Expert Wine Tips

Wine tasting and food matching tips from our own local Master of Wine
4 August, 2014

Local master of wine Bob Campbell shares some beginners tips to build up your own wine knowledge for best enjoying your next glass.

Top 5 Wine Tasting Tips

  1. Use good tasting glasses – they make a big difference
  2. Shut out all distractions and focus only on the wine
  3. Look at the colour against a white background to establish depth and hue. With red wine tilt the glass at an angle and look at the rim of the wine to judge the hue (is it purple, ruby, garnet, brown etc.)
  4. Swirl the wine, jam you nose in the glass and sniff. What can you smell?
  5. Keep the head titled slightly forward, take a sip of wine, swirl it around the mouth and gurgle air through it. What can you taste?

Wine and Food Matching Tips

  1. Match flavour intensity levels (i.e. a delicate dish needs a delicate wine)
  2. If the dish has sweetness choose a wine that is sweeter than the dish
  3. If the dish has acidity (e.g. a vinegar-based dressing) choose a wine with plenty of acidity
  4. Choosing a wine with a similar texture and flavours to those in the dish will give a safe but uninspiring match
  5. Choosing a wine with texture and flavours that contrast to those in the dish is tricky but will potentially produce the best match

To dig further into the detail, here's what wines Bob Campbell recommends you drink with some of our favourite dishes at some of the best restaurants in town.

  1. A steak off the grill at Ostro? - A big, flavoursome blended red from 2010 vintage - Waiheke or Hawke’s Bay
  2. A delicate selection of sashimi from Masu? - In the absence of Sake (my first choice) I’d choose a dry Riesling
  3. A tomato style pasta at Baduzzi? - Pinot Noir
  4. A succulent rotisserie chicken dish at Federal Delicatessen? - A rich North Island Chardonnay from the 2013 vintage
  5. A light, fresh seafood meal from Depot? - Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
  6. A spicy Mexican meal at Mexico? - An off-dry Rosé
  7. A chocolate dessert from Milse? - Botrytised Riesling

Finally, what is something novice winies out there could do to easily impress others in terms of their wine knowledge?
Spit rather than swallow.