We talk a lot here at Octavian Vaults about the very finest wines from around the world and just how you can invest in these and of course store them in facilities such as ours. But sometimes, we neglect to discuss the one thing that goes with wine better than anything in the world (excluding great conversation, of course), food.
Whether you are having a dinner party, wine tasting evening or even just relaxing with your significant other and enjoying some excellent Bordeaux or divine Chablis, it doesn’t really matter. In order to maximise your experience you should work out the best snacks to serve with wine and crucially, which go with our particular grape or vineyard.
Therefore and with no further ado, the Octavian Vaults team has put together their list of the 7 snacks and appetizers that you should be considering to complement the wines you have so thoughtfully selected and served.
As mentioned, which of these snacks you choose should really depend on what you are serving, but between these top picks we think we have selected a versatile list that offers something for every occasion.
So, here you go and in no particular order….
Predictable it may be, but cheese is of course at the top of anyone’s list of snacks with wine. Whether you like blue or white, smoky or mature; cheese quite simply makes any wine sing. Much like your particular choice of wine, your choice will depend greatly on the palate you have acquired over the years. When it comes to choosing appetizers with wine for your gathering, cheese is likely to rule the roost.
Wine is produced all around the world these days with new world battling old world and some sublime wines even coming out of Britain. Something else that is produced everywhere on a daily basis, is bread and other baked items.
Breads, particularly those from France and Italy are simply perfect with wine and all of us have devoured a ciabatta or sourdough at a restaurant when waiting for our starters, most likely accompanied by a large glass of wine. They just taste good together!
Food and wine pairings can get quite complex and as you develop your knowledge of the world’s finest bouquets, you will get better and better at this. However, a simple but effective pairing is fruit and wine; I mean wine is basically fruit anyway right?
On a serious note; pineapple, grapes, apples and figs are all served at restaurants around the world as a food and wine pairing and you can even experiment yourself – it’s all down to you own personal preference.
The next choice in our list of snacks with wine to die for really depends on the sweetness of your tooth, but is near the top for many. Fruit lends itself well to wine due to how sweet it is and this is very much the case with chocolate too and many believe that dark or cocoa chocolate is the perfect foil for many reds, especially those on the rich end of the scale such as Chianti or Rioja.
Many of us love a chocolate fondue at the end of a posh meal and this can be matched quite beautifully by some fine red wine, or even wine if your taste buds are a little different.
Olives are an excellent appetizer to pair with your wine and the great thing about these little beauties is that they really look the part in a restaurant or perhaps in a cocktail lounge or similar. Olives grow like wildfire in many of the countries famous for producing great wines such as Italy or France and are readily available here in Blighty too, making them a fabulous snack to serve with wine for any occasion.
Seafood and wine are an opulent choice but one that rarely fails to hit the spot. There is a wide range of fruits de la mere you can serve with wine and although they are usually best served with white wine, some of the richer and deeper flavours lend themselves to red as well.
If it is snack pairings you are after then prawns are probably the answer but all seafood goes with wine superbly, in our humble opinion.
Our final recommendation is not a classic choice, but is becoming more and more popular these days. Why not go for a pairing that is a little spicy for any guests or friends who like to push the boundaries a bit?
Spicy pretzels, cheese filled jalapenos and fiery pulled pork or mini-ribs are all the rage these days and for those that are so inclined, these snacks would be complemented greatly by another rich red, a Bordeaux for instance. Risky, sure but you may well be surprised at how well this goes down.
Be sure to visit the Octavian blog again soon for more fine wine features and articles like this one.