Match of the week
Beetroot soup and English Pinot Noir
The other day I enjoyed a surprisingly good pairing of a beetroot soup with an English blend of Pinot Noir and Rondo from Kent winery Chapel Down at the London restaurant Roast. I say surprising a) because soup is difficult to pair and b) because the two are so similar in colour that you’d think the wine wouldn’t be a sufficient contrast to the soup. In fact its fruitiness and crisp acidity (the Rondo making it taste more like a mid-weight Italian red) was just the right counterpoint to the earthy rich character of the beetroot.
It was also an interesting match because the soup (which was smooth rather than clear like a borscht) was garnished with goats’ cheese and mint, normally ingredients that would point you in the direction of a Sauvignon Blanc.
It underlines the importance of identifying the dominant ingredient in a dish. Beetroot is a powerful ingredient whichever way its served and generally calls for a red rather than a white. I’ve also enjoyed it with Dolcetto.
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