Match of the week
Having spent most of our week in Abruzzo inland we seized the opportunity to have a meal at La Barcaccia a fish restaurant on the seafront at Pescara before flying back and this clever dish of cuttlefish ‘tagliatelle’ was one of the crudi (raw dishes) on the menu.
I’m conscious I don’t post as many red wine pairings as I should partly because I tend to drink white wine more often, particularly at this time of year but this was a really spectacular match at a Visit Greece lunch at Above at Hide last week held to promote the Greek wine trails.
It’s been such a hectic week I haven’t been cooking or eating out much so I had to scratch my head for a standout match.
Champagne for breakfast always seems particularly decadent but it works brilliantly especially with waffles as I discovered at a pop-up in London last week to celebrate Veuve Clicquot’s 250th anniversary.
Raw fish seems to be really popular right now but I had a fascinating variation the other day at Root restaurant in Bristol in the form of some raw Chalk Stream trout, cured in mezcal and dressed with verdita, a Mexican drink which is generally made from lime and pineapple juice, jalapeno pepper, coriander and mint and drunk as a chaser for tequila
I love a collaborative cooking project so when I stayed with my friend food writer Fiona Sims at the weekend we embarked on a vincisgrassi, an elaborate mushroom lasagne from Rachel Roddy’s fantastic book, an A-Z of Pasta. It was made famous by Franco Taruschio of the Walnut Tree but you can find Rachel’s version here. (Note the fabulous crisp edges!)
There hasn’t been much food and wine pairing going on in the Beckett household this week as I lost my sense of taste with Covid - fortunately for only four days - but I tasted a wine yesterday that I know would make the perfect match with chocolate.
One of the (many) charms of champagne is how well it goes with comfort food like a shrimp burger as I discovered at London’s famous seafood restaurant J Sheekey last week
Beef and chardonnay doesn’t sound like an obvious combo at first glance but it depends, as always, how the beef is cooked.
Orange wine wouldn’t have been the first pairing I’d have turned to with Thai food but what I love about this business is that there are always opportunities to revise your opinion
Artichokes are a notoriously tricky match with wine but don’t have to be an insuperable one as last week’s artichoke dinner at Bocca di Lupo proved.
There were a number of great matches with Deanston’s Virgin Oak whisky up in Scotland last week but unusually I’m going for the most conventional - a starter of (very good) smoked salmon with gravadlax and a tomato and cucumber dressing at Gleneagles hotel - on the grounds that it’s the most useful.
I could have picked any number of pairings from the really inspiring wine dinner hosted by Bodegas Bentomiz at Gambas tapas bar in Bristol last week but this marginally inched it.
OK, I don’t expect you to have a bottle of Chateau d’Yquem to hand, let alone a 1999 or 1989 vintage but this would work with any mature or not-so-mature Sauternes or similar sweet Bordeaux
After hibernating virtually the whole of January I had a run of eating out last week which threw up a number of good matches but this slot is all about discovering more unusual wine and other drink pairings.
Choosing a wine to go with a number of widely differing dishes is always a challenge so I usually try to find a lightish wine that will rub along with both meat and vegetable dishes.
I’ve always loved those huge jars of cooked meals you can buy in France so was pretty excited when I was sent a jar of coq au vin, or rather Coq au Moulin-à-Vent by Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent the other day.
This week’s match of the week is the perfect illustration that you shouldn’t be led astray by your basic ingredient.
Given the intense contagioiusness of Omicron it seemed a good idea to have a low key New Year’s Eve celebration this year which took the form of a really lovely kitchen supper with my friend Jenny Chandler and her family.