Match of the week

 Saperavi with slow cooked wagyu beef

Saperavi with slow cooked wagyu beef

Continuing the exotic vibe of last week’s pairing the standout combination this week was a Georgian Saperavi with Welsh Wagyu beef!

Margaux and Turkish chicken with walnut sauce

Margaux and Turkish chicken with walnut sauce

There’s nothing I love more than a surprise when it comes to food and wine pairing and I would not in a million years have predicted that a pukka Bordeaux would go with this exotic Turkish dish.

 Goosnargh duck and elderberries with a Canary Islands red

Goosnargh duck and elderberries with a Canary Islands red

Visiting two gastronomic restaurants that offered food and wine pairing in the Lake District last week (Forest Side and Hipping Hall) I’m struggling to pick out the stand-out match but I think it has to be the fabulous combination of the local Goosnargh duck with a wine I hadn’t tried before - the 2015 Tajinaste Valle de la Orotava from Tenerife that was served as part of the tasting menu at Hipping Hall.

 Pumpkin ravioli and sparkling albarino

Pumpkin ravioli and sparkling albarino

Having ended up unexpectedly in hospital last week I struggled a bit to find a match of the week. Water doesn’t make the most inspiring pairing for food although it (the food in hospital) isn't by any means as bad as it used to be. So I’ll tell you about the the dish I had before I was taken ill.

Peruvian-style scallops and Rioja rosado

Peruvian-style scallops and Rioja rosado

I thought it was pretty brave of rioja producer Ramon Bilbao to present their wines at a cutting edge Peruvian restaurant last week. Still, everyone knows rioja goes with Spanish food so why not? You never make new wine pairing discoveries if you don’t push the envelope.

Roast partridge and Pinot Noir

Roast partridge and Pinot Noir

I’ve already suggested pinot noir as a good pairing for partridge so it was good to find the recommendation vindicated at lunch with Carolyn Martin of Creation Wines at 67 Pall Mall last week.

Anchovies and Txakoli

Anchovies and Txakoli

What pairing can I possibly I pick from a trip to San Sebastian, the most gastronomic city in Spain, possibly even in Europe?

Oysters and dry German riesling

Oysters and dry German riesling

I don't normally think of pairing raw oysters with riesling - even dry ones seem too sweet but I came across a combination last week at the newly opened Magpie in London that worked brilliantly.

Aged Vouvray and wild boar terrine

Aged Vouvray and wild boar terrine

I sometimes forget to put the wine first in a pairing when it should be the star of the show and this 1995 Close du Bourg Vouvray from Huet was truly spectacular: still fresh as a daisy but subtly, seductively honeyed it was pure pleasure from the first to last sip.

 Black truffle and fontina pizza and Puligny Montrachet

Black truffle and fontina pizza and Puligny Montrachet

It’s easy to get into a mindset with food and wine pairing where you automatically revert to a tried and tested combination. Like pizza with Peroni or a Sicilian red

 Leerdammer and black coffee

Leerdammer and black coffee

Cheese is so inextricably linked in my mind with beer and wine I sometimes forget there are other delicious pairings out there but coffee? Well, actually yes.

 Txakoli and practically everything on the Palomar menu

Txakoli and practically everything on the Palomar menu

I think Txakoli may be my new favourite restaurant wine - or at least it is this summer. It’s a unique, sharp, very slightly fizzy white wine from the Basque region of Spain. The one we were drinking - at the Palomar in Soho - was the Agerra Txakoli which comes from the designated origin of Getariako

Chicken liver paté and cherry beer

Chicken liver paté and cherry beer

I often feel I don’t get - or make - enough opportunities to try beer with food so was especially pleased to be invited to a Dea Latis beer dinner at The Albion in Bristol last week

Coffee and maple syrup-brined pork with Saint Joseph

Coffee and maple syrup-brined pork with Saint Joseph

Occasionally a wine pairing comes along that you simply don’t expect. Invited to a barbecue at the weekend, I took along some reds I’d been tasting which I frankly wasn’t sure would go with the sweet marinades you generally encounter at a BBQ.

 Eggs, chips, truffles and Cava gran reserva

Eggs, chips, truffles and Cava gran reserva

You might think egg and chips was too humdrum a dish to be paired with wine but not the way the Spanish make it.

Scallop tartare and sauvignon blanc

Scallop tartare and sauvignon blanc

What on earth do you do when you have a line-up of some of the best wines in the world in front of you? Do you attempt to match them or reflect more the mood, the company and the time of year? Or, given that they're indisputably the hero of the occasion, do you just go with the sort of food the kitchen does well anyway?

Krug Grande Cuvée and brioche

Krug Grande Cuvée and brioche

It’s not every week you spend the best part of the day drinking Krug (on and off) so what else could I choose as this week’s match of the week?

Fish curry and Gruner Veltliner

Fish curry and Gruner Veltliner

Last week I hosted a tasting for Bristol-based spice company The Spicery in which we explored a number of different wine pairings for different styles of curry - including an Indian Shiraz!

Lobster and Condrieu

Lobster and Condrieu

The advantage of having chefs and wine merchants as friends is that you don't really need to go to restaurants*.

Maple syrup square with Neige Noir Ambré

Maple syrup square with Neige Noir Ambré

I’ve experienced so many terrific wine - and other drink - pairings during the past week in Canada that I think I’m going to have to devote several posts to them, not just this one. And the best - well, I’m struggling but I think it’s got to be this match which was suggested by the sommelier at Le Filet in Montreal - which is a bit ironic as their big thing is fish.

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