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Rioja is the perfect match to food


Rioja wines have shone at the inaugural What Food What Wine competition 2011. Marqués de Murrieta Red Reserva 2005Cune Imperial and Campo Viejo Crianza were Rioja’s biggest winners as 5 star matches to roast lamb, mature cheddar and lasagne respectively. Rioja wine matched the mushroom risotto very well with the Viña Real Barrel Fermented Blanco 2008, with Marqués de Murrieta Red Reserva 2005 named a top match to the lamb and a 4 star match to the risotto. The competition, run by IWSC Group Ltd, aims to encourage consumers to stop and think about wine and hopes to dispel the fear around food and wine matching.

The Spanish wine region of Rioja is one of the most famous in the world, producing exceptional red, white and rosé wines in both modern easy-drinking and traditional food-friendly styles. Whether it is a simple salad or a rich casserole there is a Rioja to suit any dish as well as personal taste. For a wide selection of recipes and Rioja wine matching ideas please visit the recipes section on the site.

Judges blind tasted and categorised the wines in one of four ways:

5 stars – excellent match

4 stars – very good match

3 starts – sound match

Below 3 stars – poor match

There was also an over £10 and under £10 winner for each food category plus a ‘Judges Choice’ (the wine they would choose).

About the competition

10 classic British dishes, from fish and chips to chicken tikka massala were chosen and wine producers were invited to send in wines to match the dishes. The recipes were designed by food writer and presenter Jo Pratt and food and wine experts helped judged the competition in a blind tasting where judged only knew if the wine was under or over £10. Judged included Gerard Basset MS MW OBE and The Guardian’s Fiona Beckett.

For a full list of winners and further information visit