Match of the week |  Hot ham, kumquat relish and saperavi

Match of the week

Hot ham, kumquat relish and saperavi

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.

(Jenny wrote the great book Green Kids Cook: you can find her recipe for Smacked Cucumber and Crispy Green Salad with Zingy Ginger Dressing - which is EXACTLY what I feel like eating after 10 days of stuffing myself - here.)

On the night though she cooked a simple, delicious dish of ham poached in ginger ale with lentils (for luck in the new year), cavolo nero and a fresh zingy kumquat relish. I’d taken along two bottles to compare, a 2014 Cousino Macul Finis Terrae a mature blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah from Chile and, on impulse, a rich Georgian red, a 2018 Orgo Saperavi which went brilliantly well with the dish, especially the kumquat relish. Orangey flavours, it appears, need that kind of vibrant brambly fruit. Dolcetto, I suspect, would also work as would Bonarda.

Incidentally I’d tried the wine a year or so ago and found it slightly disappointing but it absolutely sang on the night.

Other good matches for Saperavi are slow cooked Wagyu beef and, you may be surprised to hear, roast grouse.

What else to match with Christmas ham

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