If you’re planning a meal to celebrate Diwali this week here are two traditional drinks to accompany the feast.
Advertising feature: What wine would you pair with a cheeseboard? Red, I’m guessing, or maybe a port? But stop for a minute and think because it’s not just one cheese we’re talking about but three or four at least, which may range from a delicate goats cheese to a pokey blue.
Advertising feature: Cava might not be the first bottle you’d think of taking to or serving at a barbecue but if you think of it simply as a meal cooked over fire rather than under the grill or in the oven why not? And being an exceptionally food-friendly wine it will sail through.
In most households men are in charge of the barbecue but there’s a small but influential band of women moving onto their territory and transforming the way we think about grilling
Here's a barbecue I've dug out of the archives - a middle-eastern inspired BBQ from my book Food, Wine and Friends.
With this unseasonably hot weather why not look to Greece for inspiration when you're entertaining. Here's a simple meal for 4 that was inspired by a trip to Greece a few years ago.
The question I’m often asked at this time of year is what makes the perfect Christmas cheeseboard. It’s as difficult a question as what makes the perfect Christmas lunch.
I still remember my visit to the great Oktoberfest in Munich, the world’s biggest beer festival. Mysteriously it’s not held in October at all - or rather it doesn’t start in October but in September - kicking off next weekend.
A vodka party sounds dangerous, the sort of idea you used to come up when you were a student but think Russian-style hors d’oeuvres, or zakuski as they call them, and you’ve got a great theme for an evening with friends.
Before we finally plunge into winter here's a late autumn supper menu from my book Food, Wine and Friends that combines the best of autumn’s produce with a couple of convenience products.
This is the kind of easy meal I like to make for friends. The soup can be made in advance (or buy one of the excellent ready made chilled soups there are nowadays and dress it up with some fresh herbs), the steak is finished in the oven and the dessert literally takes minutes.
This menu was created as part of a series of pieces I wrote for Sainsbury's magazine. The idea was to invite your friends round for a wine tasting then all have a slap-up meal afterwards. This meal was based on a tasting of South American reds from Argentina and Chile but it would be just as fun to base it round Malbec (Malbec being the perfect wine for a steak).
A report on an all-day butchery and barbeque course at Hobbs House cookery school I went to a couple of summers ago. A great day out for any BBQ enthusiast (or women who live with one who want to keep their end up ;-)
If you haven’t already made your plans for New Year’s Eve why not invite over a few friends and treat them to a beer dinner instead of one based on wine? It’s a great way to open their eyes to the great range of artisanal beers that are now available.
In case it's escaped your notice today is International Gin and Tonic Day - a rather bizarre notion but then every food and drink seems to have its own day these days. However it does provide an excuse to re-run this article on how to make the perfect gin and tonic, under the guidance of the great Salvatore Calabrese:
Men, it seems, are real softies at heart and you will woo them either with their favourite wine or an experience so romantically spontaneous it won’t matter if you drink plonk. “I've always considered gluggability to be a much undervalued virtue in wine, for sometimes, when you are with the right person, that is all that you ever really need.” wrote one friend, wine writer Marc Millon, whose full response you can read below.
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.
Despite my passion for cheese I’ve long been a believer that you don’t need to lay on a massive cheese board to enjoy it. You can just as easily (and more cheaply) serve a cheese plate.
With all the fuss about oysters and Guinness and boiled bacon and cabbage you may overlook what must be one of the best ways of celebrating St Patrick’s Day: an Irish cheeseboard.