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Pairing Perfection: Delicious Foods to Enjoy with Natural Wine

Natural wine uk, made with minimal intervention and free from additives, has gained immense popularity for its authentic flavours and sustainable production methods. As more people embrace this vibrant category of wine, finding the perfect food pairings can enhance the overall experience. Here’s a guide to the best foods to enjoy with natural wine, ensuring a delightful and harmonious dining experience.

Understanding Natural Wine

Before diving into pairings, it’s important to understand what sets natural wine apart. Natural wine brands are typically produced using organic or biodynamic farming practices, with minimal chemical intervention in the vineyard and cellar. These wines often have a unique character, showcasing the true essence of the grapes and terroir. They can be more unpredictable and livelier than conventional wines, with flavours that range from funky and earthy to bright and fruity.

Cheese and Charcuterie

Soft and Creamy Cheeses

Natural wines, especially those with bright acidity, pair wonderfully with soft, creamy cheeses like Brie, Camembert, or goat cheese. The acidity in the wine cuts through the richness of the cheese, creating a balanced and refreshing combination.

Aged and Hard Cheeses

For natural reds and more robust whites, aged cheeses like Cheddar, Gouda, or Manchego are excellent choices. The complex flavours of aged cheeses complement the nuanced profiles of natural wines, enhancing both the wine and the cheese.

Charcuterie

Cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, and chorizo are classic pairings with natural wine. The savoury, salty flavours of charcuterie balance well with the acidity and fruitiness of many natural wines. Serve with crusty bread and olives for a perfect appetizer platter.

Seafood

Oysters

Briny, fresh oysters pair exquisitely with natural sparkling wines or crisp whites. The minerality and effervescence of the wine enhance the delicate flavours of the oysters, creating a luxurious and refreshing pairing.

Grilled Fish

Natural white wines and light reds work beautifully with grilled fish. Think of dishes like grilled sea bass, trout, or sardines. The subtle smokiness from the grill complements the vibrant, often slightly oxidative notes in natural wines.

Seafood Paella

A well-prepared seafood paella, rich with shrimp, mussels, and squid, pairs wonderfully with natural whites and rosés. The wine’s acidity and fruitiness balance the savoury and slightly spicy flavours of the paella.

Vegetarian Dishes

Fresh Salads

Crisp natural whites and rosés are perfect for pairing with fresh salads. Whether it’s a simple green salad with a vinaigrette or a more elaborate creation with fruits, nuts, and cheese, the light and zesty nature of these wines complements the fresh ingredients beautifully.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant pair well with natural wines, especially those with earthy and funky characteristics. The caramelized flavours of the vegetables highlight the wine’s complexity and depth.

Mushroom Dishes

Mushrooms, with their umami-rich and earthy flavours, are a fantastic match for natural reds and orange wines. Dishes like mushroom risotto, grilled portobellos, or a wild mushroom tart bring out the best in these wines.

Meat and Poultry

Roast Chicken

A classic roast chicken pairs beautifully with natural white wines and light reds. The wine’s acidity and fruit-forward flavours complement the savoury, herbaceous notes of the roast chicken.

Lamb

For more robust natural reds, lamb dishes are a great match. Think of lamb chops, slow-cooked lamb shanks, or a hearty lamb stew. The richness of the meat stands up to the wine’s bold flavours and tannins.

BBQ and Grilled Meats

Grilled meats and BBQ dishes, with their smoky, caramelized flavours, pair excellently with natural wines, especially those with a bit of funk and spice. Natural reds and orange wines can handle the bold flavours of BBQ ribs, grilled sausages, and burgers.

Pasta and Grains

Tomato-Based Pasta

Pasta with tomato-based sauces pairs well with natural reds and rosés. The acidity in the tomatoes matches the wine’s acidity, while the fruitiness of the wine complements the sweetness of the tomatoes.

Creamy Pasta Dishes

For creamy pasta dishes like carbonara or Alfredo, natural white wines with good acidity are a perfect match. The wine cuts through the richness of the sauce, creating a balanced and enjoyable pairing.

Risotto

Risotto, whether made with seafood, mushrooms, or vegetables, pairs beautifully with natural wines. The creamy texture and rich flavours of risotto complement the nuanced and often complex profiles of these wines.

Natural wine, with its authentic flavours and minimal intervention approach, offers a unique and exciting experience for wine lovers. Pairing these wines with the right foods can elevate both the wine and the dining experience. From creamy cheeses and fresh seafood to hearty meats and vegetarian dishes, the versatility of natural wine ensures that there’s a perfect pairing for every palate. This summer, explore the world of natural wine and discover new and delightful combinations that will make your meals truly memorable.

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