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Revolutionary thoughts on food & wine matching How Robert Joseph of DoILikeIt? and McGuigan Wine took a fresh approach to making wine less daunting for consumers
Traditional food & wine matching advice #1 The unhelpfully “general” approachRed with red meat; white with white meat and fish “What kind of seafood? Lobster Thermidor? Moules Mariniere? What kind of chicken? Tandoori? What if I don’t eat chicken, seafood or salad?”
Traditional food & wine matching advice #2 The absurdly “prescriptive” approachCh Rauzan Gassies + Charlie Trotter’s Squab with Hijiki Mushrooms & Fennel Seed (from P52, Great Wines of Bordeaux with Recipes from Top Chefs of the World) “What if I can’t find Hijiki Mushrooms in my local shops? Does that mean I can’t drink my Rauzan Gassies? What’s another ‘right’ match for that wine?”
And what about the consumer? “Red wine gives me headaches” “I’m allergic to fish…” “My partner and I like different kinds of wines…”
“Food and wine matching can make wine inaccessible, positioning it like a luxury item with improbablepartnerships between extremely rare and expensive wines and ultra-complex – and expensive – dishes. It can also frighten consumers by suggesting that if some matches areperfect, others aren’t. So there’s a high risk of getting it wrong My own experience is that every time I’ve attended a meal where someone has decided what goes with what, there’s always been at least one guest who’s disagreed with the decision. In France, people often talk about ‘marriages’ between dishesand wines. I’d plead for more relaxed relationships, and a return to liberty and personal choice. Olivier Legrand, Inter Rhône
A Solution 1) Ask consumers what theyactually like – and dislike – eating and drinking
A Solution2) Give them free advice based on their tastes.
A Solution3) Offer simple dishes they can imagine preparing for themselves
A Solution 4) Give them confidence by offering recipes by adown-to-earth cook whose face they know
A Solution5) Reassure them that there’s no single “right” answer to food- and-wine-matching
1) Ask consumers what actually they like – and dislike – eating and drinking The form people can complete to get their John Torode – Neil McGuigan Recipe Collection (They can skip this if they like to get an off-the-peg version)
2) Give them free advice based on their tastes. A downloadable e-book with up to 50 recipes, selected to suit each consumer’s tastes Non fish-eaters get no fish recipes. People who don’t drink red wine get recommendations for white wines to enjoy with their dishes.
3) Offer simple dishes they can imagine preparing for themselvesEasy pizza, a reallygoodburger, tortilla, simpe but tasty fish…Nothing mostamateur cooks willfeel confident to tryto make forthemselves.
Give them wine & food matches that will work for them“I love classic white “I simply prefer rosé” “I only ever drink red”with fish”
4) Give them confidence by offering recipes by a down-to-earth cook whose face they know John Torode, one of the best known cooks in the UK, thanks to his involvement with MasterChef, the show that encourages amateur cooks to aspire to producng really great food. (He also happens to hail from the same part of the Hunter Valley as Neil McGuigan)
5) Reassure them that there’s no single“right” answer to food-and-wine-matching Every recipe offers three quite different possible wine matches – and reasons why Neil McGuigan thinks each will prove successful. Of course, they won’t all work for everyone, but the message is clear: “experiment for yourself…”
First proof of concept…The Recipe Collection has been online for less thantwo weeks and has yet to be widely promoted.A copy is already being downloaded every hour, 24hours per day…Hopefully, thousands of people will gaintheconfidence to explore new dishes, new wines andnew combinations between them…
TheJohn Torode-Neil McGuigan Recipe Collection was conceived for McGuigan Wines by Robert Joseph & produced by DoILikeIt? LtdPlease do take a look at it and let us know what you think.