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The countdown is on to take part in the UK's first food and wine pairing competition

The countdown is on to take part in the UK's first food and wine pairing competition

Wine producers and suppliers have until Wednesday 15 June to enter the highly innovative What Food What Wine? (WFWW) competition, which sees leading wine experts determine the best matches for the UK’s top 10 dishes.

WFWW’s marketing manager, David Kelly, said: “The battle is on among wine makers for the ultimate accolade – to have their wine crowned the very best accompaniment to dishes ranging from chicken tikka masala to roast lamb, fish & chips and chocolate mousse.”

The competition, which aims to promote consumer engagement among the UK’s 28 million wine drinkers, has been praised by industry gurus.

WFWW Judge Christine Parkinson, wine buyer at Hakkasan, said: “At Hakkasan we taste every wine with food before it goes on the list, and now WFWW is doing the same for dishes people eat every day. There’s no substitute for tasting food and wine together. WFWW is brilliant because it does just that.”

Fellow judge Gerard Basset, MS, MW, voted the ‘World’s Best Sommelier’ in 2010, said: “It can be a daunting task to pick a wine that accurately suits the food it’s matched with. This competition is perfect in making it easy for anyone to choose a good wine to go with one of Britain’s best-loved dishes.”

Host Peter Richards MW, who with wife Susie Barrie MW is a regular wine expert on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, said: “We just don’t know what surprises are in store. Ultimately, the only thing that matters in this competition is how well the wine goes with the food. It’s a completely level playing field for wines from all over the world – with everything to play for.”

WFWW promises a ‘blind’ tasting meaning local UK producers will go head to head with the world’s finest vineyards. Judges will only know if the wine retails for more or less than £10. The judges’ menu also includes British favourites mushroom risotto, lasagne, smoked salmon, bangers & mash with gravy, apple crumble & custard, mature cheddar and chocolate mousse.

Other judges include Guardian columnist and acknowledged food-and-wine expert Fiona Beckett, food writer and broadcaster Jo Pratt who is the competition’s director of food and Nic Belfrage, editor of Essentially Catering.

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