Having been flying around the world for the best part of the past month I had a quiet week at home last week which (unusually for me) involved no outstanding drinks pairings.
As you’d expect many of the usual suspects featured in my pairings this weekend (chocolate, anyone*?) but the match I was most impressed by was nothing to do with Easter
I’m not a big fan of champagne with raw oysters. Most have a level of dosage (added sugar) that tastes even sweeter when you pair them with a briny mollusc but Tasmanian sparkling wine is different
Last week I was in Australia’s beautiful Hunter Valley enjoying their two great specialities semillon and shiraz.
I’ve been thinking a fair bit about red wine and Indian food lately - of which more in due course - but wanted to flag up one pairing from my trip to India last week which definitely worked.
I was lucky enough to dine in a Cambridge college, Peterhouse, last week and even more fortunate to drink a 1982 Chateau Talbot.
There are some dishes you just know you’re going to order when you spot them on a menu and the builders’ tea ice-cream that came with a Yorkshire curd tart at newly opened Lorne in London's Pimlico last week had my name all over it.
The problem about discovering your match of the week at someone’s else's house is that you can’t really take a photo of the food if you don’t know them that well.
You’d expect a Southern Rhône red to go with wild boar but in fact it was the chestnut polenta that made the match with this former Côtes du Rhône ‘cru’ so successful
I’ve never been wholly convinced that sweet white wines go with dark chocolate but have had to modify that view after a surprisingly successful pairing at my friends' this weekend.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Rueda, a sauvignon-style wine from the north of Spain, but seem to have been drinking it non-stop since I arrived in Malaga.
Spaghetti and meatballs is a really rich pasta dish you need to wash down with a refreshing red - preferably Italian.
It’s always good to find a new wine that will take on all comers and I think I’ve found it in dry Furmint.
It’s not only Roquefort and Sauternes that pair well together, other sheeps cheeses and sweet wines match well too as I discovered at the Evening of Cheese event I hosted at The Butlers Arms in Sutton Coldfield on Sunday
For a long time I’ve resisted the idea of a Nespresso machine but then a friend said she had a spare to get rid of and I’ve succumbed. Why did I wait so long? No sooner does the thought enter your mind that you might like a coffee than you can gratify it. Literally in seconds.
When I flicked through the pictures I’d taken of the wines I’d drunk over Christmas and the New Year I realised there was a LOT of champagne. Partly because I’d been given or shared some rather nice bottles but equally because champagne goes with practically everything from oysters to shepherds pie (as the novelist Jeffrey Archer famously established).
This week’s match of the week - herring and aquavit - was paired for me - appropriately enough - by the restaurant Aquavit which has just opened an outpost in London.
When did you last see cannelloni on a menu? It was one of my favourite dishes when I was growing up then it seemed to vanish into the mists of time so it’s good to see it back at the boys from the Clove Club’s new restaurant Luca.
Last week I pushed the envelope a bit further with wine and spice pairing with a Wine and Chilli dinner at The Spicery in Bristol
Normally my matches of the week are quite specific - a dish and a drink - but it’s always great to find a wine that sails through everything on the table as this gorgeous grenache did at London’s latest barbecue restaurant Temper last week.