What is wine?

Wine is produced from the juice of grapes. Grapes are pressed and the resulting juice goes through a process called fermentation which produces alcohol.


Wine can be red, white or rosé (pink), still or sparkling (like champagne) and is sometimes fortified (like port). The grape variety used can have a big influence on how a wine tastes, so too can the place where the grapes are grown and how the wine is matured (sometimes in wooden oak barrels).


Here at Unity we have a range of over 450 wines ranging from your everyday favourites like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and merlot to some more interesting varieties such as frappato, pecorino and carmenere.  We have a full team of qualified wine experts to help with your every need.



Food and wine pairing

Food and wine matching is an excellent opportunity to sell wine. It can create a more enjoyable experience for your customers as well as encourage them to trade up. However, the whole subject of food and wine matching can be a minefield to navigate.


The most important thing to remember is there are no set rules – and the customer is always right, even if they like drinking vintage port with oysters.


That said, here are a few simple guidelines that will help you create your own perfect matches:

Match the weight

Match the weight of the wine with the weight of the food. Heavy dishes like braised red meat casserole will need a full-bodied wine. Light dishes like a salad needs a more delicate light-bodied wine.

Match the intensity

Foods that are intensely flavoured can overpower the flavour of wines, and intensely flavoured wines can overpower lightly flavoured foods. Try to match the intensity of flavours in both so that you can taste both the wine and the food, without one overpowering the other.

Match acids with acids

If you have a dish with strong acidic content such as pasta with tomato sauce or a salad with vinaigrette, match the food with a wine that has high acidity too. The acid in the food will balance the wine, making the wine taste fruitier and less acidic.


In the same way that lemon cuts through the oiliness of smoked salmon, acidic wines work well with oily and fatty foods by cutting through the richness.

Chilli heat

When you put chilli heat and tannin together, they accentuate each other, making the food seem spicier and the wine more tannic and alcoholic. Chilli heat can also make a wine taste less sweet and fruity.

Local food likes local wine

In many regions of the world, traditional foods have developed alongside the local wine styles, which is why regional dishes are often best paired with wine from the same region. Try for example, chianti with a big bowl of Tuscan pasta, or dry fino sherry with salty tapas.


Sweetness in food can make a wine taste drier, so when it comes to desserts, it’s a good idea to make sure the wine is sweeter than the food. Sweet wines are also a good contrast for salty foods, for example, try pairing blue cheese with sauternes (a sweet dessert wine from Bordeaux in France).


The perfect serve


When it comes to serving wine perfectly, temperature matters. If you change the temperature, you change the wine. Too cold and it won’t taste of anything, too warm and it will taste alcoholic, soupy and thick.


Getting the temperature of wine right can have a big impact on your customer’s enjoyment and increase the chance of them ordering that second glass or bottle. The challenge in the on trade is hitting the right temperature. Here are a few easy tips to ensure the temperature of the wine you serve is perfect every time:


Break the ice bucket habit – for whites

Many whites – especially bigger wines like chardonnay or viognier – will be a bit colder than is recommended when they first come out of the fridge. If they then get plunged straight into ice they will never get the chance to warm up and strut their stuff. Let them sit out for a bit on the table.

Get into the ice bucket habit – for reds

Lots of big reds – from punchy aussie shiraz to delicate beaujolais and pinot noir – benefit from a quick ice bath, especially in warm weather or a warm room. Just a few minutes in ice are all it will take to make them much more refreshing.

Check the location of the wine rack

Every room has hot spots – close to radiators or appliances such as fridges. Make sure your wines are stored as far away from these as possible.

Offer a chilled red or two

This is a great idea to show you take wine service seriously and an easy up-sell suggestion for customers looking for something different and delicious – make sure you mark them on the wine list!

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