Pairings | Italian red
The best wine and beer pairings for pizza
Should you drink wine or beer with pizza? No rights or wrongs, obviously but here are a few thoughts which might encourage you to experiment.
The best wine pairings with meatballs
Meatballs are essentially comfort food so you don’t want to drink anything too fancy with them but you do need something equally delicious - usually red in my book
The best wine pairings for spaghetti puttanesca
Spaghetti puttanesca - or 'whore’s spaghetti' to translate it literally - is a full-flavoured pasta dish with strong, punchy flavours but which wine should you pair with it?
Top food pairings with Barbera
Barbera is a versatile red that will happily partner pretty well any meaty dish you throw at it. It is more robust and typically drunk younger than its Piedmontese counterparts Barolo and Barbaresco.
The best food pairings for Chianti and other Tuscan sangiovese
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.
The best food pairings for Barolo and Barbaresco
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.
Prawn tagliolini and Poggio San Polo Rosso di Montalcino
If there’s one thing you might think you could be sure of it would be that you should drink white wine with a seafood pasta dish like this. But, you know what? It was this silkily delicious red that went swimmingly.
Rigatoni with aubergine (eggplant), sausage and Zinfandel sauce
A really robust pasta dish from my book Cooking with Wine - perfect for cold weather eating. The wine gives a richer, more warming flavour than the usual tomato-based sauce.
Pairing wine and artichokes
Artichokes have the reputation of being a wine-killer but as with most of these diktats the problem is over-played. True, artichokes can make even dry whites taste oddly sweet but that doesn’t account for the different ways in which they are cooked and how they are served.
Chianti in magnum from Lidl
The more, er ... mature ... among you may remember when you went to an Italian restaurant and found a round straw-covered bottle of Chianti on the table, often with a guttering candle stuck in the neck and wax (always red) dripping down the side. It’s rather weirdly called a fiasco - which is Italian for flask as well as referring to a disaster. Like Brexit. Or Boris.
Spaghetti and meatballs and Nerello Mascalese
Spaghetti and meatballs is a really rich pasta dish you need to wash down with a refreshing red - preferably Italian.
Polenta with roasted courgettes, tomatoes and basil and Bardolino
After months of lockdown it’s been such a pleasure to return to favourite restaurants like Elliott and Tessa Lidstone’s Box-E and I couldn’t have had a more perfect day to enjoy it. The food too - especially this quintessentially summery dish of courgettes, tomatoes and basil with the lightest, fluffiest polenta - was just perfect for sitting outside on a hot day.
Wine and cheese: is natural wine the best match for unpasteurised cheese?
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.
Lamb and porcini kebabs with sage and parmesan
Maybe I've got a bit overexcited with all the sun this week but the barbecue season doesn't seem that far away so it was good to find Dan Vaux-Nobes' 101 BBQ and Grill recipes arriving through my letterbox.
Shake Shack burger and 2008 Quintarelli Primofiore
About the last thing you'd expect at the launch of a new burger joint is to be served a £59 bottle of wine. But then Danny Meyer, more famous for his New York fine dining spots, is no ordinary restaurateur.
Scallops, nduja and Frappato
Last week I went to a wine dinner hosted by the Sicilian wine producer Donnafugata at Luca in London. They’re best known for their fabulous passito di Pantelleria dessert wine, Ben Ryé, but in fact it was the cleverly partnered dry wines that stole the show.
Pasta arrabbiata with sangiovese
What happens when you choose a wine to pair with a particular dish and the dish doesn’t materialise? Well, if you’re lucky it matches equally well.
Fillet of beef with 2009 Pio Cesare Barolo
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.
Cacio e pepe and Frappato
I’ve never known quite what wine to pair with cacio e pepe, the fashionable pasta dish that’s just based on cheese (usually pecorino) and cracked pepper.
Mamma Lucinda’s Pizzoccheri
This recipe, the subject of my Match of the Week, was so delicious I've persuaded Christine Smallwood, whose lovely book An Appetite for Lombardy it comes from, to share it on the site.
Milk-fed lamb with Bolgheri Coronato 2011
Last week was a bumper week for wine pairing but setting aside the matches with older vintages of Pazo Senorans albarino at El Celler de Can Roca which were so mind-blowing they deserve a longer post, this is the one that stood out.
Pasta with pork, peas and lemon and bardolino
So often a wine takes us through several courses these days (which, of course, is a virtue) but I’m rather arbitrarily spotlighting just one dish on the menu we had at Sonny Stores in Bristol the other night as the ideal match for the Bardolino we were drinking.
Chicken musakhan and valpolicella ripasso
Not only did we celebrate the first of our Honey & Co Sunday wine clubs* yesterday but it also produced an outstanding match of the week: this savoury-sweet Palestinian chicken dish and a valpolicella ripasso.
Berry Bros & Rudd Brunello di Montalcino 2009
Brunello di Montalcino is normally way out of my price bracket but this own label bottling from Berry Bros & Rudd is such good value, it’s hard to resist.
Veal ravioli with barolo
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.
Cannelloni and Refosco
When did you last see cannelloni on a menu? It was one of my favourite dishes when I was growing up then it seemed to vanish into the mists of time so it’s good to see it back at the boys from the Clove Club’s new restaurant Luca.