Mark Hix, a great forager himself, concentrates on recipes you can make from the hedgerow this week in The Independent (now is a good time to go to his new restaurant, I suggest . . . ) so I’m thinking a little outside the box as to what to pair with them. Country wines, made with hedgerow fruits, seem the perfect answer. I don’t know why we don’t see more of them.
Partridge with grilled puffball and elderberries
A typical Hix dish, full of bold flavours that perfectly hit the spot for the time of year. Unusually the mushrooms are not the dominant factor - it’s the elderberries that are the key and just cry out for an elderberry wine. I reckon a sour Belgian cherry (Kriek) or raspberry beer (Frambozen) would also be good. As, of course, would a good red burgundy.
Mixed grill of pork with crab apple sauce
I’m never totally convinced by wine with apple-based sauces - cider always seems by far the better option but it’ll need to be a characterful rustic one to cope with all the 'piggy bits' (there are kidneys and liver as well as black pudding on the skewers) Otherwise I’d go for a red rather than a white - a Côtes du Rhône Villages or young inexpensive syrah would be good.
Blackberries with Kingston Black zabaglione
A brilliant idea that I can’t wait to try. Kingston Black is a delicious apple-based aperitif made by Julian Temperley of the Somerset Cider Brandy Company. That’s also what I would drink, lightly chilled in little port wine glasses or shot glasses
Roast plums with Kentish cobnuts and clotted cream
This recipe isn’t quite what it sounds (baked fruit with nuts) more like a deconstructed nutty crumble. As such it would go well with any number of dessert wines but given the tenor of the piece I ‘d suggest a small glass of fruit liqueur such as the Dittisham plum liqueur or Blackberry liqueur made by the splendid Bramley and Gage.
Image © djtaylor - Fotolia.com