A food & wine pairing. Picture by The Bubbly Professor
Pairing wine and food is not always the easiest of things to do. Whether preparing a dinner for a special occasion or just a meal for friends, wine and food pairing can be a real challenge, I have always struggled with the combination.

Durban Country Club Executive Chef, Xanthos Giannakopoulos has some tips and rules that will help host the unforgettable food and wine pairings.
  • Find balance in the wine to be served on the evening from starters through to the end depending on the number of course.
  • Start with a welcome drink and appetiser, a good Champagne, a Chenin with a light nibbles avoid salty food that will conflict with the acidity.
  • Plan the menu around the tasting of wine you have selected, read and understand in the tasting notes and complexities of the wine and how you can enhance these qualities.
  • Avoid dominating smells and tastes such as garlic and onion.
Make the most out of your pairing. Picture from Pexels

Pairing suggestions
  • For venison’s and lamb, work around Shiraz, Pinotage and some blends
  • Beef - Cabernet
  • Fish - Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc, and white blends
  • Pork - Blanc de Noir
  • Spicy - Gewürztraminer
  • Dessert - Fortified wines
  • Cheese - Fortified wines
Don't forget that part of the fun is the shared food experience, so don't stress the details too much and try to learn something new after each food & wine pairing so that you don't repeat the same mistakes.