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Mat h e

WINE REVIEWS

w es Juk

Food for thought Some wines are simply gluggers, others are complex enough to tackle ambitious gastronomic creations.  www.matthewjukes.com paper-plane, admin@vineyardmagazine.co.uk

There is a popular term in the wine business for bottles which seem a little more structured, youthful or edgy than usual. You will have heard it over and over again at wine tastings – “it’s a food wine”. Everyone nods sagely when this expression is trotted out. Ah ha, a food wine, one which cannot be drunk on its own because it is too angular and obtuse, too tannic and earthy or too skinsy or hot. I cannot stand the term ‘food wine’ because, by definition, you can eat anything you like with any wine you like and conversely crack on with any bottle you desire without a napkin on your lap! Having said this, I do understand that some wines are more disposed to fine dining than others. I find that wines with pronounced acidity and accordingly, more length of flavour on the finish, are the finest ones to carefully match to your own culinary repertoire. These are wines that maintain their integrity on the palate while you are

enjoying your food, hopefully adding complementary flavours to those found on your fork. I have written many wine books with food and wine matching chapters and my Daily Mail column has been matching wine with food for over 20 years. I spent 26 years writing restaurant wine lists, too, so I think I know a thing or two about food and wine pairings, but I am not a snob about this complicated and personal matter of taste. One thing is certain and everyone reading this page will know what I mean when I say that some wines are simply gluggers, and others are complex enough to tackle ambitious gastronomic creations. I have found three wines this month whose wineries have not yet appeared in my Vineyard column over the last two years. All are ideally suited to sitting on the smartest restaurant wine lists imaginable. Priced at £10, £20 and £30, there is no set price point for well-chosen, on-trade wines; they just have to be very well made and owners of long, fine, unwavering flavours.

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