A renowned sommelier whose expertise adds flair to every event he works on, ICC Sydney’s Beverage Operations and Cellar Manager William Wilson knows more than a thing or two about beverages. Through his wealth of knowledge, industry connections and extensive experience, William provides unmatched beverage services for client events. From pairing wines to a custom menu or showcasing perfect alcohol-free options, his recommendations are all underpinned with the purpose of enriching delegate experiences.
Here William shares his top tips for the perfect food and beverage pairing:
Don’t overpower the food
Food and beverages should work together, not battle each other for the spotlight. Australia produces some wonderful full bodied reds that can be a bit too much for many dishes. For an alternative option, try a lighter red such as cool climate Pinot Noir from Orange or Tumbarumba, or delicious medium bodied Shiraz from the Hunter Valley.
Some of our best wines are exceptionally good value
My Scottish blood likes great value so when I eat out I scan the wine list for Riesling and Semillon. Both of these grapes make fantastic food wines with mouth-watering citrus flavours and lingering complexity. Aged Release Semillon from the Hunter Valley is simply superb and should feature on many more wine lists – we have a wide selection on ICC Sydney’s wine collection.
Try something different
There is no reason for every course to be matched with a wine. Australia has some amazing brewers and beers that will suit any menu item. I’m a huge fan of the wild ales coming from Marrickville’s Wildflower Brewing and Blending, some of the most well balanced drinks that you will find. Cider is another great alternative; try some of the award winning drops from Small Acres in Orange.
Great drinks don’t need alcohol
It’s great to see well-made alternatives to alcoholic beverages and my team can deliver some fantastic alcohol-free cocktails made with local ingredients. Lyre’s range of alcohol-free spirits makes it easy to produce spritz style cocktails that can be served at lunchtime without sending delegates to sleep in the afternoon. One of my favourite trends at the moment is kombucha, its perfect balance of sweet and sour flavours make it a great accompaniment to a meal.