Wine is a drink best enjoyed with a meal. Pairing the right wine with the right foods can make all the difference, turning an ordinary meal into an experience. Whether it is enjoyed with something sweet or savoury, wine can really bring a meal to life!
Pairing wine with food is as much an art as it is a science. Having a glass of wine with a meal is like travelling across the world. Whether it be visiting the Burgundy region of France or experiencing the Tuscan wineries of Italy, the wine and food complements are always a fun and exciting adventure for your taste buds.
The wine culture is growing worldwide, and Jamaica is no exception. Over the past nine years, there has been a significant increase in interest in wine in Jamaica. The sweet wines, in particular, have become quite popular across the island. Brands such as Sperone Moscato Rosé, Lamothe Parrot, Verdi Sparkling wines and all Moscatos are just a few of the sweet wines that are appealing to the Jamaican people.
With the uptake in interest, it is only natural that wine-food pairing is integrated into Jamaican food culture.
Jamaica, famous for her reputation in food, has now welcomed the wine lifestyle to help polish our national food palates. Just because the staple Jamaican foods are not necessarily known to be ‘fancy’, doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a heavy-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Not only will they pair amazingly, but there are many premium-quality, affordable wines sold in all retail stores in Jamaica. As a new wine educator and longtime wine drinker, here are a few tips for pairing your favourite Jamaican staples with wine:
Stew Peas with Pig’s Tail: A chardonnay would be the best option to pair with a rich serving of stew peas, and I think the Santa Rita Chardonnay would be a great option, with its complex flavours and heavy-bodied style.
Curry Goat: Curried goat will pair well with a ripe and fruity red wine. You don’t want to unbalance the spice in the curry, so a Merlot would pair well. Montes Classic Merlot would complement the flavours of a hearty curry goat meal.
Oxtail: Oxtail is a heavy red meat, with a rich sauce, so I would pair this with a heavy-bodied red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Malbec. The Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon or the Alamos Malbec would be perfect!
Jerk Chicken: The spice in jerk chicken would pair well with a sweet white wine, as it is a white meat. I would pair classic jerk chicken with a Moscato. Try the Hardy’s, White Moscato.
Beef Patty: Beef patties can have a bit of spice to them, and spicy foods pair well with sweet wines, like the popular sweet red wine, Lamothe Parrot from France.
Brown-Stew Chicken: A chilled, lightly oaked Chardonnay, like Dancing Flame Chardonnay, is perfect and affordable for a classic brown-stew chicken dinner.
Steam Fish: A crisp Pinot Grigio would pair perfectly with steam fish, one like Fiordaliso Pinot Grigio, or Nottage Hill Pinot Grigio, both affordable and premium wines.