The simple rule with food and wine is to make it easy for your customers. Recommending wines to partner dishes on your menus and specials boards gives you a double selling opportunity. It can also prompt and assist your staff to make informed recommendations.

We have introduced an online food matching tool as well as a food and wine matching wheel which can provide you and your staff with a quick, easy guide to help make recommendations.

Perfect partners

These can be applied to lists regardless of outlet style.

• Flavour profiles of food and wine should complement each other. Light dishes suit a lighter wine and heavily flavoured dish needs a richer wine. A simple white fish dish suits a delicate Verdicchio or Gavi, while a full-bodied Chardonnay complements a rich fish pie.

• Meals, and wines throughout the meal, are generally a progression. Move from lighter to fuller flavours and from drier to sweeter. A light-bodied Pinot Grigio can taste thin if your palate has adjusted to that full-flavoured Chardonnay; a dry Sauvignon Blanc can be too acidic after a juicy Viognier.

• Don’t be constrained by the standard white wine with fish, red wine with meat approach. Just ensure that the flavour and body of a wine work with a dish. A full-bodied Chardonnay will work beautifully with a roast chicken and a light red such as Pinot Noir will perfectly partner tuna or monkfish.

• Spicy foods and wine can mix. Juicy reds such as Shiraz or Carmenere

will be a great partner for an Indian curry whilst aromatic whites such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer will work with fresher Thai dishes.

• You can reduce the risk for your customers by offering a choice of wines with each dish. Try to include a safe bet and a more adventurous choice. The same applies when thinking about your range of wines available by the glass.

• Make recommendations for wines to partner dishes on your menus and specials board. This gives you a double selling opportunity.