We all have go-to ingredients that we buy or already have in the cupboards.
But have you ever wondered how they can be elevated? And no, we’re not talking about adding expensive, hard-to-find items that aren’t in the supermarkets.
Instead, The Metro Wine Club takes a look at how five everyday ingredients and meals can be taken to a new level with the right wine pairings.
Let’s a look at the options below:
Matching wine and food comes down to pairing the bottle with the dominant meal flavour and this is no more obvious than with a humble piece of toast.
Whether it’s Welsh rarebit or your classic cheese toastie, cheddar tastes best with chardonnay thanks to its combination of crisp freshness with tangy fruity flavours.
How about peanut butter on toast tonight with a glass of sherry? Sherry, because it’s so under-appreciated, can give you some serious bang for your buck, and while the nuttiness of amontillado mirrors the nutty spread’s flavours, its glossiness smoothes out the dry texture.
Meanwhile, the worthiest of toast toppings, avocado, loves to be paired with sauvignon blanc: its green flavours and zesty vibe cutting through the creaminess of the avocado. And, finally, baked beans, with their tangy tomato sauce, love a juicy bold red, so pour something like a Chilean merlot.
If you’re adding bacon or chorizo to an egg recipe, it’s such a game changer you need to up the flavour ante to something like a young and fruity red rioja or a red from southern France.
Otherwise, it’s hello sparkling wine. Yes, a not-too-aromatic sparkling wine (ie not prosecco) is a gorgeous match with the richness of egg yolk. If money’s no object, then champagne or English sparkling wine is the dream of course, but delicious alternatives like crémant and cava are a bit kinder on the wallet and taste supremely good with everything from omelette to frittata to egg fried rice.
And on the subject of fried food, these sparkling wines are also heaven with fish and chips or fried chicken. Trust me, I’ve done the selfless research.
Pasta and pizza
Matching wines with pasta usually prompts me to follow one of the most useful food and wine tips around – keep local with local.
Food and wine from the same region usually have an affinity of flavour that’s hard to beat. With that in mind I’m going big on Italian wines here, because as well as being a country of endless wine options, it also has plenty of great buys up its sleeve.
With pizza, think of the pasta flavours below as pizza toppings. Spaghetti bolognese or spaghetti with meatballs is heaven with southern Italian reds from grape varieties that give us juicy, smoky, comforting flavours like primitivo, nero d’avola and negroamaro.
The simplest pasta, with a bit of cheese, olive oil and seasoning, is happiest when paired with a fruity white with a bit of white pepper attitude: step forward verdicchio or pinot bianco. If mushrooms are the big flavour, then a richer white from the south is great, like catarratto or falanghina.
Red wines go with mushrooms; try cherry-flavoured reds with a bit of earthiness like barbera or dolcetto. For a fresh tomato and basil sauce, or a green pesto, then pour a zippy, zesty white like a good pinot grigio or a vermentino.
Pot Noodles are soups, right? For chicken and mushroom flavour, pick a chenin blanc or chardonnay; for chow mein try a Riesling – the fruitiness of this grape picks up well on Asian spices (including coconut-based curry sauces).
Soups are best with wine when you respect their delicate flavour, so if you’re having cream of tomato, pick an easy-going red from central Italy:try grapes like montepulciano or sangiovese. A busier soup, like minestrone or one with lentils, callsfor a biggerred that’s nice and smooth,like a côtesdu Rhône.
To order, visit Virgin Wines or call 0343 224 1001 quoting VF2227. You must be 18 years of age or over to buy alcohol. New customers only, one case per customer. For full terms and conditions, click here
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