Match of the week | Roast grouse and saperavi

Match of the week

Roast grouse and saperavi

I’m not sure how many of you actually eat grouse - I’m not sure I would if I didn’t have a chef friend who loves to cook it. As a result I get to have a grouse dinner every year and this year’s was last week.

It came accompanied by an avalanche of veggies (I counted five including beetroot, red cabbage, runner beans, new potatoes and watercress) as well as bread sauce and crab apple jelly. Usually gravy too although Stephen (Markwick) had decided that might be overdoing things in terms of richness. We also had crisps rather than the traditional game chips which is a useful shortcut and entirely justified given how good crisps are these days.

We’ve worked through all the usual suspects winewise (Bandol being a particular favourite) so I thought I’d take along a bottle of the Orgo saperavi I’d just bid for in the Bid for Beirut fundraiser following the horrific explosion there a few weeks ago.

Saperavi is Georgia's main red grape and the wine was fermented in qvevri, the clay amphoras which is the traditional way of making wine in the country.

Given it was from the 2018 vintage it was still a little young but the dark, damsony fruit was spot on with the grouse and the intense flavours of the beetroot and cabbage. An older vintage - and it does age well - would have been perfect. You can buy it in the UK from Roberson Wine and NY Wines for about £20 a bottle.

I’m thinking orange wine would work too. Shall have to try that next year!

For other grouse pairings see Must grouse pairings be classic? and how to cook it, following Stephen's method, here.

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