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Match of the week

Match of the week

 Ribs and rum cocktails

Ribs and rum cocktails

Sweet sticky ribs aren’t the easiest thing to pair with wine so why not look elsewhere? At cocktails, for example?

Roast beef and Bordeaux

Roast beef and Bordeaux

OK, this is one of the most classic wine pairings in the world but none the worse for that.

 Milk-fed lamb with Bolgheri Coronato 2011

Milk-fed lamb with Bolgheri Coronato 2011

Last week was a bumper week for wine pairing but setting aside the matches with older vintages of Pazo Senorans albarino at El Celler de Can Roca which were so mind-blowing they deserve a longer post, this is the one that stood out.

Caesar salad with a Godello based Spanish white

Caesar salad with a Godello based Spanish white

A lot of the time when we’re eating out we’re not matching dishes exactly - we simply buy a bottle we like the sound of and hope it will cope with everything we throw at it.

Peas and pinot

Peas and pinot

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.

 Spiced whitebait with sriracha and Chinon rosé

Spiced whitebait with sriracha and Chinon rosé

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

 Oysters and Tasmanian fizz

Oysters and Tasmanian fizz

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

Salmon with shellfish sauce and aged semillon

Salmon with shellfish sauce and aged semillon

Last week I was in Australia’s beautiful Hunter Valley enjoying their two great specialities semillon and shiraz.

 Raan and Grover Chêne

Raan and Grover Chêne

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.

Roast venison with Chateau Talbot 1982

Roast venison with Chateau Talbot 1982

I was lucky enough to dine in a Cambridge college, Peterhouse, last week and even more fortunate to drink a 1982 Chateau Talbot.

Yorkshire curd tart with builders’ tea ice-cream and Shire Highland Black Tea from Malawi

Yorkshire curd tart with builders’ tea ice-cream and Shire Highland Black Tea from Malawi

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.

 Pulled pork and pinot

Pulled pork and pinot

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.

 Vinsobres with wild boar stew and chestnut polenta

Vinsobres with wild boar stew and chestnut polenta

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

Chocolate and almond cake with auslese riesling

Chocolate and almond cake with auslese riesling

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.

Fideos negros con calamaritos with alioli and Rueda

Fideos negros con calamaritos with alioli and Rueda

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 and Nerello Mascalese

Spaghetti and meatballs and Nerello Mascalese

Spaghetti and meatballs is a really rich pasta dish you need to wash down with a refreshing red - preferably Italian.

 Beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish and Furmint

Beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish and Furmint

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.

Beenleigh Blue and Monbazillac

Beenleigh Blue and Monbazillac

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

Coffee and cardamom buns

Coffee and cardamom buns

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.

Lobster macaroni cheese and Ruinart champagne

Lobster macaroni cheese and Ruinart champagne

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).

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