Food Pairing

What to drink with smoky food

Be it fish, meat or a cheeky slab of cheese, smoky flavours in food are delicious. Here are the perfect beverages to drink alongside them

Some drinks simply can’t stand up to the bold flavours of smoky, grilled or charred food.

More often than not, they designate themselves as the star of the show, bumping the beverage to the sideline and dominating the dining experience.

However, that’s not what food and booze pairing is about.

Either the food must work in harmony with the drink, or match each other’s intensity. When it comes to smoky flavours, it’s best to go with the last approach.

We round up the best bevvies to rival the smoke.

Smoke with oak

Oak-aged wine is smoked food’s soul mate. Toasty chardonnays rarely work well with food, but in this instance, there’s no better wine to pair with your meal.

The buttery character of this wine is spot on with smoked fish or chicken. However if you’re dealing with smoked duck or cured meat, it’s best to opt for a fruity pinot noir. 

A bit of bourbon

Think sweet, smoky or spicy. Bourbon shows hints of vanilla, caramel, wood, and smoke, so crack out the barbecued ribs or a slab of smoked meat. 

Sip on sherry

Sherry and smoked food is another great match. The dry crispness of Amontillado and Manzanilla sherries demand a smoky element and a hint of sweetness. Oloroso sherry is known for its spice, which lends itself well to smoked salmon, fish and smoky sauces. 

Grab a dark one

Bring on the bacon. Stouts and porters are rich, dark beers, with porters being more on the smoked end of the spectrum. They can range from sweet to subtly burnt and carry a robust flavour.

Try dark beers with barbequed foods, grilled bacon, salty dishes, sausages and shellfish. 

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