Match of the week

Pizza and Franciacorta

Pizza and Franciacorta

Expensive Franciacorta might not be the first wine you’d think of drinking with a pizza but bear with, as they say … And not just because it’s Italian.

 Chocolate truffles and PX

Chocolate truffles and PX

You can tell how much I love sherry from the fact that this is the second week running a food pairing involving sherry has been my match of the week.

Paella with pork, chorizo and spinach and palo cortado sherry

Paella with pork, chorizo and spinach and palo cortado sherry

There’s still a tendency to think of sherry as an aperitif or just for drinking with tapas but it can go really well with a more substantial dish as I was reminded this week.

Korean meatballs with mango, lime and ginger gin

Korean meatballs with mango, lime and ginger gin

Oooofff, Korean food is spicy! Even when I toned down the gochujang chilli paste in the meatballs I made on Saturday night they were a challenge for most of the wines I tried with them (a characterful Babylonstoren rosé powered through). But the best match by far was a gin and tonic made from Romy's Edition Mango, Ginger and Lime gin, a collaboration between Bristol-based Six O’Clock Gin and Indian food writer Romy Gill.

 Cacio e pepe and Frappato

Cacio e pepe and Frappato

I’ve never known quite what wine to pair with cacio e pepe, the fashionable pasta dish that’s just based on cheese (usually pecorino) and cracked pepper.

Bacon cheeseburger with Pinea 17 Ribera del Duero

Bacon cheeseburger with Pinea 17 Ribera del Duero

I’m not normally someone who craves a ‘dirty burger’ but when I was sent a couple in a meat delivery from my mate Northern Irish butcher Pete Hannan I thought I’d go the full hog with it.

Linguine carbonara and English chardonnay

Linguine carbonara and English chardonnay

Spaghetti carbonara is one of my favourite pasta recipes so it seemed a brilliant idea to alleviate the boredom of lockdown by having a ‘carbonara night’ with some friends on Zoom.

 Indian veggie food and sauvignon blanc

Indian veggie food and sauvignon blanc

After a lively discussion about what to drink with curry on my #weekendwinematching slot it was good to discover a new angle on pairing wine with Indian food.

Stir-fried pork with Thai basil and Australian riesling

Stir-fried pork with Thai basil and Australian riesling

This week’s match of the week doesn’t come as a big surprise but it’s sometimes good to be reminded of tried and tested pairings rather than ones that come totally out of the blue.

 Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and Casillero del Diablo Merlot

Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and Casillero del Diablo Merlot

Those of you who visit the site regularly will know that I’m a great advocate of drinking white wine with cheese and a bit of a sceptic about how well red wine pairs with it.

Koftas with tahini and orange wine

Koftas with tahini and orange wine

I’ve been enthusiastically cooking from Sami Tamimi’s and Tara Wigley's new book Falastin this past couple of weeks and made their recipe for koftas with tahini, potato and onion over the weekend during a Zoom cooking session with a couple of pals in Bristol.

Stuffed piquillo peppers with brandade and Hunter Valley Semillon

Stuffed piquillo peppers with brandade and Hunter Valley Semillon

Like many of you, I suspect, I’ve been working my way through the older bottles in my cellar* and unearthed a 2014 vintage of Brokenwood Semillon the other day which I visited on my last wine visit to the Hunter Valley.

 Italian spinach and ricotta pie with Soave (or Vermentino)

Italian spinach and ricotta pie with Soave (or Vermentino)

To tell you the truth this is as much about the story behind the pie as the wine match but that was good too so let’s kick off with that.

 Thai green curry and English rosé

Thai green curry and English rosé

Those of you who follow the site closely might have noticed the Match of the Week slot had disappeared. Because I was no longer travelling and eating out I thought what I was drinking with what would be of little interest and that you probably wouldn’t be able to get hold of the bottles I was writing about anyway

Miso-glazed cabbage and orange wine

Miso-glazed cabbage and orange wine

The way things are looking I don’t imagine there will be many standout matches of the week over the forthcoming months given that I’m out and about much less than normal. But this one, from Trivet in Bermondsey last week is truly excellent.

Beetroot and goat cheese macarons with a pet nat rosé

Beetroot and goat cheese macarons with a pet nat rosé

In a week of pretty amazing wine pairings (it’s not every day you get to taste five different vintages of Harlan Estate* over dinner) there was one really interesting match I wouldn’t have predicted - and that’s what this weekly slot is all about.

Roast poulet de Bresse and aged Jura chardonnay

Roast poulet de Bresse and aged Jura chardonnay

Roast chicken with chardonnay - what’s new about that I hear you say? Well, nothing, obviously but imagine some of the BEST chicken you’ve ever eaten and a GREAT chardonnay - in this case the 2005 Stephane Tissot Arbois chardonnay Les Graviers - and it becomes one of those stellar wine pairings you dream about.

 Ox cheek (again) and Jumilla

Ox cheek (again) and Jumilla

I know I talked about ox cheek a couple of weeks ago (with nero d’avola) but here it is again in an even better combination with Jumilla at a lunch hosted by wine importers Morgenrot at Bar 44 in Bristol.

 Cherries (and plums) with Central Otago Pinot Noir

Cherries (and plums) with Central Otago Pinot Noir

One of the standard ways of devising a wine pairing is to pick out flavours in the wine and put them in the accompanying dish. Not too much or it can cancel out the flavour of the wine but done with skill, as it was by chef Des Smith at The Hunting Lodge, it’s pretty impressive.

Crubeens and Irish stout

Crubeens and Irish stout

I don’t drink beer often enough so I'm particularly pleased when I find a pairing that makes my match of the week slot

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