Pairings | Mourvèdre
One of the tricky decisions to make when you’re serving a rich, winey stew is whether to go for a wine of equal weight or a lighter medium-bodied wine as a refreshing contrast.
The weather has been so absurdly autumnal this week that I cooked a substantial stew for friends on Saturday night, an intensely flavoured braise of beef short ribs (or pot au feu as our local butcher describes them) with plenty of lush, red wine (a Valdivieso Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley in Chile which is part of the Waitrose own label range).
We Brits have always had a reputation for liking our wines old and our game high but times have changed. Today the key factor in matching game tends to be not how ‘gamey’ it is but how it’s cooked and what is served with it.
One of the pleasures of being at our house in the Languedoc is diving into the cellar and fishing out old, overlooked bottles.
This is the perfect time of year for buying oranges and lemons but what effect do they have on the recipes you’re making? Quite a marked one, if truth be told. Lemons in particular have a high level of acidity which will make any wine you drink with them taste sweeter. If that’s counterbalanced in the recipe by sugar as in a lemon tart or lemon meringue pie, for example, the result is a dish that’s really quite hard to match.
Like salt, pepper has a pronounced effect on wine, often making reds taste softer and lusher than they otherwise would. Unlike salt though, you also find peppery flavours in wines such as Northern Rhône Syrah and Austrian Grüner Veltliner.
While I can usually find a great match for an individual cheese or for a careful selection it’s always a struggle to find a wine - particularly a red - that will take on all-comers. But I was reminded this weekend just how good a candidate mature Zinfandel is for this job. We found a bin end of Ridge’s Geyserville 2000 on the wine list of one of our favourite local restaurants at such a good price that we couldn’t resist it.
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?
The type of artisanal cheddar I was writing about yesterday - mature, full-flavoured, unpasteurised - isn’t the easiest cheese to match with wine.
I’ve argued before that whisky and beer are the best match for haggis but what if you prefer a wine? What colour and style work best?
Today is International Grenache Day, a celebration of a grape which is (often anonymously) responsible for some of the most generous and appealing reds in the wine world.
You might be surprised that a nut roast isn’t that different from a conventional roast when it comes to finding a wine pairing. The savoury flavours are designed to act as a satisfying substitute for meat and so work best with similarly full-bodied red wines.
Last week we returned to one of our much-loved haunts, Arles, and ate our way round some of our favourite restaurants (the ones that weren’t closed as a number mysteriously seemed to be at what you’d think was still peak holiday season).
Why has no-one had the genius idea of putting beef bourguignon into a pie before? Here's the recipe courtesy of the brilliant Ginger Pig Meat Book which I reviewed here.
We may have got rid of the old convention of white wine with fish and red wine with meat but you’d still expect to drink a light wine with a starter and a more robust wine with your main course, non? Well not when it’s tea-smoked duck as I discovered at a great meal at one of our local Bristol restaurants, Riverstation in Bristol last week.