News & views | Eureka! A red wine match for artichokes

News & views

Eureka! A red wine match for artichokes

Everyone knows that artichokes are one of the most difficult ingredients to match with wine - especially with red wine. Only last weekend we struggled to find a pairing at the food matching forum I was taking part in.

But the following night my husband who was cooking served up that most difficult of dishes artichokes vinaigrette (boiled artichokes with vinaigrette) and cracked open a bottle of red wine.

I thought he was mad but astonishingly the pairing worked.

The wine was a full-bodied (14%) Bordeaux blend called Quela* from a producer called Klinec in Brda, Slovenia. It was a biodynamic wine, made with indigenous yeasts from organic grapes (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) and aged for two years in cherry casks with the minimum of added sulphur (25mg). It had a really bright fruit character (bitter cherry and wild bramble) and must have been totally dry as neither the artichoke or the vinaigrette had any impact on it at all. It just stayed intense and vivid.

Would it work with other wines, other Bordeaux blends? Maybe not younger ones - this bottle was from the 2007 vintage - but who knows? Maybe we’re more scared of artichokes than we should be. Maybe natural wines - and Cabernet Franc in particular - are the answer - provided they’re to your taste, of course. Certainly you need a wine with fresh acidity and not too much tannin. Clearly more research is needed!

By the way, for what it's worth, it was a leaf day . . .

Anyone else had success with red wine and artichokes?

* The wine is imported into the UK by Gergovie wines. You can read more about the producer here

Photo © redhorst - Fotolia.com

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