Match of the week

Match of the week

Cheeseburgers and cabernet

Cheeseburgers and cabernet

Last night we went round to some new friends and they made the most delicious home-made burgers.

Hot smoked salmon, Korean carrots and pinot gris

Hot smoked salmon, Korean carrots and pinot gris

This is one of those serendipitous pairings you sometimes stumble across when you rustle up a scratch meal and pair it with an open bottle in the fridge.

Burrata and watermelon with Montej rosé

Burrata and watermelon with Montej rosé

It’s not often that you come across a wine match that’s as successful as it’s unexpected but sommelier Ruth Spivey’s pairing of a fruity Monferrato chiaretto rosato (aka rosé) from Piedmont with a dish of burrata, pressed watermelon and pickled fennel at Arbutus the other night was spot on - and all the more impressive given that she hadn’t had a chance to taste the combination beforehand.

Prawn curry and saffron lassi

Prawn curry and saffron lassi

I’m always on the lookout for interesting alcohol-free drinks to pair with food so was pleased to see that Asma Khan had listed some really interesting options at her Darjeeling Express residency at The Sun and 13 Cantons pub in Soho the other day.

Mature Savennières with chargrilled carrots, burnt aubergine, miso and walnut pesto

Mature Savennières with chargrilled carrots, burnt aubergine, miso and walnut pesto

OK, this pairing at Jason Atherton’s new Social Wine and Tapas isn’t exactly easy to reproduce at home but it was certainly the highlight of my food and wine matches last week.

West African pork and peanut stew with Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein

West African pork and peanut stew with Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein

Quite an adventurous pairing this week which you might have thought on paper wouldn’t come off. A hot, spicy pork and peanut stew and a glass of Ben Glaetzer’s bold, ripe 2010 Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein from South Australia's Langhorne Creek.

Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2007 and roast chicken with tarragon

Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2007 and roast chicken with tarragon

I never understand why retailers tell me it’s so hard to sell Hunter Valley semillon. It’s such a unique style of white wine which tastes (lusciously) of fresh pineapple when it’s young and of baked or grilled pineapple as it matures.

Cecina (cured beef) and Mencia

Cecina (cured beef) and Mencia

Last week I was in Galicia (for three days. Without my suitcase. Thankyou Easyjet) visiting the denominations of Valdeorras and Bierzo where the star red grape is Mencia. (For years I got them confused periodically thinking the grape was Bierzo and the region Mencia but I’ve finally got it straight.)

Bread and butter pudding with apricots and passito di Pantelleria

Bread and butter pudding with apricots and passito di Pantelleria

It’s tough to pick out just one wine match for from the dinner I had at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons last week but I’m going for this sophisticated twist on a classic English pudding from chef Paul Heathcote which was paired with a passito dessert wine from the island of Pantelleria

Gosnells mead and honey-smoked chicken

Gosnells mead and honey-smoked chicken

Every so often someone trumpets a mead revival but it never quite seems to happen, probably because there’s not enough of it about yet.

Contemporary sushi and Sancerre rouge

Contemporary sushi and Sancerre rouge

The best meal on my whirlwind tour of the Centre Loire* last week - and there was stiff competition - was a Japanese meal prepared by sommelier Juli Nakata-Roumet, the Japanese wife of the local promotional body’s director of communication Benoit Roumet

Potato spread, potato bread and weissburgunder

Potato spread, potato bread and weissburgunder

This may seem a bit of a random pairing but it was the ‘amuse’ at the start of a really delicious meal at Schloss Ottersbach during our trip to Austria’s Südsteiermark (Styria) region last week.

Italian cheese and a Provence red from Microcosmos

Italian cheese and a Provence red from Microcosmos

I don’t often pair red wine with cheese, let alone make it my match of the week but the Italian cheeseboard I had the other day at Bocca di Lupo in Soho proved a great pairing for a highly unusual Provencal red

Moscato d’Asti and rose macarons

Moscato d’Asti and rose macarons

There were two strong candidates for match of the week this week but as my last three pairings have involved a crisp white wine (which reveals something about my current preferences) I didn’t think I could feature yet another one*

Vermentino and seafood

Vermentino and seafood

Normally this weekly post features a specific dish and wine but vermentino goes with so many fish dishes I think it’s worth flagging up its sheer versatility.

Morbier cheese and Savagnin

Morbier cheese and Savagnin

It’s been a very cheesy few days this past week - and I mean that in the sense of being cheese-focussed rather than corny.

Little Beauty Marlborough riesling and Indian or Pakistani food

Little Beauty Marlborough riesling and Indian or Pakistani food

I’ve always thought of riesling as a better match for the fresh flavours of south-east Asian-inspired food than curry but a visit to the Lahore Kebab House proved otherwise this week.

Navarin of lamb and 2002 Chateau des Estanilles Faugères

Navarin of lamb and 2002 Chateau des Estanilles Faugères

Last week we were down at our house in Languedoc mainly cooking from home* and raiding the cellar for wines we thought needed drinking up - at least that was our excuse!

British pepper salami and Morgon

British pepper salami and Morgon

Usually this feature focusses on less familiar wine pairings but sometimes you can’t beat a tried and trusted combination.

Asparagus with poached egg, watercress sabayon and Chateau Doisy-Daene Sec

Asparagus with poached egg, watercress sabayon and Chateau Doisy-Daene Sec

Asparagus and fine white Bordeaux sounds a bit of a risky wine match but the way the dish was prepared made it a standout pairing.

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