Pairings | Salsa
There’s a lot of talk about how the wines of a region tend to match its food but that seems truer of Tuscany than almost anywhere else.
Sauvignon blanc might not strike you as the obvious wine to pair with lamb but when it’s accompanied by a salsa verde, as it was in this dish we made at a cookery class at the Square Food Foundation* last week it can work really well.
Wine pairing is much more about the way you cook a dish and the sauce you serve with it than it is about the basic ingredient and so it proved with this week’s match at the recently opened Brackenbury.
English wine isn’t probably not the first bottle you’d reach for if you were serving a punchy salsa but on the basis of last week’s experiment maybe you should!
This menu was created as part of a series of pieces I wrote for Sainsbury's magazine. The idea was to invite your friends round for a wine tasting then all have a slap-up meal afterwards. This meal was based on a tasting of South American reds from Argentina and Chile but it would be just as fun to base it round Malbec (Malbec being the perfect wine for a steak).
My first meal of the new year was a Mexican which might sound unusual in London but not much is open on New Year’s Day. We went to Wahaca which has a number of restaurants around the capital with some good non-alcoholic drinks options.
We had a celebration dinner with old friends the other night at my favourite local restaurant Culinaria so cracked open a bottle of La Réserve de Léoville Barton 2004*, a St Julien and the second wine of Léoville Barton. It really was quite lovely - rich, plummy, velvety - at its peak but with a few more years to go. It was everything you want from red Bordeaux (unless you have bottomless pockets)
Monkfish is regularly referenced as a meaty fish you can pair with red wine, especially when it’s wrapped in pancetta but suppose you serve it with salsa verde instead as they did at the Seahorse al Mare pop-up in Dartmouth last week?
Last Friday night Helen, our designer, and I had a bit of a works outing to our colleague Monica Shaw's who works on the nuts and bolts of the website. She cooked up an amazing Mexican feast of which this was just one element but it was striking how much better the whole meal went with beer than with wine.
Although not the problem they're generally made out to be tomatoes do have an influence on a wine pairing.
If you’re not drinking for whatever reason - because you’re driving, pregnant or just taking a break - it’s sometimes difficult to find something that makes a good match for what you’re eating. Soft drinks can be sweet and sugary. Water sometimes too plain.