Pairings | Beans
Like most wines made from red grapes Zinfandel comes in a number of styles from light and juicy to blockbuster ‘killer’ zins but they have a common thread of ripe brambly fruit and in most cases a richness that makes them a good match for red meat and other hearty dishes, especially those with a hit of smoked chilli.
Pulses such as beans are a good friend to the vegetarian winelover - their rich, mealy texture provides a similar foil as meat to a hearty full-bodied red.
If you think it’s difficult to pair wine and vegetarian food, think again. It’s no trickier than it is for those who eat meat or fish.
This was a question that popped up in our Matching Food & Wine Facebook group so I’ve included a couple of our members' suggestions but it’s well worth following the full thread
Vermentino is incredibly versatile - a brilliant wine pairing for anything fishy, herby or citrussy and a great wine for spring and summer drinking.
Rioja - and by that I mean red rioja - is one of the UK's best-loved wines and one of the easiest ones to match with food too.
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.
You may not be familiar with Carmenère but it's a delicious red at this chilly time of year.
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.
Anyone who has a passing knowledge of cassoulet will know that there are hotly disputed arguments about what constitutes the authentic version. But whichever way you make it it’s a substantial dish.
What nicer place is there to shop than an Italian deli and in Theo Randall's inspiring new book The Italian Deli Cookbook you can find out what to do with all those tempting ingredients you find there.
A smashing recipe from Chris and Jeff Galvin's Galvin: a Cookbook de Luxe which you could make to impress on Father's Day. It's one of those books that teaches you to cook like a Michelin-starred chef - so also a great present for any Dad who fancies himself in the kitchen.
Beans are one of the great underrated aids to matching full-bodied wines as I was reminded at the weekend when we combined a dish of pork and lima beans with a fine St-Joseph.
Last week’s highlight without a doubt was the meal I had with my Guardian colleagues at Brawn, Ed Wilson’s new restaurant in Columbia Road. As you may know it’s the new City outpost of the hugely popular wine bar Terroirs with a similar natural wine list which you can read about on my natural wine blog here.
It’s been so busy the last few weeks that good pairings have been coming thick and fast but this was a great match I enjoyed at an offbeat new occasional restaurant which was launched by food and wine writer Marc Millon in Topsham, Devon the other day. (He’s also contributed a couple of pieces to this site including this wonderful piece about Bagna Cauda)
Pulse-based soups like this black bean soup are super-comforting and warming in chilly weather. I rustled it up to use a batch of black beans my neighbour Jenny Chandler had given me and wouldn’t claim for a moment it's authentic but it is good!
A clever little recipe from Jack Monroe's brilliant new book Cooking on a Bootstrap which would be perfect for a shared student house or anyone on a tight budget.
If you’re used to choosing wine - or other drinks - to match with meat or fish you may be flummoxed when it comes to chosing one for vegetarian friends. But as I explain in my Guardian column today it’s a question of finding out how the wine is made - and in particular whether any animal-based products have been used in the fining process.
I don’t often get inspiration from chefs when it comes to food and wine pairing - you’d think they’d be into wine but they often aren’t - but Theo Randall’s suggestion of a super-Tuscan red with his dish of roast sausages with borlotti beans and nduja sauce was spot on.
As I mentioned in my last post our last lunch of the Oregon trip was at Cristom where sales director (no less!) John D'Anna cooked us a great meal. Here's how he did it and - where I have a link to them - the recipes he used. Try it!
There are very few occasions on which sausages don't appeal but what’s the best pairing for them?
As those of you who follow me on instagram (@food_writer) will know I’ve been in Venice for the past few days - and if I could would still be there!
If you've bough a bottle of English wine to celebrate St George's Day or English Wine Week you may be wondering what sort of food suits it best.
Lots of good food and wine combinations this week but I’m picking out the one with the most unusual wine: Barbeito's Rainwater 5 year old reserva medium-dry madeira which I had at Bell’s Diner in Bristol on Friday night
Last Friday night Helen, our designer, and I had a bit of a works outing to our colleague Monica Shaw's who works on the nuts and bolts of the website. She cooked up an amazing Mexican feast of which this was just one element but it was striking how much better the whole meal went with beer than with wine.
We went to a Portuguese evening at a local cafe, Tart in Bristol last week, which does a monthly supper club. The food was great, especially a main course of cozido, a substantial, saffron-laced stew of chicken, pork, chorizo and beans that would have actually made a meal in itself.
If you like the style of super-Tuscans but find the prices a bit steep the Tenuta Monteti wines, which are stocked by London merchant Lea & Sandeman, are for you.
Last week I was on an assignment in Tuscany for a couple of days. It was pretty hot but that didn’t discourage the Tuscans from serving the kind of food they enjoy all the year round - namely substantial bean and chickpea soups.
This, I think, was the standout pairing from our Honey & Co wine club on Sunday and a great illustration of the difference a dish can make to the way a wine tastes.
If you’re looking for a cheap all-purpose red after Christmas this old favourite from the Co-op should fit the bill.