Match of the week
Faggots with onion gravy and Mas Belles Eaux Vieux Carignan
Faggots, which are basically a rather gamey British meatball made with pork belly and offal, are a bit of an acquired taste along the lines of the French sausage andouillette but well made, as they are when supplied by our local butcher, they can be very tasty. They need to be accompanied by onion gravy which normally leads one in the direction of a robust ale but the other night we had them with a bottle of Mas Belles Eaux Vieux Carignan 2006 which actually worked very well.
Carignan, as I’ve mentioned before, is not my favourite grape variety but well-crafted examples like this do have an appeal especially with robust gastropub dishes (braised lamb shanks and steak and kidney pie would be other apt examples).
Mas Belles Eaux is a Languedoc estate just north of Pezenas that was taken over a while ago by insurance giant AXA Millsimes who also own Quinta do Noval and Chateau Pichon-Baron.
The agency is now handled by Gonzalez Byass in the UK (+44 1707 273188) though the wine is currently in limited distribution*. At a retail price of £18-20 it may strike you as a an extravagant partner for offal of any kind but oddly it’s often the simplest dishes that show off good wines to best advantage. And there are of course less expensive Carignans and Carignan blends around to test the combination.
FromVineyardsDirect sells the less expensive Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux.
Image © Igor Klimov - Fotolia
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