Summer is here, which means it’s time for picnics, terraces, whatever; we all know that the best thing about this time of year is that you get to drink during the day, out in the sun. It’s the perfect time to brush up a little bit on how to pick the right wine for the occasion. If you’re going to be tipsy outside by 16:00 in the afternoon, you might as well do it right.
The current fashion of wine pairing, carefully matching each course and even ingredient to a particular bottle, is a relatively recent one. But we’ve probably been eating wine with food for as long as we’ve known how to make it, which is why we’ve got some basic principles pinned down underneath all of the flashy, complex modern matching. Ask what foods are best suited to a decent bottle of wine and one of the first answers always be cheese.
But how did that come about; and just why do they go down so well together?
When diving in to the big bad world of wine, it won’t be long before you hear somebody throwing around the terms “Old World” and “New World”. This is a simple distinction that people make depending on where exactly a wine is produced. And, thankfully, the dividing line here is relatively simple.
The “Old World” refers to the European regions that first began producing wine thousands of years ago; think France, Spain and Italy. The “New World” contains regions like California, Australia and South Africa where the practice of making wine wasn’t heard of until Europeans set out to colonise the world and brought their love of homemade hooch with them.