Culinary ingredients

I’ll have food with that

Friday, December 2, 2016

Time to turn some tables and talk about the new face of food and drink matching.

A group of friends drinking and eating in a restaurant

Don’t we all love it when we hear about a trend that turns a tradition right on its head?

Today, a new approach to food and drink matching has taken over. Traditionally we choose our food – then select our wine to match. In a twist that would make all wine buffs proud, it is now commonplace for drinks to take centre stage.

A number of creative combinations of alcohol and food are now the norm, with drinks menus driving which dish a customer should choose.  Where once it was “what wine should I have with that?” people are now asking “what dish should I have with that wine?”

And it’s not just wine. From pale ales to match your main and cocktails to pair with desserts, to teas that perfect a pudding or juices that compliment a curry, the marriage of certain flavours is no longer limited to what goes best with a full-bodied red or a crisp, dry white. 

Many outlets have caught on and beer and food pairings are an increasingly common feature on festival programmes, from the Forest Showcase Food Festival to the Streatham Food Festival, which kicks off with an evening of food and drink pairings.  Cheese too, has been a long-standing marriage with beer and ales, as any seasoned traveller to the South West will know, cheese and beer menus are very much the norm.

On the restaurant scene, The Grain Store matches sweet and savoury cocktails with specific main course dishes to create a new experience for diners. Whilst for those with an extra sweet tooth, “pudding bar” Basement Sate offers an entire menu of dessert and cocktail combinations.

It seems that the long-loved partnership of food and drink is experiencing a renaissance.  But, where will this trend go next?  With the rising popularity of micro-breweries, and want for ‘local’ increasing, the combinations are endless.

Please serve alcohol responsibly.