Pairings | Chenin blanc
Salmon is in many ways the chicken of the fish world - an ingredient you can serve in many different ways and therefore match with a number of different wines.
As with most foods, the best wine pairing with pork depends how the pork is cooked, and what it’s served with.
Chicken pie - or chicken pot pie - must be one of everyone’s favourite meals but what sort of drink goes with it best? Wine, beer or cider?
Fishcakes are one of the ultimate comfort foods - but is there an equally comforting wine pairing?
You might think it odd to pick out South African Chenin rather than Chenin Blanc in general but I do think the wines are distinctive, particularly when it comes to the crisper styles which are much zestier than they tend to be in the Loire
If you’re wondering which wine to pair with roast pork the good news is it’s a flexible meat that can take a white or a red - or even - given the crackling, a sparkling wine.
Eggs are supposed to be one of the trickiest ingredients to pair with wine but I’ve never entirely got it myself. More to the point do you want to drink wine with eggs at breakfast or even brunch, the time you’re most likely to eat them?
Although it seems similar in style to Brie, Camembert is a trickier cheese to pair with a slightly funky edge that can clash with many wines, particularly reds.
Having spent a few days in the Auvergne recently and eaten more than my fair share of Saint Nectaire cheese with a variety of wines, mostly natural, here’s what I think works best.
The thing you need to ask yourself when you’re wondering which wine - or other drink - to pair with Mexican food is what kind of Mexican. Authentic Mexican or Tex Mex?
Scallops are some of the most delicious seafood around and some of the most flattering to a serious white wine. There’s one grape variety that will almost always see you right but also some other options
Leeks generally feature in dishes in their own right rather than as a side and have a mild sweet flavour you want to respect.
Whether it's topped with mashed potato or pastry fish pie is a relatively straightforward dish to pair with wine but some styles work better than others.
Nothing proclaims autumn more clearly than squash and pumpkin but what wine should you pair with them? It depends whether the dish is savoury or sweet obviously but here are a few options that might help
The best wine to pair with macaroni cheese, or mac'n'cheese as our friends across the pond have it, depends how fancy - and how cheesy - your mac and cheese is.
Sunday marked not only the start of the Chinese New Year but the Vietnamese New Year celebrations too - known as Tet. As in China there are certain foods which are traditional to the occasion such as pickled vegetables and candied fruits, none of which are particularly wine-friendly but in general I find Vietnamese food, with its milder heat and fragrant herbal flavours easier to match than Thai (although I haven’t had such extensive experience of doing so).
Being surrounded by peaches and nectarines at the moment has reminded me what a brilliant match they are for a glass of dessert wine. And, surprisingly, even for a red!
Coronation chicken is an obvious choice for any Royal occasion but what wine - or beer - should you pair with it?
Caerphilly - or, to be more precise - Gorwydd Caerphilly which is made by my friends Trethowan Brothers - is probably the cheese I know best. And there’s one absolutely outstanding match for it . . .
As with most salads Caesar salad is all about the dressing which on the face of it sounds tricky, anchovies being notoriously difficult to match with wine.
On Saturday, as I mentioned in my blog, I was at a food and wine festival in Constantia, where we wandered round the impossibly beautiful Buitenverwachting estate sipping wine and grazing on upmarket canapés devised by a selection of the area's best local chefs. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon ....
This is not so much a new find as a rediscovery. I’ve been a fan of James Millton’s wines since the early 1990s when he was virtually a lone pioneer of biodynamics and each time I revisit them they get better and better.
I'm sure you're familiar with Fairtrade wines but it’s good to see a project which, although not certified, has similar aims and raises the bar both in terms of content and ambition.
Pork and chenin blanc is a tried and tested pairing but this delicious way of serving it at Le Saint Eutrope in Clermont Ferrand the other day made the wine we were drinking - a Pineau de la Loire from Thierry Puzelat of Clos de Tue-Boeuf - really shine.
For the first time my match of the week is not one I’ve experienced myself but was reported by Ron Zimmerman of The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington on Twitter (where he tweets as Herbguy - and I tweet as winematcher)
Having spent my first two days in South Africa in regions that specialise in Sauvignon Blanc (Elgin and Constantia) it won’t greatly surprise you I’ve been drinking a fair bit of it. The greater surprise, as someone who has become Sauvignon-weary is how much I’ve been enjoying it.
It's always difficult to decide what to drink with soup - one liquid with another never seems quite right as I've remarked before - but the thicker the soup is the easier it is.
I only have to look at how many of my matches of the week involve fish to realise that it now appeals to me more than meat. Not that I’m anti-meat by any means it’s just that the sort of wine you pair with it is fairly predictable, well-trodden ground.
If you’ve always wanted to learn more about wine now’s your chance with this month’s competition prize from Armit Wines.
One of the most original and inventive wine producers I’ve come across is Pieter Walser of Blankbottle in Stellenbosch, South Africa but this is his zaniest concept yet.
I’ve been reminded during the last few days in the Cape Winelands of the great versatility of Chenin Blanc also known locally by its Afrikaans name Steen but this was the standout pairing.
It’s been such a hectic week I haven’t been cooking or eating out much so I had to scratch my head for a standout match.
Every Fairtrade Fortnight I seem to end up bleating about the quality of Fairtrade wines so I thought this year I would give it a break. And then I found - too late for my Guardian column - a couple of better than average examples in Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range.
London's most luxurious wine shop by far Hedonism looks as if it's the kind of place you'd need to take out a mortgage to buy a case. Fortunately appearances deceive . . .
The answer to that may well be ‘whatever wine’s left over’ - if there is any, of course - but if you’re looking for a wine that will match specific dishes here are a few ideas:
We Brits don't need much encouragement to eat pies. But which is the better match - wine or beer?
Paris isn’t the obvious place you’d think of drinking Greek wine - in fact it’s a rare sighting in a city whose wine lists are almost 100% French. So when I came across one in a hip little bar called Clamato I was intrigued
This great pairing arose as a result of a new interest my husband has in natural wines. Actually no-one has come up with a watertight definition of ‘natural’ but it’s generally agreed that the vines are treated organically and/or biodynamically and the wines made with as little sulphur and chemical additives as possible (in some cases none).
The first thing to bear in mind about Thanksgiving - and for that matter Christmas - is that it’s as much about mood as food. Who you’re inviting, what age they are and how big your party is are factors every bit as important as what you’re eating.
This week has been all about dipping into bottles in the cellar in our house in France. Well, not strictly the cellar - more like the cupboard under the stairs. It’s not ideal wine storage - it’s a bit too warm in the Languedoc - but it stays cooler than the rest of the house.
The question I get asked most often as a wine writer is how long you should keep a bottle of wine. It’s one of those ‘How long is a piece of string?’ questions: it depends both on the bottle and the drinker.
A super-easy, delicious, midweek supper from Gill Meller's latest book Outside which you could, as he says, cook indoors or outdoors.
I'm normally a bit daunted by chefs' books but Chefs at Home, a collection of recipes from some of Britain's best loved chefs which has been put together in aid of Hospitality Action, a charity that supports the restaurant industry, is full of the kind of food they actually make for their families.
Cauliflower and eggs are two of my favourite things, here ingeniously combined by Dan Doherty of the Duck & Waffle in his brilliant book Toast, Hash, Roast, Mash.
There are very few occasions on which sausages don't appeal but what’s the best pairing for them?
With the icy weather it’s been a week for staying duvet-wrapped indoors as much as possible so I haven’t encountered my usual range of stimulating food and wine matches but this was a top one, facilitated by my friends Todd and Jess of cheesemongers Trethowan's Dairy.
Apologies for returning once again to the subject of crab but it is one of my favourite summer foods and this was the outstanding match of last week.
I had a reminder last week of just how good Chardonnay can be with meat given the right accompaniments.
'Dry red wine' doesn’t sound the most compelling description for a wine, especially one that costs £14.99, but when it comes from Chris and Suzaan Alheit, two of the most highly regarded winemakers in the Cape you sit up and take notice.
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.
OK, this pairing at Jason Atherton’s new Social Wine and Tapas isn’t exactly easy to reproduce at home but it was certainly the highlight of my food and wine matches last week.
Why don’t more people make souffls these days? I include myself in that. They’re not that difficult, look so impressive and are such a lovely match for a dessert wine.
For obvious reasons* I was all set to recommend a handsomely bottled Irish whiskey I’d discovered this weekend but then I tasted it and actually didn’t rate it so here’s a fantastically good value wine deal I found in my local Co-op instead.