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Brief Published: 26 Jan 2015

Wine & Insect Pairing Menu

Laithwaites' insect pairing wine menu

In response to a growing consumer desire for edible insects, British wine merchant Laithwaite's has developed the world's first insect and wine pairing guide. Designed for more adventurous palates, pairings include Zebra Tarantula spider with full-bodied Chardonnay, Queen Weaver Ants with aromatic white wine, and Asian Forest Scorpions with Transylvanian Pinot Noir.

Although commonly eaten in parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa, edible insects have been slow to gain social and cultural acceptance in Western markets. However, consumer perception is evolving as enterprising brands and product developers create new insect-based foods and beverages.

To increase appeal, many of these product lines are being stylishly packaged and boast sophisticated contemporary branding. Best-practice examples include US start-up Six Food's Chirps range, French brand Jimini's protein-packed snack line, and Belgian company Green Kow's organic mealworm spreads, which are packaged similarly to high-end pasta sauces.

On the beverage front, Anty Gin – a gin containing the formic acid of around 60 red wood ants – is presented in a weighty glass bottle that resembles a luxury decanter.

This wave of insect-based culinary development is being fuelled by impending meat shortages as increasing global populations ramp up their protein consumption. For more on this wider concern, see Food Vision and Future Farming.