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Match of the week

Match of the week

Prawns and Aligoté

Prawns and Aligoté

To those who have spotted on Twitter that I'm down in the Languedoc it might seem odd that to be drinking aligoté but we’d picked some up in Burgundy on our journey through France and wanted to try it out.

Boeuf bourguignon and Saint-Romain

Boeuf bourguignon and Saint-Romain

It should really come as no surprise that a beef stew made with red burgundy should pair with red burgundy but when you think about it it’s not a given. A rich stew cooked for hours in red wine accompanied with a light red burgundy doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven even if the cooking wine involved is burgundy.

Sweetcorn, feta and green chilli waffles and pink grapefruit juice

Sweetcorn, feta and green chilli waffles and pink grapefruit juice

Soft drinks don’t often feature in my weekly pairings but this combination of an inventive savoury breakfast waffle and some lovely fresh pink grapefruit juice at The Modern Pantry last week was spot on.

Cherry, pistachio and coconut cake and Seifried 'Sweet Agnes' riesling

Cherry, pistachio and coconut cake and Seifried 'Sweet Agnes' riesling

Until last night I was confident what I was going to make my match of the week, this week - the unlikely but delicious combination of a Langhe Nebbiolo and Berkswell sheep’s cheese but last night I was blown away by this pairing.

Wagyu beef tataki and ginjo sake

Wagyu beef tataki and ginjo sake

We get so used to thinking of red wine as the only pairing for beef that it’s good to be reminded there are other options. Especially when it comes to Japan’s fabled Wagyu beef which is all about subtle tastes and textures.

Smoked haddock and leek risotto and Albarino

Smoked haddock and leek risotto and Albarino

If you were thinking of a wine pairing for risotto you’d probably reach for an Italian white such as a Pinot Grigio but Spain’s famous Galician white Albarino works equally well as I discovered the other day.

Asparagus salad and Grüner Veltliner

Asparagus salad and Grüner Veltliner

I’ve been in Vienna for the past few days so couldn’t really avoid eating asparagus. Not that I wanted to. Austria’s white asparagus is one of the highlights of the spring and early summer so we grabbed any opportunity we could to wolf it.

Spiced creme brulée tarts and Carthagène de Haut-Gléon

Spiced creme brulée tarts and Carthagène de Haut-Gléon

Last week was the London Wine Fair - the last place, to be honest, I expected to find a stellar wine match. (It doesn't feature food.)

Crespelle with wild asparagus and fonduta and extra dry prosecco

Crespelle with wild asparagus and fonduta and extra dry prosecco

I’ve spent the last 3 days in the Veneto at a prosecco festival called Vino in Villa (yup, alright for some, but if it’s any consolation the weather hasn’t been as good as it has in the UK)

Fried chicken with Kung Fu Girl Columbia Valley Riesling

Fried chicken with Kung Fu Girl Columbia Valley Riesling

It’s not that often you find a wine that’s perfectly suited to every dish you throw at it but The Lockhart’s well chosen Kung Fu Girl riesling sailed right through our lunch there last week

Tonka bean ice cream and Zoco Pacharan

Tonka bean ice cream and Zoco Pacharan

It’s not often I come across a drink I’ve never heard of but Pacharan or Paxtaran, a Basque sloe-flavoured liqueur from Navarra, is one of them.

Spiced parsnip soup with Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted

Spiced parsnip soup with Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted

Although I’ve tasted some good wines this week it’s beer that has provided the highlights. The Magic Rock Rapture amber ale I drank at The Pint Shop in Cambridge with their awesome beer brined chicken was pretty good but it’s pipped into the ‘drink of the week’ slot by this pairing at The Hole in the Wall in Little Wilbraham

Fruit and flower tart with German auslese riesling

Fruit and flower tart with German auslese riesling

I've struggled to come up with a single pairing from last week as all the matches I was offered at the two-Michelin-starred The Ledbury were spot on but this, I think, is the most spectacular.

Sweet herring and mackerel rillettes with an aromatic Greek white

Sweet herring and mackerel rillettes with an aromatic Greek white

Paris isn’t the obvious place you’d think of drinking Greek wine - in fact it’s a rare sighting in a city whose wine lists are almost 100% French. So when I came across one in a hip little bar called Clamato I was intrigued

Roast lamb with wild garlic risotto, asparagus and feta with a chilled Languedoc red

Roast lamb with wild garlic risotto, asparagus and feta with a chilled Languedoc red

This match, which I enjoyed at Plateau wine bar in Brighton last week, breaks a couple of wine pairing conventions. Firstly that you match red meat with a full bodied red. And secondly that you don’t drink red wine with asparagus.

Sweetbreads, morels and madeira

Sweetbreads, morels and madeira

Lots of good food and wine combinations this week but I’m picking out the one with the most unusual wine: Barbeito's Rainwater 5 year old reserva medium-dry madeira which I had at Bell’s Diner in Bristol on Friday night

Salsa verde and Chianti Classico

Salsa verde and Chianti Classico

Wine pairing is much more about the way you cook a dish and the sauce you serve with it than it is about the basic ingredient and so it proved with this week’s match at the recently opened Brackenbury.

Seville orange soufflé and Primo Franco prosecco

Seville orange soufflé and Primo Franco prosecco

You may be used to drinking prosecco as an aperitif, maybe even with a nibble of parma ham or some other cichetti but last week was the first time I’ve been to a dinner where prosecco featured right throughout the meal.

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