Match of the week
Pork scratchings and Nyetimber 2006
This may be a mystifying pairing to those of you who don't live in the UK but bear with me ....
Pork scratchings are deep-fried pork skin - a popular pub snack but this is crackling with a difference - a gourmet nibble devised by three Old Etonians, food writer and TV personality Matthew Fort, food writer Tom Parker-Bowles who just happens to be the son of the Duchess of Cornwall, and Rupert Ponsonby, Gloucestershire farmer, landowner and immensely posh PR.
Together they have come up with Mr Trotter's Great British Pork Crackling - a product of outrageous fattiness, saltiness and pigginess that feels like picking at a particularly delicious pork belly joint.
What to drink with it? Well I had hoped a beer, specifically the rather elegant Deus a champagne-style Belgian beer made with champagne yeast. But, fine though it is, it was too sweet. The Duchy Originals Organic Golden Ale, made for Parker Bowles father-in-law, was a better match but seemed a tad pedestrian.
What really worked though - and how appropriate - was Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2006, one of Britain's best sparkling wines, indistinguishable, in the view of many, from top champagne.
It's a fine, full-bodied fizz but is elevated to another level if sipped with Mr Trotter's.
The kind of thing you want - and I'm sure you'll find in a few months' time - in room service in the poshest UK hotels.
Disclaimer: I should make it clear that I'm not entirely impartial in this matter. Matthew was at one stage my commissioning editor on The Guardian. And I'm rather fond of Rupe. But that doesn't detract from the fact that the match is a brilliant one.
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