The IDEAL guide to pairing store cupboard essentials with wine.

Yep, we read it as panty the first time round, too. But this isn’t about finding comfort in matching lingerie in these uncertain times. That said, we hope you don’t judge us for a little fun today?

As current events continue to push us into uncertain times, many of us have been denied our everyday pleasures. But for those that find solace in a glass of wine (f*** dry COVID, amirite?!?!?!) the excuse for enjoying one with dinner somehow feels cheapened if the dinner is, well, baked beans on toast again. 

Don’t let snobbery stop you. It’s fine to enjoy a glass with a lowkey meal, in your pjs, out of a mug if you wish. We’ve teamed up with Winebuyers to bring you this IDEAL guide to pairing store cupboard essentials with wine.

BAKED BEANS ON TOAST 

A national favourite, baked beans contain a reduction of sugar and vinegar that forms the base of the sauce. Look for fruit-driven reds from warm climates such as a Chilean Merlot or Aussie Shiraz.

Lorosco, Reserva Maipo, Merlot, 2017 £8.12 

Grapes: Merlot /ABV: 13.5% 

Intense, fresh, and fruity aromas of blackberries and plum combine with soft, toasty notes and sweet vanilla in this Merlot. Medium-bodied, soft tannins and a pleasant finish make this an ideal companion for a comforting plate of beans of toast. 

CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM INSTANT NOODLES 

Wine and soup can be tricky to pair – liquid overload! – but wine-friendly flavourings of chicken and mushroom are easy to match. Try pairing your soup with a lightly oaked Chardonnay as it complements both meat and vegetables.

La Reverence, Chardonnay, 2018 £8.09

Grapes: Chardonnay / ABV: 13% 

Pale and golden straw-like in colour, with rich summer fruit aromas and peach and melon flavours on the palate, which are balanced by a fresh, crisp finish.  

The combination of grapes from Roussillon and Minervois give this wine a buttery, fresh, and mineral profile.  

TUNA PENNE IN TOMATO SAUCE 

Picture a glossy and spiced tomato sauce flecked with tuna, mixed with penne pasta. What started as a cupboard raid is now a feast. This dish requires a red wine but nothing too tannic. The light tannins in Beaujolais are perfectly suited to the oily nature of the fish. Its medium body suits a richer tomato sauce.  

Oedoria, L’Exception, Beaujolais Rouge, Beaujolais, 2017 £11.40

Grapes: Gamay / ABV: 12.5%

Intense in colour, this wine combines fruity aromas, smooth tannins and a pleasant structure. Well-bodied, well balanced and an excellent example of a fuller flavoured Beaujolais.  

FROZEN PEA SOUP

The natural sweetness of peas is brought to life with the aromatic and bright expressions of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Its crisp and herbaceous nature pairs well with grassy ingredients like peas. 

Ward Valley, ‘Triple Block’, Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 £10.50 

Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc/ABV: 13% 

Intensely aromatic and immediately appealing, the bouquet combines passionfruit, green melon, lime peel and feijoa aromas. The palate is equally gorgeous with a bright, fruity intensity and vibrant mouthfeel with a long finish. 

PESTO PASTA 

The simple but assertive elements of pesto – pine nuts, basic, parmesan cheese and olive oil – pair with a wine that’s similarly effortless and flavourful in equal measure. To really emphasise that bright, herbal quality, you’ll want to go for a white without too much fruit. The wine should have similar restraint and this Austrian Grüner will do just that. 

Eschenhof Holzer, Wagram, Grüner Veltliner, 2018 £12.00

Grapes: Grüner Veltliner / ABV: 12%

An uncomplicated style, with fine acidity and fruit flavours resulting from the rich clay soils. Peach, red apple and hints of spicy pepper characterise this vegan and organic dry white. 

TINNED RICE PUDDING 

Tinned rice pudding is stalwart of forgotten nooks and crannies in cupboards across the country. But we all need a little dessert right now. Pair a vanilla milk rice pudding with a sun-drenched and similarly sweet Sicillian Grillo for a nostalgic treat. 

Caruso E Minini, Naturalmente Bio, Grillo, Sicilia £18.00 

Grapes: Grillo/ ABV: 13% 

Organic and vegan-friendly with vintage notes of oak and acacia, this Sicilian white boasts the perfect mix of intensity and elegance. 

BILTONG 

Cured meat is a globally common way to extend the life of food. Biltong requires ripe and moderately structured wines. Look for oaky Cabernet Sauvignon from the new world to match the heavy spice of the meat.

U By Undurraga, Central Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 £9.68

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon / ABV: 13% 

Elegantly perfumed aromas and a fresh, floral palate characterise this Chilean red. Smooth textured, with fruit tones, well-balanced acidity and an elegant finish, this is just delicious. 

LINGUINE AGLIO E OLIO 

Linguine, anchovy, garlic, chilli flakes and parsley; the perfect dish where every element balances another and takes ten minutes to make. Fresh Portuguese reds with fruity flavours serve this dish well without dominating. 

Herdade Do Mouchão, Mouchao Dom Rafael Red 2015 £15.99

Grapes: Alicante Bouschet, Castelao, Trincadeira, Aragonez / ABV: 13.5% 

Possibly the world’s leading producer of Alicante Bouschet, the Dom Rafael red has enough punch and fruit to handle but not overbear this classic linguine. 

INSTANT RAMEN 

If a tasty ramen dish is your pantry pick, pair with lighter lagers, Sake, or a white wine with body and ‘spice’, as the velvety texture complements the noodles and broth. 

Tatsuuma-Honke Brewery, Isaké Classic ‘Junmai Ginjo’ £26.50 

Grapes: N/A / ABV: 14.5%

Born from a collaboration between a French Sommelier and a Japanese Saké expert, this wine is carefully designed to pair perfectly with dishes such as ramen. Made with a unique blend of Saké rices, flavours of melon, peach and walnuts are on the palate with a long, intense finish. 

TINNED JACKFRUIT

This delicious and versatile vegan staple lends itself well to recreating meat-like textures and absorbing BBQ flavours. Pair with richer styles of sparkling rosés to complement its sweet taste. The thing we look for when pairing is freshness and this sparkler is laden with strawberry fruit.

Comte De Bailly, Crémant De Bourgogne, Sparkling Rosé From Veuve Ambal £11.99

Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay/ ABV: 12%

Clear, light rosé with a fine, persistent mousse. Fresh aromas of raspberry and redcurrant pair perfectly with sweeter jackfruit. 

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