These delightful wine labels caught my eye at Fairprice Finest sometime last week. They do not have any tongue-twisting foreign names nor grandiose pictures of their century-old châteaux on their labels. Instead, they just state the type of food to go with it together with pop-art-like drawings of the food that you are supposed to eat with the wine. Even the brand of the wine is relegated to an obscure corner.
Have they finally come up with an idiot-proof wine and food pairing solution? I checked out a bottle of the Lobster & Shrimp ($17.95) to find out.
After I got home, I did some research on the people behind these wines. it seems that the Pairing Collection is made by Barton & Guestier, a large French wine company which had been around since 1725. They launched the Pairing Collection set of five wines in the USA. In fact there is a video about this series of affordable wines on YouTube. Even if you are not interested in the wine, the suggested shrimp dish looks very simple and enticing.
I do not have the culinary skills as the folks in the video to prepare a shrimp dish to put the Lobster & Shrimp wine to the test so I did the next best thing. I bought some seafood hor fun from a neighbourhood tze char stall. There were ample prawns in it.
The wine was actually a Muscadet wine made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. It is produced in the Loire Valley near the Atlantic coast at the western end of France.
Frankly I would never have looked for a Muscadet wine to go with seafood. But it turns out that the wine was very pleasant and was a natural fit with seafood with its dry mineral taste. A popular Singapore affordable wine to go with seafood would be a New Zealand Sauvignon blanc. The Muscadet wine was quite similar but has a cleaner taste with less fruit.
A basic simple wine for a simple local meal. It is certainly attractive looking and has a fun element about it. At $17.95, it is quite a good deal. With the tax structure that we have, it is hard to find good affordable wine in Singapore at prices any lower than this. Does it address the wine-food pairing decisions? Yes in some ways as the Pairing Collection goes a bit deeper than the basic white and red differentiation. But not really as there are so many ways of cooking shrimp and I think the hunt for a perfect pairing is part of the fun in buying wine.