Pairings | Zinfandel
Like most wines made from red grapes Zinfandel comes in a number of styles from light and juicy to blockbuster ‘killer’ zins but they have a common thread of ripe brambly fruit and in most cases a richness that makes them a good match for red meat and other hearty dishes, especially those with a hit of smoked chilli.
The best wine to pair with appetizers and hors d'oeuvres rather depends on whether they precede a meal, as is traditional, or, as is the way now, actually ARE the meal. We all seem to enjoy grazing these days.
Rosé was once considered a summer wine but increasingly more people are drinking it year round with almost every type of food and on any and every occasion.
Should you drink wine or beer with pizza? No rights or wrongs, obviously but here are a few thoughts which might encourage you to experiment.
As with most foods, the best wine pairing with pork depends how the pork is cooked, and what it’s served with.
There are very few occasions on which sausages don't appeal but what’s the best pairing for them?
US-based wine writer and educator David Furer reports on an epic tasting in the homeland of American barbeque, Austin, Texas pairing a selection of international and home-grown reds with different meats.
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?
Meaty stews and casseroles are hearty, comfort food so what type of wine should you pair with them or is beer a better match?
It might surprise you to hear it - and maybe you’ve never tried it - but a serious red wine is a really good match for a burger. Not a Maccy D, maybe but a big lush gourmet burger. And why not?
Aubergine - or eggplant as it’s known in the US - doesn’t have a strong flavour of its own but tends to enrich any dish in which it’s included especially when baked with tomatoes and cheese. So if you're looking for a wine pairing for aubergine parmigiana or eggplant parmesan read on!
If you think of the ingredients that show off a great wine mushrooms would have to be near the top of the list.
The type of artisanal cheddar I was writing about yesterday - mature, full-flavoured, unpasteurised - isn’t the easiest cheese to match with wine.
Cherry is one of the fruit flavours most often found in wine and liqueurs so does that make them a good pairing for cherry desserts? It depends how intense the cherry flavour is.
It’s true that lamb is one of the most wine-friendly of meats, as at home with red Bordeaux and Rioja as it is with the fruitier wines of the new world. But if you’re looking for a spot-on wine pairing it’s worth thinking just how - and for how long - you’re going to cook it.
Like many popular dishes chilli con carne has many different versions - some mild and child-friendly, others much more spicy and assertive and often a little smokey.
Meatballs are essentially comfort food so you don’t want to drink anything too fancy with them. That said, wine is a great pairing with mealballs, especially a hearty red.
Spaghetti puttanesca - or 'whore’s spaghetti' to translate it literally - is a full-flavoured pasta dish with strong, punchy flavours but which wine should you pair with it?
Like any other red South Africa's Pinotage comes in different styles - some lighter and fruitier than others. When you're matching it with food you take a cue from the sort of ingredients and dishes that go with its two ancestors - Pinot Noir and Cinsault.
I’m sure you’re enjoying a bowlful or two of strawberries at this time of year. But what to drink with them?
Given the arguments about how to make a bolognese sauce it’s hardly surprising there should be a difference of opinion about what wine to serve with spaghetti bolognese but here’s what I would go for:
If you’re wondering what type of wine to serve with moussaka the obvious answer is a Greek red. The dry, dark-fruited character of the country’s indigenous grapes suits the dish perfectly.
This coming weekend sees the 16th annual festival of the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) in San Francisco. I went one year and it was an absolute blast - two great sheds filled with hundreds of enthusiasts enjoying this great belter of a red.
A really robust pasta dish from my book Cooking with Wine - perfect for cold weather eating. The wine gives a richer, more warming flavour than the usual tomato-based sauce.
This last fortnight, you won’t be surprised to hear, has been all about festive food particularly The Bird which we’ve finally despatched but before we move on to healthier fare I wanted to give a shout out to my top pairing for turkey this year which wasn’t even on my hitlist.
I think it’s good to re-examine your prejudices so every so often I go back to wines I don’t much like, white zin being a good example.
While I can usually find a great match for an individual cheese or for a careful selection it’s always a struggle to find a wine - particularly a red - that will take on all-comers. But I was reminded this weekend just how good a candidate mature Zinfandel is for this job. We found a bin end of Ridge’s Geyserville 2000 on the wine list of one of our favourite local restaurants at such a good price that we couldn’t resist it.
Let’s face it a well-honed wine pairing probably isn’t top priority on Superbowl night but there’s no reason why you can’t sip something delicious as you’re nervously nibbling your chicken wings (or your nails).
We Brits have always had a reputation for liking our wines old and our game high but times have changed. Today the key factor in matching game tends to be not how ‘gamey’ it is but how it’s cooked and what is served with it.
Mark Hix may have been knocking back the tequila on his recent trip to Mexico but if you’re not made of such stern stuff try my alternative suggestions for his Mexican-inspired recipes in the Independent today.
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
With Chinese new year coming up this weekend you may be planning a trip to a Chinese restaurant or planning a Chinese meal at home. But which wine to serve?
Artichokes have the reputation of being a wine-killer but as with most of these diktats the problem is over-played. True, artichokes can make even dry whites taste oddly sweet but that doesn’t account for the different ways in which they are cooked and how they are served.
A fair bit gets written - including by yours truly - about pairing wine with turkey but what type of drinks go best with the Christmas ham?
We’ve been down in the Languedoc for the past week, revisiting some of the winemakers we haven’t seen for a while. They included Domaine de l’Arjolle, one of the first wineries we bought from when we bought a holiday home down here in the early 1990s.
If you’re lighting a few fireworks for the kids (or yourselves, of course . . . ) tonight and hanging round in the cold you’ll need some warming food and a good chilli hits the spot perfectly
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.
If you’re looking for a bottle to celebrate Hallowe’en on Tuesday here’s couple that hit the spot perfectly.