Here at VinePair we’ve paired wine with a variety of food, ranging from takeout and barbecue dishes to Halloween candy. We’ve even paired wine with Polar Vortex-level weather conditions. British wine merchant Laithwaite’s has taken the pairing game to a whole new level: insects. Here’s what you need to know, via The Drinks Business:
UK wine merchant Laithwaite’s has launched the world’s first guide to wine and insect matching in response to the growing trend for edible critters. The guide includes ten different wine and critter pairings, including mealworms with Viognier, locusts with Moscatel and crickets with Albariño.
Commonly eaten in parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa, certain insects are being touted as the superfood of the future due to their high protein content.
Wine can have all sorts of odd aromas, and that’s apparently where this idea came from. That and a “growing appetite for [insects]”:
“We never envisaged selecting wine with insects in mind. There’s clearly a growing appetite for them,” said Laithwaite’s wine buyer Beth Willard.
‘When you consider that many of the words used to describe the aroma of wine – earthy, grassy, floral – can also be used to describe the bugs’ habitats, it’s no surprise that wine can complement the distinctive tastes of insects,” she added.
Our favorite offbeat wine-related story from across the pond last year was about a Champagne Vending Machine at Selfridges. We suppose wine and insect pairings is one way to top that story.
Here are two of the wine and insect pairings:
Mealworms – Commonly enjoyed as a taco topping or standalone snack. Match their nutty taste and light, crunchy texture with a crisp Clare Valley Viognier wine that has just the right combination of fruit and richness (Prospector’s Riesling Viognier 2013, Clare Valley, £9.99).
BBQ locusts – Locusts taste a bit like an exotic bar snack and with the BBQ flavour you’ll need a wine with a hint of sweetness, which could easily work at any time of the year. The Hacienda de Lluna Moscatel is a gorgeous, lightly bubbly pink that works well as an aperitif (Hacienda de Lluna Moscatel Rosado 2013, £3.99).
And two more more pairings:
Giant waterbugs – The meat inside the waterbug’s body tastes like a sweet scallop, while the head has hints of anise, so you’ll need a wine that matches well with seafood and stronger flavours. A dry sherry, and a fino at that, is the only choice here. The crisp citrus and nutty flavours will complement the complex flavours of the waterbugs (Bodegas Gutierrez Colosia Fino NV, £7.49).
Zebra tarantula – The body and legs have slightly different flavours, although both taste similar to fish. Tarantulas are normally eaten deep fried, so think cod and chips. A lively full-bodied Chardonnay will stand up to the complex fishy flavours of the Tarantula. (Collovray & Terrier Chardonnay 2013, £8.99).
Get the rest of the pairings at Laithwaite’s blog…if you have the stomach for it.
Images via Laithwaite’s