Wine and insect matching guide launched

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.

René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, currently ranked as the World’s Best Restaurant, hit the headlines in 2012 when he served live ants at his A Taste of Noma pop-up at Claridge’s.

After extensive tasting, Redezpi chose a certain breed of ant that shares a chemical component with lemongrass, giving the critters a citrus flavour.

Closer to home, Archipelago in London’s Goodge Street serves chocolate-covered locusts to intrepid diners.

The bugs were sourced for the experiment from Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and “gourmet” insect shops Crunchy Critters and Edible Uniques.

“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.

Laithwaite’s is considering including the tasting notes for the matches in select cases of its wines.

Click through for the wine and insect matches chosen by the merchant.

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