JWL Issue #070: Pairing with Fatty Foods

September 24, 2019

It’s the last chance to sign up for the October delivery of The Wine List.

I’ve been speaking to lots of the early founding members about their experiences so far. One said to me, “I love it as a way to extend my wine knowledge that’s not in some stuffy classroom way.” If you don’t like stuffy classrooms for learning either, maybe you’ll like it too. Sign up for £39/month at thewinelist.net.

Autumn is officially upon us, and with it roast game and pinot noir will naturally begin to replace the summer rosé and seafood whites. Perhaps rather untimely, it’s Seafood Week in a fortnight and so will do a mini special there.

It’s been a while since I ran a competition and have one I hope to be launching next week. I can’t reveal what it is yet, but it’s one of my personally most desired wine-related things for a while. Watch this space.


Gran Cerdo is becoming a popular house wine on some of London’s better pub wine lists. Their white is available for about £10 retail, and about five quid a glass at the Victoria in Peckham. You get citrus and peach all brought together with a decent mouthfeel that makes it stand up on its own without food. Well worth buying if you see it.

Montes Pinot Noir (£10.50/bottle when you buy 3 on Amazon) is a good affordable pinot and way better than you’d find from France in this sort of price point. It’s simple: with cherries and being the defining flavour, but great to try out if you see it.

Alter Ribeiro Blanco is a great Galician blend of three grapes: treixadura, loureiro, and godello (£13). This has limes, grapefruit and green fruit in harmony together. There’s some strong acidity here too, which means it leans more naturally as one to pair with some food.


How do I pair wines with fatty foods?

While there are some big clashes in food and wine pairing, for the most part it’s about finding a balance that complements each aspect.

With fatty foods, so anything creamy, oily, or fatty, you want to cut through with something acidic. That’s why when having something like eggs benedict, a glass of champagne works so well. Or why having fish cooked in a creamy sauce goes so well with a cool climate sauvignon blanc..

The other thing to bear in mind is that fat also softens tannins. So if you’re thinking about food to pair with your wine and you’ve got a young heavily tannic red, pairing it with a fatty steak and sauce will massively improve it. When you consider how much of Italy is defined by it’s incredible sources of fat, you’re reminded of the old: what grows together, goes together phrase.

NB: Remember that all wines are acidic even if some feel more so than others. Forgot how to look for acidity in wine? Click here.

Further reading

I want to talk about acid

Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat on Netflix – watch the Fat episode for an Italian ode to fat.

Learning about wine – but not in a boring classroom

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