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Christmas lunch and curry put to the test

Food and wine pairing competition What Food What Wine? is opening entries for this year with the announcement of two new categories.

Indian cuisine and Christmas lunch have both been added to the line-up, in a contest which sees an expert judging panel select the best wine match for some of the UK’s most popular dishes.

The 2012 judges include husband and wife team Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW and BBC Good Food magazine’s Sarah Jane Evans MW, alongside new faces such as Ewan Lacey, sommelier from Channel 4’s The Cookery School, and Jean Marc Saboua, head of winemaking and Bordeaux for Laithwaites Wine.

Hosted by Cinnamon Kitchen in London, the Indian category will find the best wine matches for chicken korma, chicken tikka massala, lamb rogan josh and stir fry prawns. The Christmas category will see judges hunt for the best pairing with smoked salmon, turkey with stuffing, Chrismas pudding and Stilton.

The main competition categories, due to be judged this July, will feature fish and chips, rump steak and fries, roast lamb, lasagne, mushroom risotto, apple crumble and custard and strawberries and cream.

Last year’s results threw up a mixture of classic and more surprising wine matches, with Gallo Summer Red NV winning a prize in the apple crumble category,

Highlighting competition as an initiative that “encourages consumers to stop and think about wine, rather than reach out for a three for £12 offer” David Kelly, WFWW’s marketing manager predicted: “The addition of the two new categories will offer an even greater opportunity to increase consumer engagement among the UK’s 28 million wine drinkers whose purchasing is often influenced by price and promotion.”

Aiming to remove the “daunting” task of food and wine matching, Kelly claimed: ‘What Food, What Wine?’ will help consumers experiment with confidence and encouraging sensible drinking by linking wine with food.”

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