Match of the week | Cassoulet and red Bordeaux

Match of the week

Cassoulet and red Bordeaux

One of the questions I regularly get asked is what to drink with a special bottle. The general expectation is that I’ll suggest a meal of Michelin-starred quality but as this match of the week shows a rustic dish will do very nicely.

The wine was a 2009 Cuvée Barthélemy from a biodynamic Bordeaux producer Château le Puy whose wines I’ve written about before. Although they could legitimately be classified as ‘natural’ they don’t taste at all funky but smooth, polished and, in the case of this particular bottle, still surprisingly vibrant for a 12 year old wine.

I pulled one out to drink with a slow braised lamb dish from the Towpath café cookbook I made on Saturday night which includes 3 heads (heads not cloves) of garlic but is cooked for so long it doesn’t taste overly garlicky.

Even better I drink the remainder of the bottle with an improvised cassoulet I made with some of the leftover lamb, some Judion beans, half the remaining confit garlic, a duck leg I serendipitously found in the freezer and some mini chorizos which would no doubt outrage any self respecting Toulousian.

Anyway the Barthélemy was gorgeous with it, retaining all its richness and suppleness and handling the (admittedly) mild heat of the chorizo really well. A real treat but sadly not a cheap one. The cost of the more recent vintages at Buon Vino which stocks most of their range is £125-145 a bottle but their more affordable cuvées should work too.

For other cassoulet pairings see Six of the best wine pairings with Cassoulet. You'll find the cassoulet recipe I normally make rather than this cheat's version here.

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