Match of the week

Hake with cream and anchovy sauce and cava

Hake with cream and anchovy sauce and cava

It’s a pretty safe bet that if you have a wine-based sauce that an accompanying glass of the same type of wine will pair well with it so I was confident of ordering a glass of cava to go with a hake dish cooked with a cream, cava and anchovy sauce last week.

Flying fish cutters and Banks beer

Flying fish cutters and Banks beer

A week without wine might sound like hell for wine lovers but to be honest in Barbados why would you drink anything else? Wine is expensive and there’s not much choice whereas beer is cheap and ubiquitous.

Middle eastern-style lamb with grilled vegetables and a natural red wine

Middle eastern-style lamb with grilled vegetables and a natural red wine

We all know that roast lamb is a great pairing with red wines but the assumption is often that it’s prepared in a classic French way so it was interesting to note over the weekend that if you give it a middle-eastern spin exactly the same applies

Courgette, seed and curry leaf cake and dry German riesling

Courgette, seed and curry leaf cake and dry German riesling

The more I taste authentic Indian food the less I think it causes problems for wine. A group of us cooked up a whole load of recipes on Saturday night including this savoury cake called handvo from Anjum Anand’s I love India.

My best wine (and other) pairings of 2017

My best wine (and other) pairings of 2017

Those of you who visit the site regularly will be aware I post a regular match of the week - the most interesting wine - or other drink - pairing I’ve come across in the past 7 days.

Christmas pudding and cognac

Christmas pudding and cognac

Sometimes the simplest pairings elude you. If you flambé a Christmas pudding with brandy why on earth shouldn’t you drink brandy - or rather cognac - with it too?

Alcester Gold cheese and truffle honey and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont

Alcester Gold cheese and truffle honey and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont

Despite the fact that white and sweet wines go just as well with cheese as red wine the idea persists that red is the better pairing

Smoked cods roe and Metissage

Smoked cods roe and Metissage

This week’s pairing is as much about the wine as the dish though the two went exceptionally well together.

Louis Roederer Brut with a truffle cheese toastie

Louis Roederer Brut with a truffle cheese toastie

This match last week at 45 Jermyn St had EVERYTHING going for it starting with a decadent toasted cheese sandwich lavishly scattered with grated white truffle. What could be better? Well, actually a glass of very decent champagne (Louis Roederer Brut premier) with it - one of those matches made in heaven where the whole is better than the sum of the parts.

Octopus with orange wine

Octopus with orange wine

Orange wines - white wines that are made in a similar way to a red, leaving the juice in contact with the skins - have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years, proving impressively versatile with food.

 Saperavi with slow cooked wagyu beef

Saperavi with slow cooked wagyu beef

Continuing the exotic vibe of last week’s pairing the standout combination this week was a Georgian Saperavi with Welsh Wagyu beef!

Margaux and Turkish chicken with walnut sauce

Margaux and Turkish chicken with walnut sauce

There’s nothing I love more than a surprise when it comes to food and wine pairing and I would not in a million years have predicted that a pukka Bordeaux would go with this exotic Turkish dish.

 Goosnargh duck and elderberries with a Canary Islands red

Goosnargh duck and elderberries with a Canary Islands red

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.

 Pumpkin ravioli and sparkling albarino

Pumpkin ravioli and sparkling albarino

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.

Peruvian-style scallops and Rioja rosado

Peruvian-style scallops and Rioja rosado

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.

Roast partridge and Pinot Noir

Roast partridge and Pinot Noir

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.

Anchovies and Txakoli

Anchovies and Txakoli

What pairing can I possibly I pick from a trip to San Sebastian, the most gastronomic city in Spain, possibly even in Europe?

Oysters and dry German riesling

Oysters and dry German riesling

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.

Aged Vouvray and wild boar terrine

Aged Vouvray and wild boar terrine

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.

 Black truffle and fontina pizza and Puligny Montrachet

Black truffle and fontina pizza and Puligny Montrachet

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

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