Match of the week

Beef tongue and dry oloroso sherry

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gratinated onion and sercial madeira

Gratinated onion and sercial madeira

If you eat in a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, as I did last week at Le Cinq at the George V in Paris, you’d expect the sommelier to come up with some pretty fantastic pairings with the food.

Smoked eel and alcohol-free lager

Smoked eel and alcohol-free lager

If you go to a Michelin-starred restaurant you probably don’t expect to drink alcohol-free beer but my meal at The Ninth last week which was hosted by the best-selling alcohol-free lager Lucky Saint demonstrated that it’s a surprisingly good option for anyone who’s not drinking

 Sweetbreads with mushrooms and Dog Point pinot noir

Sweetbreads with mushrooms and Dog Point pinot noir

One of the great pleasures of living in Bristol over the past 15 years has been the friendship I’ve struck up with chef Stephen Markwick and his wife Judy.

23 year old Chablis and crispy chicken wings

23 year old Chablis and crispy chicken wings

There were a couple of contenders for match of the week this week. I particularly enjoyed a gin and tonic with my king prawn coconut curry for a start but I’m going for this pairing as it’s always tricky to know what to drink with an very old wine.

Tagliatelle of raw cuttlefish and passerina

Tagliatelle of raw cuttlefish and passerina

Having spent most of our week in Abruzzo inland we seized the opportunity to have a meal at La Barcaccia a fish restaurant on the seafront at Pescara before flying back and this clever dish of cuttlefish ‘tagliatelle’ was one of the crudi (raw dishes) on the menu.

Grilled lamb with mustard glaze and a 25 year old Xinomavro

Grilled lamb with mustard glaze and a 25 year old Xinomavro

I’m conscious I don’t post as many red wine pairings as I should partly because I tend to drink white wine more often, particularly at this time of year but this was a really spectacular match at a Visit Greece lunch at Above at Hide last week held to promote the Greek wine trails.

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