I’m a bit obsessed with orange wine* at the moment. It seems to go with so many things not least blue cheese as this match with gorgonzola at Le Baratin in Paris underlined.
A cabernet would have been the last wine I would have thought of drinking with a curry but as happens from time to time you come across an unexpected wine match that really works.
I went to the most extraordinary wine pairing dinner last week at Elena Arzak’s Ametsa in London, sponsored by the Consejo Regulador for Cava
I agonised over whether this should be the standout pairing from this marvellous Lebanese meal at Arabica last week but it won by just a whisker.
One of the courses at the food and wine workshops I hosted for Irish wine importer Febvre at Drury Buildings in Dublin last week was a frozen milk chocolate and raspberry cake - well, sort of cake. More like a cross between a cake and a mousse.
It’s not often I come across such a good dessert pairing, let alone one with whisky but here’s a stellar one from L Mulligan Grocer in Dublin which offers whisky pairings with all its desserts
My final meal in New Zealand last week was also one of the most impressive of my recent trip: lunch at the award-winning Elephant Hill winery in Hawkes Bay.
As you can imagine I’ve been drinking a fair amount of pinot noir in New Zealand this week (it’s a hard life). In general Kiwis pair it with lamb for obvious reasons but the most striking match I came across was with a venison tartare at the North Canterbury forage, a fabulous event I’ll be writing more about in due course
Having picked up a heavy cold a couple of days before flying to New Zealand last week I arrived unable to taste a thing but this delicately pretty wine from Brick Bay Winery in Matakana managed to penetrate the fog.
I really think there are some cuisines that work better with cocktails than wine and Korean is one of them as I was reminded at the opening of celebrity chef Judy Joo’s JinJuu last week
Like half the world it seems at the moment I’m a bit obsessed with cauliflower so was drawn to this dish at Birch in Bristol on Friday like a moth to a flame
My first meal of the new year was a Mexican which might sound unusual in London but not much is open on New Year’s Day. We went to Wahaca which has a number of restaurants around the capital with some good non-alcoholic drinks options.
In my annual round-up of the best matches of the year I usually end up listing around a third of my matches of the week so I thought this year I’d set myself the the challenge of picking one from each calendar month.
With the traditional emphasis on port and, to a lesser extent, sherry at Christmas, it’s easy to forget the virtues of marsala, an equally festive drink. Especially as I discovered last week at my friend cookery writer Thane Prince’s with a rich, boozy panettone.
It’s well established that riesling is a good match for spicy food but you don’t often get as good a pairing as the new Soho bar Smoking Goat’s already fabled ‘fish sauce wings’ and Peter Lauer’s 2013 ‘Fass 16’ Saar riesling..
Steak isn’t the first ingredient you might think of pairing with champagne but if it’s ground wagyu beef, served in a bun with a quality glass of fizz in a glitzy Park Lane restaurant you might just have to force yourself.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made muscadet my match of the week but it’s a wine that’s great value, constantly improving in quality and unbelievably versatile with food.
Unusually this week’s match is speculative - an imagined pairing rather than an actual one.
Given Chile’s proximity to the coast, this week’s match couldn’t be anything but seafood but I’m going to pass over the more obvious pairings with sauvignon blanc in favour of this wildly brilliant combination of scallops and rosé.
It’s amazing how many different styles of eating you can pack into a week, particularly when you’re travelling. At the moment I’m in sunny Chile stuffing myself with seafood and sauvignon blanc so I'm finding it hard to remember that just six days ago I was in rain-ravaged Britain craving pies and stews.