Food and Wine…but mostly wine.

Danny W
I am a wine and food lover. I spent the first half of this decade studying and working in the culinary arts before moving towards the front of house. I am passionate about food and wine, and strive to find the best pairings to create the perfect experience.

May 16,2017

I walked over to a table with a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. As I asked the guests who would like to give it a try, they awkwardly pointed at each other, volunteering one another, afraid to give it a try. I tried to put them at ease buy telling them wine is simple; you either like it or you don’t. 

This scenario occurs regularly in many restaurants every day. Why is it that wine is perceived to be so complicated that being offered a taste can make one break out in sweats?! Truthfully, it should be far more simple. Most recreational wine drinkers know approximately what they prefer, as in white or red. Those who spend more time consuming wine often know more particulars about the grapes used, the region where they are grown and the effects of the aging process on the flavour. This usually leads to people having very specific wine preferences, which can be intimidating to those whose wine terminology is limited to white and red. 

Here are a few tips to help you increase your knowledge beyond White or Red. Sure to impress at your next dinner party (or night out at the bar). 


Shiraz– A grape commonly grown in Australia that’s key flavours are: ripe red fruit (cherries, black current), with peppery notes. It’s generally medium bodied with medium to high tannins. Pairs well with fatty meat such as a lamb roast. 

Cabernet Sauvignon– Native to the Bordeaux region of France. Key flavours are: jam like fruits (blackberries, black current, black cherry), liquorice, vanilla and tobacco. It is a full bodied wine with medium tannins. Pairs well with Steak. 

Merlot– Again found in the Bordeaux region of France. The most commonly planted grape in the world. Key flavours: Black cherry, raspberry and plum, with cedar, vanilla and cloves. It is medium to full bodied with medium tannins. Pairs well with a Roasted Chicken or Pork Loin, even something as simple as a shepherds pie. 


Chardonnay– Native to the Burgundy region of France. Main grape used in sparkling wine. Key flavours are: Green apple, lime, butter, vanilla and caramel. It is rich and full bodied. Pairs well with seafood, grilled fish, a salad, or on its own. 

Resiling– Commonly grown in Germany. Can be dry, semi-dry or sweet. Depending on which one the key flavours vary from: apricot, nectarine and pineapple to limes and lemons. It is a more acidic wine and pairs well with beef curry, and snapper dishes. 

Hope you find these key features helpful and that they make the world of wine a little bit less intimidating and more user friendly. Please feel free to reach out and let me know what you think and any other topics you are interested in learning about in hospitality, food and wine. 

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