Thursday Food turns the focus on white wines for the final of our two-part series on the most distinctive bottles at The Cliff Hotel in Negril’s West End.
For certified sommelier and The Cliff Hotel’s wine consultant Rimple Nayyar, wine pairing does not have to be pompous and serious. Wine drinking should be pleasurable, and menu pairing should elevate, delight and inspire. And wine pairings for spicy foods, like that served at the hotel’s celebrated Zest restaurant, have to be thoughtful and include a bit of alchemy.
According to Club Oenologique Magazine, “There are four considerations for the wine you’re planning to pair with spicy food: Sweetness, acidity, bubbles and aromatics.” Sweetness dilutes spiciness and allows the palate to respond playfully and not feel scorched. Acidity and bubbles encourage salivation, thus allowing the palate to reset. And aromatics create a delicious concerto when they meet the herbaceousness of Caribbean cuisine.
When thinking of whites that perfectly pair with spicy dishes, Riesling, Prosecco, and Albariño immediately come to mind. But Nayyar encourages people visiting The Cliff to explore the complexities of their palate and try other whites that they usually would not think of pairing with the hotel’s zesty cuisine.
The four whites that Nayyar and Thursday Food chose to highlight are Chateau St Jean Chardonnay (Sonoma), Sauvion Les Fondettes Sancerre (Loire Valley), Bolla Delle Venezie Pinot Grigio (Italy), and Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand).