CLASSICdrinks are delighted to be involved with Dine in the Dark and NCBI. We believe the idea is a fantastic way to get people to appreciate the effect blindness has on one’s senses. People get to support a very important charity but at the same time get a really great night out and experience.

Eating under blindfold will make you focus on one of the most important aspects of the enjoyment of wine and food – the smell. When you see a wine label or a dish that might not be familiar, you are already anticipating the taste. Now take away sight and you will focus on the smell, in the first instance, and then on the texture and taste. And we never spent enough time appreciating our food and wine in this way so this is a really unique experience.

A great food and wine pairing creates a balance between the components of a dish and the characteristics of a wine. As much as it seems complex, it’s actually pretty easy to make great pairings. All you need to do is mentally simplify each dish into basic tastes and then seek a wine that shares many of the same compounds (called congruent pairing for anyone interested in the terminology), or few shared compounds (complementary pairing). A complementary pairing creates balance by contrasting flavours.

So when matching wine with a dish, the intensity of the dish is assessed to find an equally intense wine. We are thinking about salt, fat, acid, sweet or sour and then find a wine that either matches or contrasts these elements in the food to really enhance the overall experience.

Eating a meal under blindfold will also draw your attention to textures. We often think of texture as only applying to food, but it’s relevant to wine tasting and enjoyment too. You will be more conscience on the mouth feel and texture of the wine in your mouth. Have a look at the wine label next time to see how the texture is described – smooth, silky, velvety, are all words that are used to describe how it feels on your palate.

So customers can look forward to an intense taste experience. CLASSICdrinks is delighted to be on board and to have worked on the wine selection for Dine in the Dark. I believe that customers will appreciate their sight a little more following this experience and also give more time to focusing on their meal in the future, savouring the taste, smell and textures in the food and wine.

We are also pleased to announce our competition for Dine in the Dark customers, who can win a mini wine cellar of five cases of mixed wines. All you have to do is text DARK to 50300 to enter (see information below).

I would urge restaurants to continue to register for Dine in the Dark and for customers to keep an eye out to see if their favourite restaurant has registered.

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