Match of the week
Game consommé with a Croatian red
Given that wine dinners are all about combining food and wine it’s not that often that the resulting pairings blow you away but I was hard pushed to pick just one out of the four brilliant matches at last week’s Autumn Delights dinner at Adelina Yard in Bristol.
But I’m going for the first one because it’s unusual to start a meal with a red let alone pair a soup with it.
The dish was slightly more than a soup, mind you - a gorgeous broth with slivers of pigeon, tiny dice of celeriac and some delicious nutty grains accompanied by the MOST HEAVENLY truffle and mushroom brioche.
It was skilfully paired by clever Andy Clarke who was hosting the dinner with a Dimitri Brečević Piquentum Refosk*, an earthy red wine that picked up beautifully on the gamey pigeon but didn’t overpower it. And was impressively followed by a white wine rather than a red, a German Auxerrois from the Pfalz region with an equally gorgeous dish of red ‘carabineros’ prawns with a partridge boudin and heritage carrots.
The next course of Shropshire grouse with Tuscan stuffing and blackberry gel (and accompanying wicked little grouse pies) was back to red again - not the Tuscan red you might expect though but a vivid Samourai Shiraz from Free Run Juice in South Australia. Finally there was a glorious Malvasia called Vigna de Volta from La Stoppa which went perfectly with a dessert of pistachio cake, spiced apple, armagnac and prune ice cream.
So this wine dinner basically broke all the rules - red before white and unconventional natural wines throughout but was an absolute revelation. Great food too from the Adelina Yard team - one of whose founding partners Olivia Barry recently featured on Great British Menu. If you're in Bristol, go!
* You can read more about Brečević and this wine in Doug Wregg's blog on the Caves de Pyrène website.
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