Match of the week

 Mortadella and Boschendal Rosé Brut

Mortadella and Boschendal Rosé Brut

How much do people love mortadella! You have no idea. Well perhaps you’re a fellow fan and you do. When I posted this pairing on instagram last week there was a massive response. Admittedly provoked by me describing it as posh Italian spam. (Not in a bad way, you understand.)

Champagne and monkfish liver

Champagne and monkfish liver

OK, I appreciate this is a bit left-field but I was given some monkfish liver to try by Bristol fishmonger, Bristol Fish and also had a bottle of Aldi’s Easter champagne promotion to taste and they went brilliantly together. Often the best pairings come about by accident.

Camembeso cheese and Ribera del Duero

Camembeso cheese and Ribera del Duero

I’m an ardent advocate of pairing cheese with white wine so it came as a bit of a surprise just how well the Spanish cheeses I was eating over the weekend went with the full-bodied Ribera del Duero wines I was tasting, many of which were over 14.5%

 Sashimi and koshu

Sashimi and koshu

Given that koshu is Japan's signature grape variety it’s perhaps not surprising that it’s a successful pairing with sashimi but two interesting things emerged from a recent tasting which was hosted by Sarah Abbott on behalf of Wines of Japan.

Curried lentils with Waipara riesling

Curried lentils with Waipara riesling

Riesling is often paired with Indian food though I don’t think it always works with hotter curries. But with this anglicized version of a dal from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new book Eat Better Forever it was spot on.

Fennel and apple salad and Solaris

Fennel and apple salad and Solaris

Finding a new salad that you love and will make many times over again is a win for any weekend but when you find the perfect wine pairing with it too it’s a real high point

Mangalitza pork pie and Pomerol

Mangalitza pork pie and Pomerol

I often get asked what the best pairing for a serious red wine is and I don’t think the people who pose the question would expect the answer 'pork pie'.

Cassoulet and red Bordeaux

Cassoulet and red Bordeaux

One of the questions I regularly get asked is what to drink with a special bottle. The general expectation is that I’ll suggest a meal of Michelin-starred quality but as this match of the week shows a rustic dish will do very nicely.

Mushroom risotto with spatburgunder

Mushroom risotto with spatburgunder

OK, this pairing is not rocket science - I’m sure you know that pinot noir is a great match with mushrooms and so obviously with mushroom risotto too. But you may not have totally taken on board just how good German pinot - or spätburgunder, as they call it in Germany - is nowadays.

Pizza and Valpolicella

Pizza and Valpolicella

With time stretching like an aching chasm from one end of the week to another I've no idea how it’s possible to miss out my regular match of the week post but there you go. (Last week’s should have been chilli con carne and Robert Oatley Shiraz which I can heartily recommend)

Hainanese chicken and green tea

Hainanese chicken and green tea

Alcohol-free drinks are sometimes overlooked as an accompaniment to food but tea, in particular, can be a good pairing and may be an unexpectedly good option for those of you who are doing dry January.

Scallops with Sauternes butter and oaked white Bordeaux

Scallops with Sauternes butter and oaked white Bordeaux

One of the treats I’ve lined up during lockdown is to have a weekly takeaway from a local restaurant, both to give me a break from cooking and hopefully help keep them in business and my first was a meal from one of my favourite Bristol restaurants littlefrench.

 My top food and wine pairings of 2020

My top food and wine pairings of 2020

Back in March when Covid first hit I remember thinking ‘no-one’s going to want to think about food and wine pairing’ and put my match of the week feature on hold.

 A rich jus and Ju de Vie

A rich jus and Ju de Vie

You’d think a rich winey sauce or jus would be the easiest thing to match with red wine but that isn’t necessarily the case as it tends to compete with it.

Christmas cake and Rutherglen muscat

Christmas cake and Rutherglen muscat

Funny, isn’t it, how there are lots of pairings for mince pies but few for Christmas cake. Maybe that’s because we tend to eat it mid-afternoon well before wine o’clock but that could equally apply to Christmas pudding for which I also have plenty of recommendations.

 Lamb tagine with prunes and Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Lamb tagine with prunes and Châteauneuf-du-Pape

You might not immediately think of wine in the context of Moroccan food but in fact Morocco has been a significant wine producer since the days of the French protectorate. And they planted the same grape varieties - grenache, syrah and cinsault that thrive in the south of France.

 Single malt whisky and salted caramel fudge

Single malt whisky and salted caramel fudge

One of the interesting trends I’ve noticed is the number of English whiskies that are now coming on stream including the Masthouse single malt from the Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham, Kent I was sent the other day. (In fact there are, amazingly, more distilleries in England than Scotland now!)

Penne with gorgonzola and broccoli and malbec

Penne with gorgonzola and broccoli and malbec

Now here’s a wine pairing with pasta I didn’t wholly expect. The sauce - a gift from a neighbour - was a creamy gorgonzola one to which I added (just to make it fractionally more healthy ;-)) some steamed broccoli I had left in the fridge. (Well, it was raw but I steamed it!)

Crab mac’n’cheese and champagne

Crab mac’n’cheese and champagne

I wouldn’t have necessarily opened a bottle specifically to drink with Nigella’s crab mac’n’cheese but Biden had just won the presidency and it seemed like the right thing to do. And in fact it went brilliantly.

 Roast cauliflower with preserved lemon dressing and Assyrtiko

Roast cauliflower with preserved lemon dressing and Assyrtiko

A similar type of salad to last week’s match of the week (as you can see I’m already not getting out much!) from Claire Thomson’s excellent Home Cookery Year

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