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MWs versus Master Sommeliers: Who’s best at matching food with wine?

Masters of Wine have pitted their culinary nous against Master Sommeliers in a wine and food matching competition organised by Wine Australia. Read Tina Gellie's report below and find out who got the bragging rights.

Matching food with wine is a very personal choice; I once worked with someone who drank sweet botrytised wine with his steak, reasoning that, as he loved both, why shouldn’t he have them together?

While most of us aren’t as radical as that, it’s natural that we would choose wines we enjoy drinking to go with our food – even if they might not be a classic partnership.

Yet, it is true that, for most palates, there are combinations of flavours that really have a synergy; that enhance both the dish and the wine. And it’s also likely that the people who have the most idea about this are Master Sommeliers (MS) and Masters of Wine (MWs), who spend at least three years attaining their qualifications.

Teams from both camps were put to a culinary duel at the recent Australia Day Tasting in London, organised by trade body Wine Australia.

Roger Jones, chef-owner of the Michelin-starred The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, created three themed menus – modern British, pan-Asian and classics. A MW and MS then each chose an Australian wine to pair with the dish.

The audience voted on the best match.

What Australian wine would you choose to pair with venison, foie gras and ceps? How about curried monkfish with raita, or even the classic lobster thermidor?

For those who’ve only ever considered Old World wines for such dishes, or for those who have a cellar full of Australian wines they’ve been looking for the perfect food match for, then the results may surprise you.

See the results below.

MWs versus MS: the results

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