Pairings | Barolo
The food of Piedmont in north-west Italy is as highly regarded as its wines so it makes sense to make the local dishes your first choice if you’re looking for a match for a bottle of Barolo or Barbaresco.
Beef and red wine is a blindingly obvious match but it gets more interesting once you think about the cut and the way that it's cooked.
Italian wines with olive oil-based dishes, Bordeaux with butter-based ones. Sound like a no-brainer? Well, yes, if you happen to be in either region: you obviously drink the local wine with the local food. But just think for a moment about today’s top international restaurants.
This wasn’t the most innovative wine pairing I came across in the last 7 days but it was such a classic I couldn’t fail to make it my match of the week.
An hour and a half on matching fine wine and chocolate and every pairing a winner? Impossible I would have said. But in the experienced hands of Roberto Bava, not only a winemaker but the President of the Italian chocolate society, the Compagnia del Ciccolatto, the tasting ran as smoothly as clockwork.
Beef Wellington is real treat and deserves an equally indulgent wine to set it off. It is however less robustly flavoured than a steak or rib roast of beef with other key ingredients such as mushrooms and pastry which offset the flavour of the meat. For me that tends to indicate pinot rather than cabernet but take your pick
I sometimes think partridge is my favourite game bird - less full-on and ‘gamey’ than pheasant, more subtle and delicate than chicken. But what to drink with it?
As a chef friend who recently took over a farm had some geese to get rid of we had goose for our main Christmas meal this year - stuffed somewhat improbably with hay (long story. Not such a good idea!)
Talking about wine matches for risotto is a bit like talking about wine with pasta - it’s depends on the other ingredients you use, not the rice.
If you think of the ingredients that show off a great wine mushrooms would have to be near the top of the list.
If you’ve decided to serve goose rather than turkey this Christmas you’ve already opted to be adventurous. So you could arguably be adventurous about your choice of drink too.
Even if not well-hung, as it rarely is these days, pheasant has a stronger flavour than other feathered game such as partridge or duck. And older, tougher birds are often braised or pot-roasted which calls for a more robust wine match still.
There’s one wine that’s invariably recommended as a pairing for duck and that is Pinot Noir but of course duck, like any other meat, can be cooked in different ways. How does that affect the match?
Vermouth probably isn't the first thing you would think of pairing with cheese but this combination I enjoyed at our local wine bistro Flinty Red in Bristol the other night was just dazzling.
The last few days I’ve been eating and drinking my way around Piedmont - the perfect time of year as the region’s fabled white truffles are in season.
Of all the meals we had on my 3 day visit to Piemonte this week Trattoria della Posta was the best. It’s not that the food was different (Piemontese cuisine has a limited repertoire), simply that it was perfectly executed.
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.