The Skinny on Wine!

Back in my hotel days, I used to host several wine dinners from local (Niagara and surrounding area) wineries.
It was during one of these wine dinners I fell in love with a winery by the name of Malivoire.

Wine and food pairing have often confused people. The general rule of thumb is red wine with red meat, white with chicken or fish. Personally, I don’t always subscribe to that theory entirely, however be sensible when pairing wine and food. I drink the wine I feel like drinking and what I feel goes well with my meal. Books and magazines are only guides and don’t reflect your personal tastes. Wine and food should complement each other and not one should over power the other.

Anyhow, back to my point with Malivoire! We decided to eat Indian cuisine one evening and needed a wine to compliment the meal. Back to the rule of thumb when it comes to spicy cuisine. Spicy food…sweeter wine, and not Baby Duck! In this case, the rule of thumb works, however the sweetness of the wine depends on your tastes.
We don’t particularly enjoy our food too spicy, but a little heat is okay. We remembered how much we enjoyed Malivoire Gewurztraminer and decided on that. It was the perfect match. More of a classic Gew├╝rztraminer that you would expect from Alsace, not overly sweet, hints honeysuckle, apricots, and just enough sweetness to compliment the somewhat spicy food.
Other great matches could have been Hardy’s Riesling/Gewurztraminer blend from Australia or Meglomaniac from Ontario.
If you enjoy very spicy food, I would recommend a much sweeter wine. German Rieslings are sweet, full flavoured and absolutely delicious with food or on their own. Any of these varietals from the “vintage” section in the LCBO are a winner. I recommend DR Heidemanns-Bergweiler Riesling Kabinett.

Remember a couple things about wine
1. Drink what you enjoy
2. Make sure the wine compliments the food
3. Make sure the food compliments the wine
4. Spicier food requires sweeter wine
5. Try wines from Ontario, off the shelf from other countries and don’t be intimidated by the wines in vintages. There are several great wines “off the shelf” and not expensive, but sometimes spending a little extra does pay off though.


Chef Paul
Fresco Cafe and Catering