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I am never sure how to match food with wine. Can you suggest some fail-safe pairings?

John Wilson: I believe that most wine tastes better with food and most food tastes better with a glass of wine

I suggest food and wine matches in my column every week and try out most of them. I firmly believe that most wine tastes better with food and most food tastes better with a glass of wine. However, there are a few pairings that I believe work really well, making the wine taste so much better, and the food too.

Fino sherry and Iberico ham

Fino sherry is one of the most versatile wines of all, going well with a variety of foods, including cheese, nuts, fish and white meats. However a chilled glass with a few slices of sweet salty Iberico seems to bring out the tangy element in the sherry while making the ham taste even better.

Roast chicken and a good pinot noir

Roast chicken goes really well with all sorts of wine. The best matches are probably a rich white wine or a lighter red. I am a pinot fan, so unsurprisingly a red Burgundy with a plain roast chicken is one of my favourite matches.

Aged Comté cheese and Champagne

We usually drink Champagne by itself before a meal, but it is one of the great food wines. I was served this combination at a recent (very posh) Bollinger lunch. The synergy was amazing; the wine seemed to bring out the wonderful fruitiness of the cheese, and the Champagne seemed richer and more intense in flavour.


Crab mayonnaise and Riesling

A German Trocken Riesling, or one from Alsace or Australia is usually dry but has a certain ripeness of fruit, alongside a crisp acidity that works so well with crab.

Roast Lamb and Bordeaux

It is a traditional pairing but that is because it works so well. The drying tannins of the Bordeaux are softened by fatty rare lamb, while the richness of the lamb is accentuated.