Match of the week
Brined smoked pork and refosco
It’s always a toss-up whether to drink red or white wine with pork. I normally go for white but I really liked this combination of a brined smoked pork chop with a light(ish), slightly smoky refosco at Casa in Bristol the other night.
Spicy spam and Mosel riesling
I can’t say spam is high up on my list of things to eat let alone pair with wine but in New York last week I discovered a brilliant match for it at a quirky Hawaiian Lower East Side restaurant called Noreetuh
Braised cuttlefish and artichokes with orange wine
This week’s match of the week was a toss up between this pairing of orange wine and braised cuttlefish at Emilia in Ashburton and a delicious tuna and crab taco with a cracking margarita at Zapote in Shoreditch but I reckoned you know that tacos (fishy ones especially) are great with margaritas and it’s always a struggle to know what to drink with artichokes.
Oysters with gazpacho and godello
I love oysters but generally find myself ordering the usual suspects with it from a wine list so am also super-pleased to find a new pairing.
Sesame prawn toasts and Ortega
English wine might not be the first thing you’d think of pairing with prawn toasts - more likely something like a riesling but at the Caravel restaurant in London the other night it just hit the spot.
Chocolate and orange cake and Chateau Climens
I’ve always considered Sauternes is too delicate a wine to pair with chocolate unless it’s accompanied by something like passionfruit with which it chimes in but it turns out if the wine is old enough - and good enough - it can handle even a chocolate cake.
Beef tongue and dry oloroso sherry
I’ve been sitting on this pairing (not literally) for a couple of weeks now but thought I’d bring it out for Sherry Week so you can try something like it yourself
Cod pot au feu and Beaujolais
Beaujolais cuisine is typical old-school bistro food - so it was no surprise to find on my recent trip that it sailed through the charcuterie, andouillette and oeufs en meurette. But I had rarely had it with fish so I found this pairing with a cod pot-au-feu at Georges Blanc’s brasserie Le Rouge et Le Blanc at the Hôtel lea Maritonnes particularly interesting.
Prosecco and burrata
I wonder how many people think about food when they’re drinking prosecco. Not many, I suspect. Given the comparative sweetness of most bottles I certainly tend to think in terms of sweet dishes as much as savoury ones as you can see from this post. Teatime seems to me the perfect occasion to drink it.
Crab with kombucha
It’s hard to pick out just one pairing from the alcohol-free menu I had at La Dame de Pic in London the other night - the 2 Michelin starred restaurant run by Anne-Sophie Pic. I can honestly say I didn’t miss alcohol during the meal. The pairings, which were devised by head sommelier Elise Merigaud, were perfectly suited to Pic’s light, supremely elegant food.
Monkfish and Meursault - and Muscadet, come to that
One of the best restaurants to enjoy well thought out food and drink pairings is Trivet in London which comes as no great surprise when you learn that the two partners - Jonny Lake and Isa Bal - worked at one of the UK’s most famous restaurants, The Fat Duck.
Roast pork with an alcohol-free IPA
One of the hardest things if you’re not drinking for any reason is finding a grown-up drink that will work in a restaurant without leaving you feeling that you’re not having as good a time as everyone else. And as I’ve said before beer is much better in this respect than wine.
Sauvignon blanc and salsa verde
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.
Spicy beef and Barbera d'Asti
Barbera wouldn’t have been the wine I’d have generally turned to with a beef dish that came accompanied by a spicy Thai relish but it worked surprisingly well.
Miso and malt whisky
I’ve been away in Scotland for a couple of weeks and seem to been drinking more beer and whisky than wine but the standout pairing was with an innovative dish at The Macallan distillery of fermented barley with a confit egg yolk and caramelised yeast which was like a savoury marmitey risotto. (Much tastier than it looks in my particularly rubbish photo).
Spanish ham and orange wine
There were other dishes on the table* - but it was the jamon de Teruel, a lesser known ham from Aragon in Spain, that was the standout pairing with the orange wine I was drinking last week.
Peaches, burrata and white vermouth
I knew that peaches and burrata were a perfect pairing but what to drink with them?
Bacchus and coriander salsa
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!
Roast monkfish with girolles and Kalimna cabernet/shiraz
If an Australian cabernet-shiraz is the last wine you’d think of pairing with fish here’s why it worked at a recent lunch that Penfolds hosted at Trivet in London
Camembert-style cheese and amphora-aged Bacchus
I’ve long felt that white wine is as good, if not a better match for cheese than red but it takes chutzpah to serve it at the end of a wine dinner as Mark Hix and Rob Corbett of Castlewood Vineyard did at an event I took part in last week at The Fox Inn at Corscombe