Musings on food and wine matching. Why choose the wine flight at Fifteen Cornwall?
Gordon Lawrence, Head Sommelier, Fifteen Cornwall
Every evening here at Fifteen Cornwall we write a flight of wines to match with our five course tasting menu. This gives our diners a chance to try a variety of wines that we feel work well with our style of food and the chance for them to try wine they might not normally choose. Writing a new menu every day is often a challenge but we are fortunate to be working with great chefs who are proud and passionate about what they do. This gives us a unique insight into the arcane art of food and wine matching. We are able to open and try a whole range of wines and to work out precisely which wines work best with each dish and it also gives us a chance to learn more about the producers and understand what these wines are really designed to do. We can then go on to share our knowledge with our diners, if they wish us to, but most importantly it allows us to create the perfect dining experience, amazing food matched with amazing wines.
Most wines will show at their best when drunk with food and the most important thing to remember is to give people what they want! If Uncle Albert only wants to drink huge, fruit driven new world reds then there’s not much point in trying to give him a light Riesling from the Mosel. Let him drink Barossa Shiraz with his turbot if that’s what he wants. Undoubtedly there are some matches that will not ‘feel’ right but I’d much rather give someone a glass of wine they are going to enjoy. I particularly love many of the Italian reds because many of them have fresh levels of acidity which makes them such food friendly wines. This in turn leads me to my last point.
One of the aspects of my job that I have enjoyed the most since we opened over six years ago has been the chance to learn more about the fascinating and diverse world of Italian wine. This has taken me to some of the most beautiful and prosaic wine regions in the world. The history and strong sense of place that many of these wines project has been a source of inspiration to us all. I have met some amazing people, but most important of all I have been able to discuss their wines with them whilst enjoying great food and company. This in turn has taught me how important not only great food and wine are but how they fit into a lifestyle where food, friends and family form the most important aspects of these people’s lives.
So next time you visit Fifteen Cornwall please take the opportunity to experience the wine flight or at least talk through the wine matching with your sommelier.
If you can’t wait until your next visit why not browse our online shop which now stocks a good selection of wines which we serve in the restaurant www.fifteencornwall.co.uk/shop/index.php
Gordon’s summer wine tips
We have been waiting for ages but now the weather has turned and the sun is here the first of the tomatoes are now coming into our kitchen. So when matching your wine to your summer tomato pasta sauce or panzanella salad remember that tomatoes are very sweet during this time of year but also high in acidity. The perfect grape to cut through this is the Sangiovese.
As a real treat why not pour a shot of Pedro Ximonez, super sweet, dark sherry over vanilla ice cream, the blend of sweet, thick sherry and creamy cold ice cream is delicious!