Hints of Barbecued Locust: UK Wine Merchant Features Insect Pairings


While some wine experts may recommend wild boar, one wine group prefers to pair reds and whites with scorpions and worms.
United Kingdom-based wine group Laithwaite's recently experimented with the relationship between insects and wine by releasing a guide to pairing 10 insects with 10 wines. The results, it goes without saying, were somewhere between crunchy and crazy.
“Mealworms,” the guide says, “Commonly enjoyed as a taco topping or standalone snack. Match their nutty taste and light, crunchy texture with a  crisp Clare Valley Viognier wine.”
Though bizarre, insects have been hailed by the UN as a source of sustainable protein, a recent article by the UK's Daily Mail. 
More than two billion people worldwide supplement their diet with insects, the Daily Mail story reported.
The guide's insect list is a veritable Who's Who of creepy crawlers: Asian forest scorpion, mealworms, zebra tarantula, sago worms, barbecued locusts, chocolate-dipped locusts, giant waterbugs, queen weaver ants, crickets and garlic chapulines. 
Tasting notes from are interesting.
“Scorpions,” the guide says about the Asian forest variety, “ have a strong, bitter flavor and are normally eaten with sweet chili sauces”
The guides says the cantankerous crawlers pair well with a Transylvanian Pinot-Noir based rosé.
Seafood fiends may enjoy the fishy hints found in tarantula, the guide says.
“Tarantulas are normally eaten deep fried, so think similar to fish and chips,” the guide reads. “A lively full bodies Chardonnay will stand up to the complex fishy flavours of the tarantula.”
A photo from the tasting features a square of sushi-like rice topped sago worms which resemble a bouquet of fresh-cut larvae.
“These worms have a distinct taste a bit similar to bacon so you need a bit meaty red with loads of punch to match that savoury flavour,” the guide reads. 
The skin-crawling combinations reach their climax with the guide's recommendations for giant waterbugs.
“The meat inside the water bug's body tastes a bit similar to a sweet scallop, while the head has hints of anise, so you'll need to find a wine that can match well with seafood and stronger flavours,” 
the guide reads. “A dry sherry, and a Fino at that, is the only choice here. The crisp citrus and nutty flavours will complement their complex flavours.”
Terroir notes for each insect were not available at the time this article was published.

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