Pairings | Italian whites
As we swelter through an unusually hot August here are my top wine pairings for one of my favourite summer foods, prawns - or shrimp as they’re known over the pond.
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.
Whenever anyone talks about foods that are difficult to match with wine, asparagus always comes up but I reckon the problem is overstated.
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.
Spaghetti carbonara - spaghetti with a creamy bacon and egg sauce - is one of my all-time favourite pasta dishes but what’s the best wine pairing for it?
What wine should you pair with your favourite pasta? As you might guess it depends on the sauce rather than the pasta shape.
Although not the problem they're generally made out to be tomatoes do have an influence on a wine pairing.
This past week has reminded me yet again what a great match Italian whites are for food. Their lack of obvious character means they tend not to stand out in a tasting but they explode into life with a dish.
Caerphilly - or, to be more precise - Gorwydd Caerphilly which is made by my mates Jess and Todd Trethowan of Trethowan's Dairy - is probably the cheese I know best. And there’s one absolutely outstanding match for it . . .
I was reminded just how spectacularly, unexpectedly good southern Italian whites can be by a Slow Food wine dinner the other night at Flâneur to celebrate the publication of the English edition of their restaurant guide Osterie & Locande d’Italia. It was hosted by Feudi di San Gregorio, the iconic winery from Campania whose wines I haven’t tried for a while.
One of the problems with choosing wine in a restaurant - especially if you're ordering for a crowd - is that you need to find a bottle that will go with a number of dishes but I find more often than not Italian whites come to the rescue.
Not that many people get past pinot grigio in their exploration of Italian whites but Falanghina (pronounced fal-an-ghee-na) is certainly one you should try.
Like other dishes the perfect wine match for risotto depends on the flavourings for the risotto rather than the rice itself - the lighter the dish, the ligher and fresher the wine.
If you’re after an inexpensive white to take you through the summer you need look no further than this smart Gavi from Aldi which they’re selling for the ridiculously low price of £4.99. £4.99! In fact I’d be hard-pushed to think of any Italian white that’s better value at under a fiver.
Odd though it sounds it's unusual to find a chef who's really knowledgeable about wine let alone one who's involved in creating his own list. Sam Harris of Zucca is one of the rare exceptions and the other day showed me some of the wines he's excited about.