Match of the week
Visiting two gastronomic restaurants that offered food and wine pairing in the Lake District last week (Forest Side and Hipping Hall) I’m struggling to pick out the stand-out match but I think it has to be the fabulous combination of the local Goosnargh duck with a wine I hadn’t tried before - the 2015 Tajinaste Valle de la Orotava from Tenerife that was served as part of the tasting menu at Hipping Hall.
Having ended up unexpectedly in hospital last week I struggled a bit to find a match of the week. Water doesn’t make the most inspiring pairing for food although it (the food in hospital) isn't by any means as bad as it used to be. So I’ll tell you about the the dish I had before I was taken ill.
I thought it was pretty brave of rioja producer Ramon Bilbao to present their wines at a cutting edge Peruvian restaurant last week. Still, everyone knows rioja goes with Spanish food so why not? You never make new wine pairing discoveries if you don’t push the envelope.
I’ve already suggested pinot noir as a good pairing for partridge so it was good to find the recommendation vindicated at lunch with Carolyn Martin of Creation Wines at 67 Pall Mall last week.
What pairing can I possibly I pick from a trip to San Sebastian, the most gastronomic city in Spain, possibly even in Europe?
I don't normally think of pairing raw oysters with riesling - even dry ones seem too sweet but I came across a combination last week at the newly opened Magpie in London that worked brilliantly.
I sometimes forget to put the wine first in a pairing when it should be the star of the show and this 1995 Close du Bourg Vouvray from Huet was truly spectacular: still fresh as a daisy but subtly, seductively honeyed it was pure pleasure from the first to last sip.
It’s easy to get into a mindset with food and wine pairing where you automatically revert to a tried and tested combination. Like pizza with Peroni or a Sicilian red
Cheese is so inextricably linked in my mind with beer and wine I sometimes forget there are other delicious pairings out there but coffee? Well, actually yes.
I think Txakoli may be my new favourite restaurant wine - or at least it is this summer. It’s a unique, sharp, very slightly fizzy white wine from the Basque region of Spain. The one we were drinking - at the Palomar in Soho - was the Agerra Txakoli which comes from the designated origin of Getariako
I often feel I don’t get - or make - enough opportunities to try beer with food so was especially pleased to be invited to a Dea Latis beer dinner at The Albion in Bristol last week
Occasionally a wine pairing comes along that you simply don’t expect. Invited to a barbecue at the weekend, I took along some reds I’d been tasting which I frankly wasn’t sure would go with the sweet marinades you generally encounter at a BBQ.
You might think egg and chips was too humdrum a dish to be paired with wine but not the way the Spanish make it.
What on earth do you do when you have a line-up of some of the best wines in the world in front of you? Do you attempt to match them or reflect more the mood, the company and the time of year? Or, given that they're indisputably the hero of the occasion, do you just go with the sort of food the kitchen does well anyway?
It’s not every week you spend the best part of the day drinking Krug (on and off) so what else could I choose as this week’s match of the week?
The advantage of having chefs and wine merchants as friends is that you don't really need to go to restaurants*.
I’ve experienced so many terrific wine - and other drink - pairings during the past week in Canada that I think I’m going to have to devote several posts to them, not just this one. And the best - well, I’m struggling but I think it’s got to be this match which was suggested by the sommelier at Le Filet in Montreal - which is a bit ironic as their big thing is fish.
Sweet sticky ribs aren’t the easiest thing to pair with wine so why not look elsewhere? At cocktails, for example?