For the last couple of weeks The Telegraph has been running recipes from two of my favourite chefs, Sam and Sam Clark of Moro, the iconic Moorish recipe in Exmouth Market in London that I discover, to my amazement, is now 11 years old. Sam (the husband) is very into his wines, particularly sherry, so I'm suggesting Spanish wines for the pairings.
Mezze of Tomato, Red Onion and Cumin Salad, Beetroot and Broad Bean Salad, Asparagus Escabeche
It’s impossible to find a wine that will match all components of a mezze spread. The tomato salad includes raw onion (though there’s a good tip for reducing its astringency by soaking it in milk), the beets are generously seasoned with tarragon and the asparagus flavoured with orange and mint. One possibility - and one that would certainly appeal to Sam - is a well-chilled fino or manzanilla sherry which would take all these disparate flavours in its stride. You could drink a crisp white such as a Rueda, a modern unoaked white Rioja or Spain’s new fashionable white Godello. Or you could serve a strong dry rosé from Rioja or Navarra which is what I would be inclined to do.
Chicken with spring garlic and Pedro Ximenez
You might be surprised to see Pedro Ximenez, an intensely sweet, treacly sherry in a savoury dish like this but it’s diluted with water and counteracted by generous amounts of new season’s garlic and sherry vinegar. Nevertheless this is going to be a bold dish which, despite being based on a white meat needs, I think, a forceful, full-bodied red. I’d pick a Jumilla or a Toro.
Alphonso mango ice cream
I’m not a big fan of wine with ice cream in general but you might just find a late-harvest Gewürztraminer would work with the exotically perfumed mango and sweetened milk base of this ice cream. Personally I’d skip a matching drink at this point and finish the meal with Moroccan mint tea. The way to make that is to put a green teabag and 1 teaspoon of sugar in the pot, fill it to the top with fresh mint leaves, stir and infuse for about 4 minutes. (Quantities for a medium-sized pot)