Match of the week
Assyrtiko and cold herb soup
As Greece’s best known grape variety you’d probably think of pairing assyrtiko with meze or seafood but as this week’s match of the week shows it’s good away from its home territory too.
The soup was one of a number of courses at one of my favourite local restaurants, Wilsons in Bristol. It was served cold and was light, fresh and gorgeously silky, topped with salted cream and a spoonful of Exmoor caviar. (I reckon it was both the slight bitterness of the herbs and the saltiness of the cream that made it so especially delicious. Being slightly saline itself, assyrtiko which is a sharp citrussy white in a similar register to albariño, likes salty food too.
It also went brilliantly with some goats curd tartlets and Jan Wilson’s ‘farm taco’ a crunchy little mouthful of home-grown herbs and something else delicious folded, taco-style, into a bigger leaf. Again, there was a bitter edge there but bitter isn’t bad - think dark chocolate and espresso coffee, both seductively bitter tastes.
The assyrtiko was a 2019 from Papagiannakos in Attica and I see you can buy it for £14.50 currently from Hennings wine.
For other suggestions with herbs see What wines (or other drinks) should you pair with herbs
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