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Starters

A multitude of very different dishes can be served as a starter. However, there is a vast difference in flavour, weight and consistency between smoked salmon and a tomato bruschetta.
Consequently, depending on what you choose and the situation, there are lots of different wines that work.
With starters as with any wine/food pairing, it’s important to match the weight of the wine to the starter. If this isn't possible, or you don't want to, combining local wines and foods is a safe bet.
The wine chosen to go with the starter will affect the subsequent wines selected, and vice versa. If, say, a robust sparkling wine is to follow with the main course, the starter wine should be lighter, so that the weight of the wine increases with each course.

Wine recommendations to go with starters

Vegetarian starters

Generally speaking, light to medium-heavy white and rosé wines go with vegetarian starters.
Vegetarian starters are an easily digestible and often colourful scene-setter for the main course. They tend to be light dishes, except when cheese or mayonnaise-based dips are involved.
As a general rule, therefore, light to medium-heavy white and rosé wines such as Chasselas, Silvaner, Merlot bianco, Sauvignon blanc, and rosé from Italy and Spain are good options.

Which wine goes with...?

Tomato bruschetta

With tomato bruschetta with basil: an aromatic, mild white wine such as Bibacchus Muscat. Muscat has a distinctly floral aroma and mild acidity. The strong aroma complements the intense basil aromas while the mild acidity skilfully buffers the acidic tomatoes.

Stuffed courgette flowers

With courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta, onions and Parmesan: a robust, extract-rich white wine such as Terredora Fiano di Avellino. The stuffing is on the heavy side, so it needs a robust white wine that packs a flavour punch. Fiano di Avellino is a somewhat spicy, minerally white wine which goes exceptionally well with onions and Parmesan.

Wine recommendations to go with vegetarian starters

Starters with fish and/or seafood

Sparkling wine partners beautifully with most fish/seafood starters.
Some classic starters in this category are smoked trout fillet or salmon, prawn cocktail, scallops and tuna tartare. These dishes are aromatic and fairly low in fat.
If, as is the case with prawn cocktail or tuna tartare, the sauce or marinade provide the dominant flavours, this must be borne in mind when selecting a wine. Some sauces and dressings are easier to pair with wine than others. All sauces containing eggs or a lot of acidity are tricky to match with wines. By this we mean dressings with a lot of vinegar, crème fraîche, yoghurt, mayonnaise or lemon juice. It's better not to drink wine with these marinades.
Wine-friendly dressings contain little acidity. These are usually also oil-based but, instead of vinegar, contain balsamic with the merest hint of sweetness, soy sauce, sesame, herbs and other aromatic main ingredients.
Generally, light to medium-heavy, non-barrique white wines work well, such as Sancerre, and almost all Swiss and northern Italian white wines. Sparkling wine also partners beautifully with most fish/seafood starters.

Which wine goes with it?

Cold smoked salmon

With cold smoked salmon: a medium-heavy, soft white wine that has not been matured in a wooden barrel, such as Fendant, Pinot blanc, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay or a Fino sherry. White wines rich in acidity often bring out a metallic flavour in salmon. Soft white wines, however, support the creamy consistency of the fish, allowing the aroma to fully unfold.

Prawn cocktail

With prawn cocktail with Thousand Island dressing: a light, mild white wine such as NP Bio Mont-sur-Rolle Bigaire. Here, the dressing is quite obviously the dominant component. It is very hard to combine with wine, as tomato ketchup, vinegar, lemon juice, yoghurt and mayonnaise are classic enemies of wine. Therefore, the selected wine mustn’t even try to hold its own against the flavour of the dressing; rather, it should play second fiddle, without interfering with it.

Wine recommendations to go with fish and seafood