Aug 17, 2020

Going on holiday is a real treat for the taste buds. In fact, more than half (53%) of the UK population say that considering the food and wine available in the area they're visiting is key in deciding on where to travel. Whether you want to re-live the vibe from an old favourite destination or get a flavour for somewhere that’s on your bucket list, it’s possible to transport yourself to a faraway land from your own kitchen.

We want to inspire the chef and viticulturist in you as you explore the cultures, traditions and cuisines of the world. The beauty of taking charge of your adventures from the comfort of your kitchen means you can follow your own path, experiment with flavours and dream of upcoming overseas adventures.

Sounds good, right? Well, with that in mind, let's get the creative juices flowing and set off on an adventure around the world! 

 

Australia

Cuisine tips: Head to the land Down Under and embrace the vibrant Australian brunch scene. From Melbourne, to Brisbane, Australians adore brunch and avocado on toast tops the pile when it comes to popularity. Easy to create from home – a creamy, zesty avocado on sourdough toast can be made into an impressive dish when elevated with lemon juice, chilli flakes and a crack of black pepper.

The canopy of citrus, plus the crispness and liveliness in a chilled glass of Dark Horse Sauvignon Blanc is the definition of versatility and a food pairing king. However, a pour of this drop enhances the squeeze of lemon in your avocado on toast and transports you to a sun-soaked Australian brunch.

Later in the day, it’s all about the famous flavours of the Australian barbeque. Whether you’re on the beach or in the backyard, Aussies love to crack out the ‘barbie’ – and the delicious dishes light up any visit Down Under. If you fancy experimenting and doing something more than sausages (or snags, as Australians call them) then why not try baby back ribs with blackberry barbeque sauce? It’s also a great marinade for shrimps too. Whatever food finds its way on to the barbecue, pair it with a rich, velvety Malbec.

Planning on being even more adventurous? Our Zinfandel pairs well with kangaroo for a quirky Aussie dish.

Dark Horse Merlot and blue cheeseburger

USA

Cuisine tips: Who doesn't want to embark on a road trip across the USA and live the American dream? Whether your ideal plans include a Californian adventure, a journey along Route 66 or a soulful exploration of the Southern States, you'll find glorious cuisine everywhere you turn.

Nothing quite captures the taste of America like a brilliant blue cheeseburger. It’s big and bold and needs a full-bodied wine to match. Pair it with our dark and jammy Merlot for a home run.

Hosting some friends? Grab a bottle of our velvety smooth Cabernet Sauvignon and consider brisket. It is the ideal cut of beef to pair with this black fruit-laden, layered wine and the meat's tenderness makes it the perfect candidate for the Texan barbecue culture.

Create a dish of brisket with sweet and sour onions and pair it with our boldly textured Cabernet Sauvignon – a wine well-suited to smoked, barbecued and roasted red meat.

Braised ribs are another mouth-watering American favourite - add the Mexican spice of ancho chillies to the dish and you've got a match made in Malbec heaven.

These ribs are perfect for weekends - it's a glorious, slow-cooked recipe that will fill your home with aromas reminiscent of an American vacation. 

Americans famously have a sweet tooth – so you really can’t ignore dessert here. Dish up a deliciously rich cheesecake for the ultimate American treat – with the perfect pairing of a glass of crisp and citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Mexico

Cuisine tips: There's a reason Mexican cuisine is reimagined the world over - the country is a culinary powerhouse.

Fabulous fish tacos  - adorned with pickled red onions, shredded cabbage and a coriander garnish - are a satisfying fit for Dark Horse's crisp and lively Sauvignon Blanc. Its notes of citrus and pink grapefruit are clean on the palate, offering a cool and classy edge to your Mexican masterpiece.

When we think of Mexico, our thoughts also turn to a spicy salsa. Pick a flavoursome salsa verde to go with a grilled steak and you’ll easily add a splash of Central American flair to a feast. Pair this with a glass of our Zinfandel or a drop of Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Mediterranean region

Cuisine tips: The marvellous menu right across the Mediterranean is every bit as delightful as its incredible weather.

Super seafood dishes are served throughout the whole region – so consider a fish dish to embrace the food you know and love here. Dark Horse’s Chardonnay has a smooth and caramelly consistency that sits well beside any seafood dish. Why not pair it with seared scallops and roasted red pepper relish on a hot night?

There’s great variety across the region. Take a leaf out of Tunisia’s book and discover the full-bodied flavours and fiery spices from the North African side of the Mediterranean.

Give a traditional spicy harissa lamb dish a bit of a twist by transforming it into a lamb meatball sub with polenta.

Dress your dining table and place a platter of subs in the centre, inviting everyone to dig in! This is another dish that will benefit from being paired with our Cabernet Sauvignon, with its burst of black fruit flavours.

 

Greece

Cuisine tips: It may be part of the Mediterranean, but Greece’s rich culinary heritage deserve a section all of its own here.

No dish transports your tastebuds to the traditional Greek countryside quite like moussaka – a hearty feast of beef or lamb cooked in tomato sauce, layered with aubergine and potato and topped with creamy bechamel sauce. Your moussaka will go down even better with a glass of our Cabernet Sauvignon, with its dark fruit flavours a perfect fit here. In fact, this wine’s fabulously fruity aromas dovetail deliciously with the savoury staple dishes and lamb cuisine served in Greek tavernas.

Salty and delicious, grilled halloumi conjures up visions of alfresco dining backed by an East Mediterranean sunset. Halloumi is a favourite of nearby Cyprus and is glorious when accompanied by a simple rocket salad with plump, fresh tomatoes. Serve up a side of warm pita bread if you're feeling hungry. This fresh, summery dish is the ideal food pairing for a Chardonnay drenched with flavours of juicy stone fruit.

Dark Horse Rose and Salad Nicoise

France

Culinary tips: Continue your culinary adventures in Europe by hopping over to France for a Salad Niçoise with albacore tuna. Light and fresh, this is the perfect food pairing for a French-style dry Provence rosé from Dark Horse. Tuck into seared tuna, crunchy romaine lettuce, warm new potatoes and tart cherry tomatoes and wash it all down with a chilled glass of dry, bright and crisp rosé and you’ll be transported to a county famed for its gastronomic wonders.

For dessert, why not opt for another French favourite and make a delicious almond cake with a homemade raspberry-rhubarb compote? Rosé is once again the ideal partner for this light pudding thanks to its subtle minerality and floral hints. Find the recipe here.

 

India

Cuisine tips: Indian cuisine is famously intense – with powerful flavours and spices providing dishes that have a real kick. That all calls for wine that refreshes your palate and help you to savour the heat.

Pick a glass of Dark Horse Pinot Grigio and you’ll find that this fruity favourite suits a sizzling Tandoori chicken dish, letting you enjoy the rich array of flavours. In fact, this wine works well with any chicken, seafood or vegetable curry – while you’ll need a bold Malbec to make the most of a beef or pork curry dish.

If you fancy something milder – and without meat – then why not consider a creamy vegetable dahl? This lighter dish suits the light sweetness of our award-winning Chardonnay, with its smooth, caramelly notes.

Saag paneer – a dish made with spinach and Indian cheese – is a rich creamy Indian treat that works best with an elegant fruity wine such as Pinot Grigio.

 

Japan

Cuisine tips: Think Japanese food only goes with sake and beer? Think again. There are a number of tasty Japanese dishes that suit your favourite wines.

Tasty tempura – the batter used in Japanese cuisine for fish and vegetable dishes – actually works incredibly well with the crisp, citrus notes of the Sauvignon Blanc. Try this combo – with an easy-to-share mixed tempura platter - and you’ll see what we mean.

Katsu – a form of Japanese breadcrumbs – also pairs nicely with an oaky red wine, such as our Merlot.

Last – but definitely not least – is sushi. This is the sensational taste of the Land of the Rising Sun and is a surprising suitable partner for a glass of Dark Horse Malbec. It’s a bold and earthy wine that really complements wasabi and teriyaki.    

 

We hope these ideas have ignited a fire to bring the holiday home this year.

It’s time to let your taste buds explore the world from the comfort of your dining room, invite friends over and embrace your new-found passion for matching food and wine.

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