When I’m not writing about food and wine matching I’m writing a book - and a blog - about budget eating called The Frugal Cook. So this week’s match is a chance discovery with a scratch supper I knocked up last night (for which you can find the recipe on the blog)
Frankly I didn’t expect the wine to work but it was the only bottle I had to hand and being in frugal mode it seemed extravagant to open another. It was a gutsy blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah called 1707 made by Hacienda El Espino from the relatively unknown denomination of Almansa (famous for a battle after which this range is named).
The reason it worked was that the bitterness of the cheese was offset by the onion, which had been well-fried, the creaminess of the sauce to which I’d added a dollop of Greek yoghurt and, of course, the pasta. The wine, which was a 2003 vintage, had also had time to mature so there were no obtrusive tannins
It’s stocked in the UK by the Real Wine Company which has a very intelligent method of suggesting food pairings which is to link their wines to recipes on the BBC website. They suggest the wine will go with Stuffed Paupiette of Beef with red wine sauce, Nigella Lawson’s Tagliatelle of Chicken (it is a good pasta wine) and Keith Floyd’s Bread and Vegetable Hotpot with added chorizo (from Floyd in Spain).
To those I’d add gastropub favourites like lamb shanks and sausage and mash with onion gravy.