Pairings | Beaujolais
Beaujolais - by which I mean red Beaujolais - is the most French of wines, the perfect wine pairing for a picnic or bistro meal.
To celebrate summer we have the perfect case of wine and hamper to enjoy over what we hope will be the sunny days ahead. THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
With the unseasonally warm weather showing no signs of a let-up it’s time to revisit the classic combination of French charcuterie and Beaujolais - perfect for picnics and other outdoor eating.
The celebrations of the new release of Beaujolais Nouveau are a bit of a damp squib these days. After all many 2013 wines from the southern hemisphere have been out for a good couple of months now. Why should we make a fuss about a wine that frankly isn’t even that good?
With southern hemisphere wines from the 2016 vintage having been on the shelves for a few months now the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau has become less significant but you may still want to crack open a bottle today.
I’m embarrassed to admit that until last week I’d never been to Beaujolais - it was the one French wine region that had passed me by. I’d heard it was attractive and even on a bleak early March day it was - the famous villages are clustered improbably closely together in the middle of pretty, rolling countryside, spiked by soaring church towers.
We decided some time ago we were going to drink Beaujolais with our turkey in memory of the late Marcel Lapierre who very sadly died back in September. I thought his vibrant fruity 2009 Morgon would be ideal with the classic Christmas feast and so it proved to be, mirroring the tartness and fruitiness of the cranberry sauce.
Now here’s an unexpected match. I would be wary of pairing a Beaujolais - even a Morgon - with something as sweet as a lamb tagine with dried fruits thinking it would make the wine taste slightly sharp but the combination worked perfectly.
This was a wine pairing I hadn’t thought of putting together before but once experienced last week at Racine it seemed supremely logical.
I’ve been so busy catching up after my Alsace trip that I haven’t had much time for new food and wine discoveries but here’s one we had at Les Temps Changent in Chalons-en-Champagne, a hotel we frequently stop at to break the journey through France.
A simple lunch of quiche from leftovers thrown together from the fridge turned into a feast with a glass of Claire and Fabien Chasselay's Fleurie La Chapelle des Bois, an organic Beaujolais from the excellent 2009 vintage.
A muggy evening in mid-July might seem an odd occasion to focus on wine and game matching but there were two reasons for last night’s Louis Jadot game dinner and the Westminster Kingsway catering college. One is that they hoped to engage the attention of consumer magazines who work 4-6 months ahead in terms of feature planning and the second is that the Game-to-Eat campaign is trying to encourage us all to think of eating game year round.
I always think it’s misleading to describe pork as a ‘white meat’. Strictly that's accurate, I suppose, but ‘whiteness’ somehow seems to suggest lack of flavour.
I’ve done a fair few cheese and wine tastings in my time but none quite as challenging as the one I did at the RAW natural wine fair last year matching natural wine with unpasteurised cheese.
About the most daunting audience that anyone could face is a group of wine writers, especially if a number of those happen to specialise in food and wine matching so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to lead a tasting on wine and charcuterie in London on Monday night on the eve of the London International Wine Fair.
If you're serving a ham or gammon as a roast this Christmas you need a more substantial wine with it than when you serve ham as a cold cut. Which one depends on the glaze.
Roast chicken. Possibly everyone’s favourite Sunday roast. It can take a red or a white wine so the key thing to focus on is what flavourings - or stuffing - you put with it and the sides you serve.
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?
And by paté I’m thinking of rough country patés and terrines like a paté de campagne rather than fish patés or vegetarian patés which I’ll tackle separately. The sort that you might take on a picnic or eat in a wine bar.
Usually this feature focusses on less familiar wine pairings but sometimes you can’t beat a tried and trusted combination.
Wine writer Stuart Walton casts a sceptical eye over accepted wisdom:
If you haven't yet decided how to cook your Thanksgiving turkey try this fabulous Italian stuffing from ex-pat American food and wine writer Brian St Pierre.
Like many of the best recipes this came about by accident. I bought a box of free-range organic pork and didn’t have enough room for it all in the freezer so left out 4 thick slices of pork belly ...
I made this simple, classic French one-pot meal down in the Languedoc in April last year - proof that a stew hits the spot at what can still be a chilly time of year.
With Chinese new year coming up this weekend you may be planning a trip to a Chinese restaurant or planning a Chinese meal at home. But which wine to serve?
Should it be wine or beer - or even a cocktail? Last year I asked the Twitter community what their favourite barbecue bevvy was and this is what they came up with . . .
Coronation chicken has been given a new lease of life by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations but what wine - or beer - should you pair with it?
Sunday marked not only the start of the Chinese New Year but the Vietnamese New Year celebrations too - known as Tet. As in China there are certain foods which are traditional to the occasion such as pickled vegetables and candied fruits, none of which are particularly wine-friendly but in general I find Vietnamese food, with its milder heat and fragrant herbal flavours easier to match than Thai (although I haven’t had such extensive experience of doing so).
The answer to that may well be ‘whatever wine’s left over’ - if there is any, of course - but if you’re looking for a wine that will match specific dishes here are a few ideas:
Since goats cheese and Sauvignon Blanc are such a great match it might seem redundant to think of anything else but despite its reputation for being . . . well . . . goaty, goats cheese is easy to pair with other wines.
It’s true that lamb is one of the most wine-friendly of meats, as at home with red Bordeaux and Rioja as it is with the fruitier wines of the new world. But if you’re looking for a spot-on match it’s worth thinking just how - and for how long - you’re going to cook it.
With Wimbledon in full swing, I’m sure you’ll be enjoying a bowlful or two of strawberries this week. But what to drink with them?
This week is National Pie Week in the UK - not that we Brits need much encouragement to eat pies. But which is the better match - wine or beer?
Having spent a few days in the Auvergne recently and eaten more than my fair share of Saint Nectaire cheese with a variety of wines, mostly natural, here’s what I think works best.
Today (May 29th) is bizarrely National Coq au Vin day (who on earth decides these things?) and here, on cue, are four of my favourite wine pairings for this classic French dish.
The idea of doing a post on wine matches with brussels sprouts might strike you as a tad over the top - after all who eats sprouts on their own? (Answer: me. Whenever I get the chance.)
Asking which wine is the best match for Chinese food is a bit like looking for the best match for European food - it in no way reflects the diversity of Chinese cuisine.
One of the world's most popular cheeses Brie can be mild and slightly chalky or decadently gooey and quite strong in flavour. Try one of these top wine and other matches:
Pork belly has become one of the most popular main courses on restaurant menus so what should you drink with it? It doesn't have to be wine . . .
You may well know what you’re going to drink with the turkey by now but here are some ideas for what to match with your Christmas starters, paired with recipes from some of Britain’s favourite chefs and cookery writers.
Vegetarians often get overlooked at this time of year so if you’re vegetarian yourself or cooking for one here are some perfect pairings for some delicious festive recipes from the web.
A fair bit gets written - including by yours truly - about pairing wine with turkey but what type of drinks go best with the Christmas ham?
One of the most irritating recommendations you find on wine labels is ‘Drink with chicken’. Which kind do they mean - a simply roast bird or a coq au vin? A chicken salad or a Thai chicken curry? Chicken is such a neutral meat it depends entirely on the way that it’s cooked and the other flavours in the dish.
Epoisses has to be one of the most difficult cheeses to match, not least when it gets to the almost liquid stage shown in this photo (a stage too far IMHO)
I’m always undecided as to whether I prefer red wine or white with roast chicken but of course it depends on the accompaniments and the time of year.