I’ve thought for a while that Scandinavian food is on the way up so am not surprised to find another new cookbook on the subject from Trina Hahnemann who Telegraph cookery writer Xanthe Clay dubs ‘Denmark’s answer to Nigella’ in the paper today.
She sounds a fascinating character - a former diplomat's wife who now owns a catering company which runs the kitchen at the Danish Parliament. Here are my suggested matches for her recipes:
Gravadlax with mustard sauce
Gravadlax is one of the most difficult dishes to match with wine, mainly because of its hot-sweet-sour sauce which contains brown sugar, mustard and lots of dill.
Everyone’s recipe is slightly different too - this sounds like quite a punchy version. The best match by far would be a chilled lager with an aromatised Danish Aquavit chaser called Aalborg Jubilaeums which you can find in specialist off-licences (or bring back from duty-free if you go to Denmark). Wine-wise, I’ve found in the past that a demi-sec or sparkling Vouvray survives reasonably well but it’s not a guaranteed success.
Baked stuffed pheasant with Savoy cabbage, gravy and potatoes
At first sight this looks a relatively straightforward dish but then you spot a juniper stuffing and a baked root vegetable salad with a powerful balsamic vinegar-based dressing. But the pheasant has a rich red wine and port-based sauce which should counterbalance these elements and make them more wine-friendly. I think I’d probably go for a Merlot-based Bordeaux or a Chilean Merlot or Carmenère.
A slightly lighter version of a traditional Danish dish called Peasant girl with a Veil which contains three wine-loving ingredients - apples, caramelised bread and cream. Almost any dessert wine will work but sweet Loire wines such as Coteaux du Layon are particularly delicious with apple.