Match of the week | Bao and Bacchus

Match of the week

Bao and Bacchus

Who would have thought a few years ago that it would be as easy to drink local wine in southern England as it is over the channel in northern France? (Well, almost. I’m not counting Burgundy!)

So when I stayed at The Ollerod in Beaminster in West Dorset last week I thought I’d try the local Furleigh Estate Bacchus. But would it go with my spicy starter of crispy prawn and kimchi bao with sriracha mayonnaise?

The answer of course is yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be telling you about it would I?

The bao bun was flavoured with squid ink which is why it’s black (sorry for rubbish low-light photo) and neither the kimchi or the siracha was too hot but it still packed quite a punch. But then the Bacchus - from the excellent 2018 vintage - was quite full-flavoured too - in some ways more like an Aussie riesling than its normal drinkalike, sauvignon blanc. And you’d expect Aussie riesling to go with this kind of food. (Note the filling was prawn - I'd have been less inclined to drink it with a pork-stuffed bao.)

Anyway it goes to show that you can always be surprised - in this case pleasantly - by a wine pairing you wouldn’t have predicted. I really liked the food at Ollerod though it’s quite a pricey place to stay, in August at least. Chris Staines, a chef I greatly admired when he was cooking at Allium in Bath, owns the restaurant with his partner Silvana and is in the kitchen.

Furleigh has some other excellent pairing suggestions for Bacchus on their website on which it is unfortunately sold out* “Perfect served chilled with seafood such as ‘moules marinères' or flat fish such as lemon sole, plaice, brill or turbot. Enjoy it with goats cheese, or asparagus drizzled with lemon butter. Also good with Japanese sushi and pickled ginger, but go easy on the wasabi. Try it with Scandinavian pickled fish such as soused herrings or rollmops.”

A model wine pairing note!

See also my six best wine pairings for Bacchus

*although try their sparkling wines too.

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