A great many wine growing regions of the world have their own specialty dishes which partner superbly with the local wines. More often than not we use this regional knowledge for our own wine and food pairings, but sometimes we have our own take on the theme, or we choose to go our own way entirely. In England we can have the best of everything because in wine and food terms we are the shop window to the world. Let`s take Alsace as an example. Alsace, bordering Germany, expresses its German-French past no better than through its wines, producing distinctive, aromatic wines from Germanic grapes. The principal varieties are Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. With the exception of their “Vendange Tardive” and “Selection Des Grains Nobles” (sweet wines), Alsace wines are technically dry but ripe-tasting with more body (and colour) than their German counterparts; and where German wines are so often characterised by their floral character, Alsace is more savoury with notable spice. Indeed, they can be exotic, hedonistic wines at their best, with great concentration. Where food is concerned, locally they are often consumed with food which is essentially German: pork-based dishes with sweet and fruity condiments or sauces and red cabbage turned sauerkraut. They also enjoy the wines with smoked fish, smoked meat and a picnic spread of savoury goodies interspersed with chutneys, pickles, gherkins and beetroot in vinegar – happily, the sort of food found in our shop! However, in England we have also adopted Alsace wines as the wine of choice for our Asian food, especially Chinese, Thai and Indian curries. The wines fleshy ripe-tasting often peach-and-apricot marmalade-like fruits are great absorbers of spice, and they equally work well with sweet-and-sour. The sweet wines are a perfect match with the local Foie Gras, but we recommend them with Wild Boar and Duck Paté, and with cheeses, fruit tarts and fruit salads. Why not try our Alsace Hunawihr Gewurztraminer 2014, a classic for £16.99 per bottle.