes will help us understand which wine we should be pairing with our food. 

Wine and food pairing relies on the idea of congruent and contrasting tastes. Contrasting pairings will nicely blend opposing tastes in the wine and the food. For example, a zesty white wine such as our 2021 Alvarinho complements the fat and cream in a carbonara pasta. Congruent pairings will match taste with taste; for example, if you were to take the same creamy carbonara and now pair it with a heavy, buttery chardonnay. It still works. We're just pairing them differently. 

Some other important tips we should be aware of before deciding on our perfect wine and food pair:

  • The wine should be more acidic and sweeter than the food.
  • We want to match the flavour intensity between wine and food.
  • We should focus on matching the wine with the sauce of our dish than with the meat.

Sometimes the food pairing is obvious: S&K Grand Muscat poured over salted caramel ice cream - yes, please!. Other times it's not so obvious, and you may need to experiment a little to find your perfect pair. The brave are often rewarded (or sometimes not, but you can always throw out the food in that instance!) Who would have thought our 2021 Alvarinho would pair so deliciously well with tacos (you're welcome by the way).

We've put together a few food matches that we'll be enjoying this summer, and we'd love for you to share your favourites. Send all drool-worthy food pairings to our email us or tag us on social media.