late harvest wine

Sugar Baby Education 101: Wine & Food Pairing

When you are an SB, it is important for you to play the part in your SD’s life, meaning be well educated about things and have proper etiquette and KNOW your wine… or have at least an idea about wine and food paring.

 So here, my hoes a little basic overview (if want to learn more about wine, just google that shit out!)


Just like adding milk into coffee will change its texture and taste; food when interacting with wine will affect its flavor. Different ingredients and preparation methods will bring out different taste sensations with the same bottle of wine.

There are a lot of pairing guidelines, but only one universal pairing principle –

A good pairing is when the food and wine do not overshadow each other. Wine and food can complement or contrast each other, as long as they do not mask each other’s unique flavor and characteristics.

Factors to Consider when Pairing

When pairing food, you are really complementing or contrasting four elements. The way the dish is prepared and cooked will affect these elements:

Body/ weight: heavy, medium, or light-body?
Flavor intensity: weak, moderate, strong?
Aroma: earthy, fruity, grassy, or herbal?
Taste: sweet, spicy, acidic, sour, bitter?

Example 1: Most people prefer pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with steaks because they are both full-bodied, strong flavor, and the protein in the meat will soften the tannin in the wine. A venturing wine lover may pair a red steak with a full-bodied white Roussanne.

Example 2: With spicy, strong flavor Thai dishes, the classic gourmets would go for a Riesling. Its neutrality will complement Thai cuisine’s spices. Its acidity and med bodied will match the weight of the food. A venturing wine lover may pair with Gewurztraminer or Marsanne.

Our Favorite Wine and Food Pairings:

It is not always white wine with white meat… Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chianti are few handful reds that pair well with chicken. Below we have listed our favorite pairings as a good starting point:

Western Dishes:

Chicken – Full-bodied whites (Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc) or light reds (Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Rioja, Chianti)
Foie Gras / Pate - Sweet whites (Sauternes, Riesling Spatlese, Tokaji)
Green Salad – Herby whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Vinho Verde)
Grilled Fish – Light to medium bodied whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Chablis)
Pasta (red sauce) – acidic reds (Barbera, Chianti, Zinfandel / Primitivo, Valpolicella)
Pasta (white sauce) – fuller bodied whites (Chardonnay, Viognier, Gavi, Pinot Gris)
Pizza - Sparkling or a fruity red (Prosecco, Barbera, Dolcetto, Valpolicella)
Raw or steamed shellfish – Crisp, acidic wines (Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis)
Steak – Full-bodied red (Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Barolo)

Asian Cuisines:

Chinese – Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir
Japanese Sushi – Beaujolais, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling
Spicy Thai / Indian Curry – Viognier, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Rousanne

Cheese:

Creamy soft brie or camembert – Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, dry Riesling
Strong goat cheese – Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc, Pouilly-Fume
Hard / Aged cheese – Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Brunello, Dolcetto, Merlot, white Burgundy
Semi-hard cheese – Semillon, Rioja
Smoked cheese – Gewurztraminer, Sauternes, Shiraz
Blue cheese – Sauternes, Banyuls, Port, Late harvest wines, Madeira, Amarone;

Last but not least, some PAIRING TIPS:

Acidic wines go well with many dishes. Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling, Chianti are great examples. In addition, acidic wines make salty dishes appear less salty.
For fatty food such as foie gras, try Sauternes (an equally rich and intense wine).
For spicy food, try fruity, low-alcohol wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
Sweet food goes well with a bottle that is slightly sweeter.

Pair complex food with a simple wine. And pair simple food with a complex wine.

Scrappy High Rock Food-Thoughts

For some reason dinner took a fair bit of fretting over today. Considering my starting point was just ‘I have half a leg of lamb to do something imaginative with’, things should’ve been simple. Instead, I bumbled my way through my collection of recipe books. Looked for inspiration but mostly found confusion, mixed influences, culture-clashes.

Dinner’s simmering away now. I’m braising the lamb in red wine, with rosemary and sumac and aubergines. But I’ve still got ideas playing bumper cars in my brain and need a way to exorcise them.

I fumbled with cuisines today: Persian and Norman, Szechuan and Sicilian, Andalucían and Provençal, and Turkish/Ottoman. But I didn’t quite settle on any particular one. With this alloyed meltdown of influences still cooling in my mind, I was left realising it looked a lot like my idea of Breton food. If you’ll excuse that segue.

So, to clear up my teeming brain, here’s a disorganised feast of food for thought, from the High Rock in my head.

  • Silky aubergines stewed with red wine and pared dried figs. A nearly jamlike dish, halfway between salad and condiment. Native to Evermor.
  • Rounds of softish unleavened bread. Known in local dialects by a name translating roughly to ‘fly-traps’ because of the smudges of crushed black olive that give the bread its savour.
  • Pigeon, poached in a sauce of yoghurt and orange rind, sprinkled with sour chewy barberries. Originally a dish invented by goatherds with a sideline in game-poaching and citrus scrumping. Now popular at the court of Camlorn…alongside irony, apparently.
  • Crisp thin-skinned pastries filled with a smooth mixture of chopped chicken liver cooked in late-harvested wine. Unable to make its mind up whether it’s a dessert or an appetiser. But no matter – such distinctions are often moot in High Rock.
  • Courgette flowers stuffed with goat’s cheese - the kind that sings of the mountainside herbs that make up the herd’s diet - fried and drizzled with thyme-tasting honey. A spring festival dish in the Rivenspire region.
  • Duck legs and wings, preserved under a layer of pungently peppered quince jelly.
  • “High Rock. Trust a Breton to make humble pie anything but humble. They take the undesirables, fold them all into a roll, and when you slice it, all of a suddenly it’s a spiral, and the undesirables are desirable again. Tricksy little mongrels those Bretons.”
  • Lamb sweetbreads stir-fried with apricots and almonds.
  • Pastries filled with pears and candied ginger.
  • Sardines wrapped in vine-leaves. Sometimes salted this way, or preserved in salty olive oil, to preserve these strong-tasting treats for a special occasion. Native to Daggerfall, where the preserved versions are sometimes crushed to a paste and used as a spread, or a powerful seasoning for other dishes.
  • “Peasants. Honestly, they’ll eat anything. On pilgrimage last year, inland, I spoke to one. Scandalous I know, but he invited me in for dinner. Two big cups of olive oil, onions, diced potatoes, green peppers, a whole head of garlic…not even skinned. And he just…cooked them together…Well, no, it was…it smelled wonderful. Tasted better. But if you tell a soul I said so I’ll have to skip rope with your innards, won’t I?”
  • Pork belly, boiled and then fried off with apple brandy and wild garlic.
  • 'Pieces of Patience’. Dumplings, twisted to look like a pair of folded arms, hence the name. Deep-fried in the mongrel-spiced many-flavoured oil, used and reserved and re-reserved after each meal in Farrun. (A flick of this leftover oil is also given to the gods, flicked into the hearthfire so the scent of homecooking can reach them in thanks.) Red-gold and crisp on the outside, doughy and chewy and filling on the inside. The kind of 'poor man’s fare’ you will very rarely hear peasants complain about having to eat.
  • Mussels, shells stuffed with crisped rice.
  • Dumplings made from salted pike and crumbed stale bread and slices of green olive. Native to lands connected to the freshwater streams and rivers of Wayrest.
  • Goat shoulder and barley, stewed with juniper vinegar and carrots. Served over a mash of creamy white beans.
  • Halved boiled eggs in a spicy tomato and okra sauce.
  • Split pea porridge, made sweet and sour by the inclusion of leaven from yesterday’s bread. Topped with a drizzle of brightly coloured oil left over from frying the spicy Redguard-influenced sausages just served to the higher paying clientiele of the inn that offered you this porridge for breakfast.
  • A salad of fried bread, griddled nectarines, and crumbly salty sheep’s milk cheese.
  • Mysterious dark-coloured dark-smelling pastes, fermented in earthenware pots on the doorsteps and balconies of Camlorn. Not only are they used to add a deeply ambiguously savoury punch to dishes, it is believed that the pungent-sweet reek of them wards off minor daedra.
  • Sausages, made with similar seasonings to those used in Cyrodiil. The start to all sorts of arguments over who started using those recipes first. Only in Cyrodiil, however, where the climate is drier, are these sausages hung up and cured. As a result, Bretons consider hanging cured sausages about the home the height of crassness…and overcompensation.
  • Slices of shark cheeks, simmer in spiced olive oil then allowed to cool and preserve under it. Kept in dark cupboards, in earthenware jars throughout the coast near Northpoint, where it is traditional among commoners to offer them to guests as a sign of goodwill and start to any other meal.
  • Oysters cooked in brown ale…and cream too, if you’re lucky.
  • Two little bowls, side by side. In one, plums stewed in red wine. In the other, peaches cooked in white. Between them, a small platter of absorbent little cakes to tear open and fill with the contents of each bowl.
  • Teas. Pomegranate teas served cold in Summer. Elves ear teas drunk dark green and bitter. Teas brewed entirely from dried flowers with quietly sad names: 'widow’s weed’, 'faretheewell’, 'unkisst’. Alchemical teas made from treebark, and mastic gums dissolved in hot water. Crushed root-brews that will make you see Dibella and then wish that you hadn’t. And aquavits distilled from all the above and more.

2013 Selbach Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese

Enjoying my ride with this solid late-harvest German Riesling. Candied lemon peel, white flowers, slate, fresh pears, and honeysuckle on the nose. Mandarin oranges, lemon peel, and pears on the palate with slate notes, white florals, and honeysuckle. Solid, very nice stuff. 

3/5 bones

$$$

Riesling

8.5% abv

Mosel, GERMANY

2013 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese

Enjoying some crisp, late-harvest Riesling in the sun! Sweet apples, candied lemon rind, slate, and honeysuckle on the nose. Candied lemon rind, fresh white peaches, and apples on the palate. Really wonderful balance!

4/5 bones

$$$

Riesling

8.5% abv

Mosel, GERMANY