Each week as regular visitors to the site will know I pick my match ofthe week. Some confirm a well tried and tested combination, others comeas a total surprise. As usual there are an above average number ofpairings with French wine, a reflection of the amount of time we spendthere (and the fact that my husband is an ardent Francophile.) But sherry came up trumps too.
Click the live link on each pairing to find out more about each match.
Slow-roast lamb with garlic and rosemary and Rustenberg John X Merriman 2005
OK it’s hard to go wrong with a dish like this with any half-way decent red but this first pairing of 2009 was a particularly stellar combination
Rocket and parmesan salad with dry amontillado sherry
One of a number of top sherry pairings this year. Incredibly easy to pull off at home
Oyster rarebit and Guinness
One of the best dishes of the year and one of the best beer matches - at Wright’s Oyster and Porter house in Borough Market.
Spicy duck salad with Niagara riesling
A memory of my March trip to Toronto and visit to the exciting Nota Bene
Ceviche and Torrontes
It seems only fitting that such a typical south American dish should go with a south American white as I discovered earlier this year at the Gaucho Grill
Oysters and Oyster stout
The great thing about beer is that you can mimic flavours in the food without losing them in your drink. This winning combination was served at Mitch Tonks’s new seafood restaurant Rockfish Grill.
Lebanese mezze and Ctes de Provence ros
Who’d have thought a visit to Provence would have ended up with this food match? But having tried it I’d have to be persuaded to drink anything else but ros with Lebanese food (or the salads at least)
Calf’s kidney and 1998 Gilles Barge Cte Rtie
The top pairing among many at a fantastic Rhone lunch at The Ledbury
Dorset Blue Vinney and Bristol Supreme Sweet Sherry
One of four cheese matches I picked out for my talks at the Bristol Wine and Food Fair this summer. One of my wine finds of the year.
Dark chocolate tart and 10 year old tawny
Good to be reminded - though oddly at a game dinner in London - of this reliable pairing of plain dark chocolate and tawny port
Perry and a Ploughman’s
During my researches for an article on perry (aka pear cider) for the Times I tried one with a ploughman’s. Works just as well as a beer.
Cahors and duck parmentier
My first visit to Cahors for a long time turned up this great pairing and an introduction to the wines of Matthieu Cosse
Fresh walnut tart and Clos Uroulat 2007 Jurancon
A spot-on partnership from Pierre Koffman’s much talked about ‘pop-up’ at Selfridges. One of those serendipitous pairings where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
New season’s olive oil and vino novo
If two seasonal products were made to go together it was Fattoria La Vialla’s new season’s olive oil and their vino novo. A true terroir-based match
Pigeon ‘tagine’ with Jaboulet Ain Hermitage La Chapelle 1994
An unexpectedly good pairing with this iconic Rhone red at the newly opened Galvin La Chapelle. Admittedly the ‘tagine’ was quite fancy.
Game terrine and London Dry Gin
The logic of course was impeccable - the juniper in the pat linking to the juniper in the gin but the overall effect was just dazzling. One to impress your more adventurous friends
And the one I liked best? I think the olive oil and vino novo because I didn't know about it and couldn't have anticipated just how good it would be. And that's the great pleasure of combining food and wine - you're always learning.