You start your day with one, and end it with the other. One’s an upper, one’s a downer. Suspended in perfect balance, coffee and wine are the yin and yang of delicious drinks. But did you know how similar they are too?
Both start off life as berries (grapes, and cherries), which are fermented to develop the flavours. And their quality and taste vary hugely depending on where, when, and how they were grown.
So it stands to reason that if you like a certain coffee, then a wine with similar characteristics might be right up your street. So without further ado, here’s our…
Coffee & Wine Pairing Recommendations
- Planalto, Brazil
Our crowd-pleaser, Planalto, has deliciously dark chocolate and malt notes. Probably why it won a Great Taste award! Grown in Brazil, roasted dark, with a heavy, round mouthfeel – we’d pair it with a full-bodied red wine like Rioja.
Using Yellow Catuai beans, Planalto comes with the characteristic sweetness of the variety – brought out more so by the Pulped Natural process it’s undergone. This process typically results in a clean cup, medium-to-full body and acidity, and a syrupy sweetness. Suits a Rioja or a good Chilean Tempranillo (if you ask our Head of Coffee!).
- Buenos Aires, Colombia
Reminding Head of Coffee Will of redcurrant and apple jam, Buenos Aires is a perfect example of a fruity Colombian. We think the syrupy mouthfeel makes it a perfect match with a crisp, dry white like Sauvignon Blanc.
These beans have been processed using the Washed method, where cherries (among numerous other steps!) are fermented in a water tank for 18-36 hours. This results in a fresh, bright cup and real clarity of flavour. This develops the characteristics of the Castillo variety well – known for their smoothness, and citric acidity. Suits the zestiness of a Sauvignon Blanc perfectly!
- Arsosala, Ethiopia
Known for their floral taste profiles, African coffees are something else. Arsosala gives us white blossom tea vibes, with a ripe sweetness and silky mouthfeel. For us it screams fruity, light bodied, high acidity wines – Riesling if it’s white, Pinot Noir for red.
When it comes to varieties, Arsosala is an “Heirloom” – which is really an umbrella term. That’s because there’s an estimated 6-10,000(!) varieties in Ethiopia, and they haven’t been scientifically mapped – due to them originating not from agricultural practices, but natural mutations.
In Arsosala’s case, there’s a silkiness and fructose sweetness, brought out by the Washed process again – with very different results to Buenos Aires! It’s delicate taste notes, complemented by a light roast, matches well with the fresh fragrance of a Riesling and the fruitiness of Pinot Noir is also paralleled.
Let us know what you think of our pairings below or, if you fancy reading more about wine, head over to Virgin Wines’ blog for their take. Fancy a glass to sip while you’re reading? We’re running a competition with Virgin Wines in the next few weeks that could sort you out – just keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook pages.