If you’re trying to get ahead for Easter here are some suggestions to match Angela Hartnett’s menu in the Daily Telegraph today.
Moules au gratin
Angela suggests combining treating her starter of moules au gratin as a canapé and handing them round with a cocktail or a glass of champagne. I’m not sure that would quite work with the delicious-sounding blood orange and sloe gin cocktail she suggests (though you could offer a glass first) but it would certainly go with the fizz - or, of course, with a crisp dry white such as the luscious Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina from Campania I tasted at the Tesco annual tasting the other day (£9.99)
Rolled and roasted loin of pork with lemon, walnut and herb stuffing
There’s nothing in this couscous-based stuffing that’s going to cause huge problems for an accompanying wine (walnuts, apricots, rosemary, sage and lemon zest) so you can safely concentrate on matching the pork. Angela chooses it on the basis that pork farmers need a helping hand this Easter so I’m going for a wine from a region that also needs a bit of a boost - Beaujolais. Probably a Morgon or a Moulin-a-Vent though the producer and vintage (2005 was a cracker) will count for more than the appellation. A fruity Pinot Noir would also hit the spot.
Rhubarb soup with meringue quenelles
Quite a difficult dish both from the point of view of taste (sharp and spicy - it also contains star anise) and texture (light and liquid). You could choose a light, luscious dessert wine like the Willi Opitz 2005 Goldackerl Beerenauslese I enjoyed in a restaurant the other day but I’m not sure I wouldn’t go for a glass of off-dry ros champagne or sparkling wine boosted, if not quite sweet enough, by a splash of grenadine or, even better, a natural strawberry-flavoured 'sirop' (the French make the best).
Alternatively you could, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, offer a frozen shot of an orange-flavoured liqueur for contrast. Cointreau would be better than Grand Marnier in this instance.