You’ll want to watch this video with sound on, trust me.
I’m on a journey to learn more about wine and I’m bringing you along for the ride. While I never once cheated on a test in my school days (although I probably should have when it came to Grade 12 calculus), when it comes to wine I do keep a cheat sheet/tutor in my back pocket.
Who or what is this magical resource, you ask? It’s none other than Somm™ – a multifaceted lifestyle platform that takes the intimidation factor out of wine, offers enhanced hospitality experiences, and connects consumers to amazing wines from independent bottle shops, wineries, and agencies across Ontario and Alberta…and soon, across Canada.
The app is free to download and all users have access to its brilliant recommendations which take the guesswork out of selecting the perfect wine (you may have seen me demonstrate its seamless functionality in this earlier blog post).
Since then, the fine folks at Somm have continued to innovate and enhance the user experience. Now when you’re looking for the perfect wine pairing for food, you can select the new “Common Dishes and Cuisines” category to get ideas on what bottles will pair best with Mexican, Indian, Sushi, Thai, Middle Eastern, Pizza, or Southern BBQ.
Somm is fully integrated with the LCBO inventory and uses data science to suggest a carefully curated array of bottles suited to whatever you’re serving. It also lets you pick your ideal price point by organizing wines into cheaper, moderate, and pricier bottles. Plus, users in Ontario can now click the “Buy Now” button in the app and be taken directly to the LCBO product page to place an order for same-day pick-up, in-store or home delivery!
I am so excited about this new feature that I wanted to share some pairings suggested by Somm to pair with takeout from some of my favourite restaurants in Ottawa.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected the hospitality industry, combine that with the nearly month-long occupation of our downtown core, there has never been a more crucial moment to support local restaurants. Here are some ideas for your next takeout order and some wine ideas sourced from Somm for the perfect pairing. Download the Somm app today and find the perfect pairing for all your favourite takeout dishes!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, feel free to drop your favourite Ottawa takeout joints in the comments below!
Rosé isn’t just for patio season. Well-loved amongst the brunch set for its clean, fresh, and fruity qualities, these wines pair well with a wide range of foods – especially the chilies and baking spices often found in Mexican dishes like tacos al pastor. In case you were wondering where the range of blush tones come from in the rosé aisle, it is most commonly made with red grapes, letting the juice sit on the skins for a short amount of time to lend the wine its distinctive pink hue.
Syrah is a red grape variety native to Southern France which is now grown all over the world. Loved for being smoky, earthy, and savoury, this style of wine pairs well with lamb and other well-seasoned dishes much-loved in Indian cuisine.
Chablis is unoaked Chardonnay. As such, it doesn’t share the same buttery, creamy notes as Chardonnay; Chablis is lean, clean, and sharp with a citrus-forward palate with plenty of minerality. It pairs beautifully with fresh seafood – making it ideal for sipping alongside your favourite sushi or sashimi takeout.
Simple, clean, and crisp, Pinot Grigio is likely the most recognizable white wine in the world and lends itself beautifully to Thai food. Historically grown in the foothills of The Alps, it is now widely planted all over the world. Thai food is all about harmony and a dry Pinot Grigio with subtle tropical or citrus fruit notes has perfect pitch as a wine pairing for this cuisine.
Pinot Noir is a red grape variety native to France but now produced by winemakers the world over, those who aren’t afraid of a challenge that is. It’s considered to be a very fickle varietal and hard to work with. Thin-skinned and light in colour, these wines tend to be lighter in body, low in tannins, and bright acidity. This style of wine can be quite fruity, a bit earthy and very food-friendly – a great complement to the cumin-forward dishes and other earthy spices typical of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Unsurprisingly, these three Italian reds are well-suited to pizza with tomato sauce. Chianti is one of the most classic styles of Italian wine, made from Sangiovese grapes in the iconic rolling hills of Tuscany. Bright and zippy with a slightly earthy undertone, the wines of Chianti have the right acidity to cut through grease and the moderately firm tannins work well with classic toppings like pepperoni.
Bold, high-tannin ones with spicy notes, like Shiraz, enhance the tobacco and pepper flavours found in grilled beef. Shiraz has notes of rich, dark fruit and can be quite spicy. Its big, fruity flavours stand up well to meaty dishes like grilled ribs, steak, and brisket.