Match of the week

Burrata and a Cape White blend

Burrata and a Cape White blend

It’s been such a hectic week I haven’t been cooking or eating out much so I had to scratch my head for a standout match.

 Waffles, bacon and champagne

Waffles, bacon and champagne

Champagne for breakfast always seems particularly decadent but it works brilliantly especially with waffles as I discovered at a pop-up in London last week to celebrate Veuve Clicquot’s 250th anniversary.

Cured trout with verdita and vinho verde

Cured trout with verdita and vinho verde

Raw fish seems to be really popular right now but I had a fascinating variation the other day at Root restaurant in Bristol in the form of some raw Chalk Stream trout, cured in mezcal and dressed with verdita, a Mexican drink which is generally made from lime and pineapple juice, jalapeno pepper, coriander and mint and drunk as a chaser for tequila

Vincisgrassi and Saint-Aubin

Vincisgrassi and Saint-Aubin

I love a collaborative cooking project so when I stayed with my friend food writer Fiona Sims at the weekend we embarked on a vincisgrassi, an elaborate mushroom lasagne from Rachel Roddy’s fantastic book, an A-Z of Pasta. It was made famous by Franco Taruschio of the Walnut Tree but you can find Rachel’s version here. (Note the fabulous crisp edges!)

Chocolate and muscadel

Chocolate and muscadel

There hasn’t been much food and wine pairing going on in the Beckett household this week as I lost my sense of taste with Covid - fortunately for only four days - but I tasted a wine yesterday that I know would make the perfect match with chocolate.

Shrimp and soft shell crab burger with vintage champagne

Shrimp and soft shell crab burger with vintage champagne

One of the (many) charms of champagne is how well it goes with comfort food like a shrimp burger as I discovered at London’s famous seafood restaurant J Sheekey last week

Beef carpaccio and chardonnay

Beef carpaccio and chardonnay

Beef and chardonnay doesn’t sound like an obvious combo at first glance but it depends, as always, how the beef is cooked.

 Thai food and orange wine

Thai food and orange wine

Orange wine wouldn’t have been the first pairing I’d have turned to with Thai food but what I love about this business is that there are always opportunities to revise your opinion

 Artichokes and Trebbiano

Artichokes and Trebbiano

Artichokes are a notoriously tricky match with wine but don’t have to be an insuperable one as last week’s artichoke dinner at Bocca di Lupo proved.

Smoked salmon and Deanston Virgin Oak single malt whisky

Smoked salmon and Deanston Virgin Oak single malt whisky

There were a number of great matches with Deanston’s Virgin Oak whisky up in Scotland last week but unusually I’m going for the most conventional - a starter of (very good) smoked salmon with gravadlax and a tomato and cucumber dressing at Gleneagles hotel - on the grounds that it’s the most useful.

 Smoked eel and potato soup with dry Moscatel

Smoked eel and potato soup with dry Moscatel

I could have picked any number of pairings from the really inspiring wine dinner hosted by Bodegas Bentomiz at Gambas tapas bar in Bristol last week but this marginally inched it.

Chateau d’Yquem with Gorgonzola and a pressed apple terrine

Chateau d’Yquem with Gorgonzola and a pressed apple terrine

OK, I don’t expect you to have a bottle of Chateau d’Yquem to hand, let alone a 1999 or 1989 vintage but this would work with any mature or not-so-mature Sauternes or similar sweet Bordeaux

Anchovy crisps and a pink Gibson

Anchovy crisps and a pink Gibson

After hibernating virtually the whole of January I had a run of eating out last week which threw up a number of good matches but this slot is all about discovering more unusual wine and other drink pairings.

Roast carrots with rocket pesto and a Catalan red

Roast carrots with rocket pesto and a Catalan red

Choosing a wine to go with a number of widely differing dishes is always a challenge so I usually try to find a lightish wine that will rub along with both meat and vegetable dishes.

Coq au vin and Moulin-a-Vent

Coq au vin and Moulin-a-Vent

I’ve always loved those huge jars of cooked meals you can buy in France so was pretty excited when I was sent a jar of coq au vin, or rather Coq au Moulin-à-Vent by Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent the other day.

Stilton quiche and white burgundy

Stilton quiche and white burgundy

This week’s match of the week is the perfect illustration that you shouldn’t be led astray by your basic ingredient.

 Hot ham, kumquat relish and saperavi

Hot ham, kumquat relish and saperavi

Given the intense contagioiusness of Omicron it seemed a good idea to have a low key New Year’s Eve celebration this year which took the form of a really lovely kitchen supper with my friend Jenny Chandler and her family.

Kedgeree and a crisp Portuguese white

Kedgeree and a crisp Portuguese white

Do you eat kedgeree - if at all - for brunch or supper? That's probably going to affect whether you have a glass of wine with it.

Duck and rum

Duck and rum

OK, this sounds like THE most unlikely pairing but bear with, as they say …

Radicchio, pickled pear and blue cheese salad and Le Bistro Montmija white

Radicchio, pickled pear and blue cheese salad and Le Bistro Montmija white

This crisp white wasn’t chosen as an exact match more like a wine I thought would run along with everyone’s starters when we went out to lunch at The Bull in Totnes last week

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