In this exclusive interview with Mark Roberts, Director of Sales at Lanchester Wines we explore how wine pairings can enhance your restaurant experience. 

          What steps should a hotelier take when choosing the best wine to complement their dishes?

Wine doesn’t sit in silo, so think about what trends you’re seeing in food and then adapt your wine and food pairing accordingly. While we’re seeing more adventurous ingredients, many of the flavour profiles are familiar and lend themselves to the typical wine pairings. For example, a dish with Sumac will have citrus notes, so pair with a Sauvignon Blanc, or smoky and sweet Korean barbecue would work with a Chilean or Australian Shiraz.

There are two types of food and wine pairing

  1. Complementary pairing, a wine that complements a dish
  2. Congruent pairing, a wine that enhances a dish


Wine and food need to balance each other out, with neither one overwhelming the taste of the other. However, remember that with food and wine pairing it’s largely subjective. What we suggest as an ideal match may not appeal to the customer’s tastes, which is where it’s important staff allow for individual palates and encourage experimentation. So, if they usually don’t drink white wines, they probably won’t like a glass of it with food. 

  • What makes Lanchester Wines stand out from other companies?

As a wine merchant, we’re working to help operators, staff and consumers pair food and wine as easily as possible. We’re increasingly creating wine labels with subtle hints as to which food should be enjoyed with that specific bottle. For example, our Malbec, The Brand, pairs perfectly with grilled and barbecued meats and so features a bull on the front. While Moloko Bay Sauvignon Blanc, is a perfect match with fish, so features a river and pier across the label.

Equally important for hotel operators is sustainability in terms of supply consistency. There is a global supply crisis which is impacting all importers, so make sure your wine supplier can think on their feet and keep you in stock – fundamentally you can’t sell what you don’t have.

          Should a hotel’s wine menu change seasonally?

This depends on your food menu – if it changes seasonally then yes, your wine menu should also adapt to suit wine pairings. To add a seasonal dimension to wine pairings, perhaps think about serving wine at different temperatures. While a chilled Pinot Noir is perfect for summer – indeed think about temperatures for your reds: 

  • Light, fruity reds: serve lightly chilled, around 12-13°C 
  • Medium-bodied reds: Serve between 14 and 16°C 
  • Full-bodied reds: Serve between 16 and 18°C