Pairings | Seafood
Talking about wine matches for risotto is a bit like talking about wine with pasta - it’s depends on the other ingredients you use, not the rice.
A re-run of an old post following a visit to Alsace, updating my recommendations on the best pairings for the region's dry and off-dry white wines.
That pinot grigio is many people's favourite white wine should come as no surprise - it’s a refreshing, versatile wine that pairs really well with light, summery food and ever-popular Italian staples such as pasta and risotto.
Wheat beers are fabulously flexible when it comes to food matching - the beer world’s equivalent of a crisp white wine.
One of the reasons people most appreciate independent wine merchants is that they can talk to them about the kind of wine that will suit the meals or occasions they're planning.
Provence rosé has a particular character. It’s much crisper and drier than most rosés on the market, more like a white wine than a rosé - though within this style there are variations between the lighter, less expensive wines or ‘vins de soif’ and the more structured ones, which the local refer to as ‘vins de gastronomie’.
One of the most popular posts I’ve ever written on this site was one called 20 food and wine pairings to learn by heart - an easy reference guide to commit to memory.
Asking which wine to pair with salad is a bit like asking about what wine to match with meat or fish. There's no single answer. It depends on the vegetables you use, what other ingredients it contains and what type of dressing you use.
The Chinese New Year, which starts tomorrow, is one of those annual events that really captures the imagination. It is celebrated in such a colourful and joyous way and Chinese food is so delicious, quick and simple to make that I hope you won't be able to resist having a go at it.
Yesterday I had lunch with some old friends in a chic little Italian restaurant called Trenta. It’s in in the upwardly mobile neighbourhood just west of Edgware Road in London into which Tony and Cherie Blair have just moved. (It also has a Jimmy Choo shop two doors down. It’s that kind of ‘hood)
It’s less common to come across Indian-spiced seafood dishes than it is fish and vegetable-based ones so what sort of wine works? Yesterday I had a chance to find out
Despite the fact that I ate amazing food during my recent weekend in Porto it was the tiny fish restaurant of Toupeirinho in the nearby resort of Matosinhos that stole my heart.
I’m increasingly impressed by the new generation of Spanish wines that are arriving on the shelves. The other day I had a fabulously crisp, zesty white called Godello from the up and coming region of Bierzo, in the region of Castilla y Leon in the north-west of Spain, not far from Galicia.
Despite its almost unpronounceable name Txakoli (pronounced chackoly) is the new kid on the block for anyone who likes a crisp dry white wine.
Normally this weekly post features a specific dish and wine but vermentino goes with so many fish dishes I think it’s worth flagging up its sheer versatility.
The cider revival continues to gather momentum - and this time it’s with food. Of course cider has always been popular in summer but this year there seem to be many more well-made 'craft' ciders around - not just the latest raft of fruit flavoured fizzy drinks.
The last two days have been quite, quite beautiful, starting mistily, basking midday in an unseasonally warm sun and finishing with an extended dusk that announces that spring is finally here. I immediately want to eat lighter meals: the new season’s vegetables are not quite in yet but I can at least plan for summer and that means a spring clean of the cellar, pushing the full bodied reds to the back and assessing what whites, lighter reds and rosés I still have lurking in the racks.
Despite the emphasis that winemakers place on the different crus or terroirs of Chablis three factors seem to me to influence a food match more than any other for most of the Chablis you’ll taste - the age of the wine, the vintage and the degree of oak influence, if any.
If I had to sum up the best food pairing for albarino in one word it would be seafood. Which makes sense considering where it comes from on the coast of Galicia in the Rias Baixas region of northern Spain.
The book I’ve been looking forward to most so far this year has just started being serialised in the Guardian today. It’s by Yotam Ottolenghi who founded two exceptional London restaurants and is simply called Ottolenghi: the Cookbook. l love Ottolenghi's food - it’s so generous and big-flavoured, piled high on bright, colourful platters - you can't fail to be tempted by it. It also lends itself perfectly to entertaining for large numbers at home.
One of the world’s most underrated grapes yet capable of making some of its most delicious dry whites, Sémillon isn’t on the radar for many. So if you get hold of a bottle what should you pair with it?
One of the biggest problems hotels have is how to keep their guests in the building for meals. The solution is generally to employ a celebrity chef and that’s what the County Hotel in Bath has done with Martin Blunos. (Sadly this restaurant has unexpectedly closed.)
I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about Koshu this year. No, it’s not some unfamiliar aspect of Japanese cuisine but a white wine made from a grape of the same name. A campaign to promote it in the UK was launched at a lunch in London yesterday by a VIP line-up of Japanese goverment officials from the Yamanashi prefecture where most of the winemakers are based.
If you’re an albarino fan I’m sure you know it pairs brilliantly with seafood but here’s a twist to take the experience to another level.
Last week our local tapas bar, Ocean, held a Brazilian evening with a talented local Bristol singer Frances Butt who is really into Latin music. (So much so that she has issued an album called The Girl from Wolverhampton - where she grew up though obviously not where her soul lies . . .)
Well, I don’t know about easy but there must be some easier way to get people into German wine . . .
I’ll be doing a major round-up on my trip to Provence next week buthere are a few more thoughts on matching rosé and food, an update of mylast overview
You may well know what you’re going to drink with the turkey by now but here are some ideas for what to match with your Christmas starters, paired with recipes from some of Britain’s favourite chefs and cookery writers.
If there’s one thing you might think you could be sure of it would be that you should drink white wine with a seafood pasta dish like this. But, you know what? It was this silkily delicious red that went swimmingly.
I have to admit there's an element of nepotism about this pairing which I enjoyed the other day at my son’s award-winning steakhouse Hawksmoor where we were shooting new photography for the site (an exciting development about which more news shortly!)
If you’re not drinking for whatever reason - because you’re driving, pregnant or just taking a break - it’s sometimes difficult to find something that makes a good match for what you’re eating. Soft drinks can be sweet and sugary. Water sometimes too plain.
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.
The standard of English sparkling wine is already high but I can’t remember being as impressed by a homegrown sparkling wine for a while as I am by this bottle. Of course you could argue that it’s not really English at all as it’s made by the team at Vranken Pommery in collaboration with Hattingley Valley in Hampshire.
Chilled Manzanilla sherry is one of my favourite drinks at this time of year so I was impressed to come across this great value, full-size bottle at the Booths Christmas in July* tasting last week.
If you’re a fan of sauvignon blanc you’re going to love this fresh, aromatic Sicilian white from one of the island's best known wineries, Planeta.
It’s always a bit hairy doing a live food and wine pairing if you haven’t had a chance to have a run-through first - and even if you have some variable, usually the food, invariably changes.
Wines, especially dry whites and rosés, are released so early these days that they’re often still uncomfortably tart but, as I discovered on a trip to the Centre-Loire wine region recently you can choose food that will round out their harsher edges.
A stunning recipe from Bruce Poole's cookbook Bruce's Cookbook that shows barbeques don't have to be all about burgers and ribs.
Given that I’m not a massive sauvignon fan it might surprise you that it features as my match of the week for the second successive week but it’s a question of quality. With the right dish good sauvignon is a joy.
Octopus is a bit of a cult ingredient on restaurant menus at the moment. I’ve already noted two good wine pairings for it - with Baga and orange wine but this weekend I found another at the Sabor pop-up Polperia at the Dartmouth Food Festival.
Octopus seems an unlikely ingredient to be on trend but you’ll find it on a lot of restaurant menus at the moment. It’s far from an easy creature to cook (like squid it’s classified as a cephalopod rather than a fish) and it’s a measure of the kitchen’s skill as to whether it turns out tough or not.
If you’re a Sauvignon Blanc fan but are looking for something a little different try this deliciously fresh, elegant Chilean Sauvignon.
This week I’ve managed to be in both Chile and Argentina so it was a toss-up which should provide the wine of the week . . .