Food & Wine 11

I’m not much of a wine connoisseur I’m afraid. Never have been.

It’s simply that I haven’t found a wine that I enjoy the taste of, so when it comes to alcoholic drinks I tend to stick to beer.

I enjoy most beer brands on the market today and am not overly fussy about which one I drink, but if given the choice I like to keep it real (and not drink pink drinks!).

Anyway, my point is that when it comes to wine I couldn’t tell the difference between a Chardonnay and a Chihuahua.

I don’t have a clue which wines go with chicken or which wines taste better with beef. In fact, the only thing I do know is that I hazily recall having had some really good times at a few cheese and wine functions over the years (well, because I don’t like it doesn’t mean I won’t drink it!)

So if you’re anything like me, don’t worry, because help is at hand.

While browsing the Internet recently I came across the following site: matcher.

No its not a dating portal, but it is the site wine idiots like me have been waiting for. It will answer all your questions, like which wine tastes best with pork chops in a maple glaze? Does rosemary- marinated grilled halibut invite red or white wine? And are there also great food pairings for beer, spirits, cocktails, coffee and tea?

The site also offers a Drinks Matcher widget, a portable version of the site’s existing food-and-wine pairing tool, which you can download to your computer desktop, web site, blog or social media page like Facebook, MySpace or iGoogle.

You can use the matcher to search for drinks to pair with meat, pasta, seafood, vegetarian dishes, pizza, take-out, sauces, herbs, cheese or dessert.

Best of all you can even find dishes to go with cocktails, liqueurs, beer, spirits, cider, coffee, tea – and yes, even water.

It’s really simple to use. I clicked on the “Wine & Food Pairing” link, selected “Beer Lager” as my choice of drink and up popped a number of dishes suitable to have with beer. Suggestions included chicken with curry spices, Mexican dishes, beef stroganov, pizza and fish and chips to name a few.

For still water some of the suggestions were: almond-based desserts, sushi, caviar and seafood.

According to Natalie MacLean, the woman who started the site, during the eight years she spent testing the combinations for her Drinks Matcher, she found two extremes when it came to food and wine pairing. “Some people say that it’s complete nonsense, while others insist that there’s only one perfect match for every wine,” she said. “Neither approach helps wine lovers.”

Natalie believes people want guidance, even though the pairings are subjective.

“Of the thousands of combinations I tried, some were delicious, others were a disaster. I share the ones that worked in the Drinks Matcher.”



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