Pairings | Charcuterie
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.
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.
Last week I had lunch at my new favourite London hangout, the wine bar Terroirs which is run by a partnership including the quirky and original Caves de Pyrène. It's a place that you'll absolutely love if you're a Francophile: it feels just like a Parisien wine bar - without the surly service. The food is also cracking but as we'd resolved to kick off the new year by splitting a Vacherin Mont d'Or, as you can read on my cheese blog The Cheeselover, we didn't get a chance this time to sample chef Ed Wilson's robust bistro food.
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.
Despite the emphasis that winemakers place on the different crus or terroirs of Chablis three factors seem to me to influence a food match more than any other for most of the Chablis you’ll taste - the age of the wine, the vintage and the degree of oak influence, if any.
Usually this feature focusses on less familiar wine pairings but sometimes you can’t beat a tried and trusted combination.
There was a time, about 10 years ago, when I wrote a lot about Merlot which was widely regarded as wine world’s alternative to Chardonnay - an easy drinking red wine that went with almost any meal.
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.
Although Bordeaux produces some of the most expensive wines in the world it also produces bottles that are great for everyday drinking. So what kind of food pairs best with them?
Malbec is getting so popular it may have become one of your favourite reds but what are the best kind of dishes to eat with it?
Beaujolais - by which I mean red Beaujolais - is the most French of wines, the perfect wine pairing for a picnic or bistro meal.
None of you, I’m sure, can have failed to notice just how many different bottles of rosé are now available on the average supermarket shelf. From being purely a summer wine there are now rosés for almost every type of food and occasion.
Like any other red South Africa's Pinotage comes in different styles - some lighter and fruitier than others. When you're matching it with food you take a cue from the sort of ingredients and dishes that go with its two ancestors - Pinot Noir and Cinsault.
Pinot noir is one of the most versatile red wines to match with food and a great option in a restaurant when one of you is eating meat and the other fish.
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.
I’ve already written about how well game terrine pairs with oloroso sherry. Now I’ve discovered an equally good, if not better pairing: London Dry Gin.
Last week we spent 24 hours in Cheltenham, mainly to eat at Le Champignon Sauvage about which I’ll be posting a review tomorrow. We also had lunch at a pub/bistro I’d heard good things about called the Royal Well Tavern which has this year been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and recently picked up a glowing review from the Observer’s restaurant critic, Jay Rayner
As I mentioned in my Guardian column this week I’m slightly disenchanted with the Languedoc’s signature grape variety Picpoul which isn’t nearly the good value it once was but Grangette’s is one I rather like.
If you’re after a bright, fruity, sunshine-filled red to carry you through the dark, dreary days of winter you couldn't do better than this delicious Côtes du Rhône.
They say that the best wine is the bottle that’s empty at the end of the evening and so it proved with this light Chilean red which I shared with my neighbours the other night.
This week Bristol finally has its own natural wine bar*, Bar Buvette which has been opened by a local chef, Peter Taylor who runs one of my favourite places in France, the Auberge de Chassignolles.
A re-run of an old post following a visit to Alsace, updating my recommendations on the best pairings for the region's dry and off-dry white wines.
A couple of years ago I went to a chutney-making demonstration and tasting. No, not at the WI - it was held by the family owned company Tracklements at leading London cheesemonger La Fromagerie which has recently expanded its empire into the neighbouring shop and now has a fancy new tasting room.
Provence rosé has a particular character. It’s much crisper and drier than most rosés on the market, more like a white wine than a rosé - though within this style there are variations between the lighter, less expensive wines or ‘vins de soif’ and the more structured ones, which the local refer to as ‘vins de gastronomie’.
Last week I was travelling back through France again and encountered a number of interesting matches but the one that worked best for me was in a modern bistro by the covered market in Besançon called La Table des Halles.
I still remember my visit to the great Oktoberfest in Munich, the world’s biggest beer festival. Mysteriously it’s not held in October at all - or rather it doesn’t start in October but in September - kicking off next weekend.
I’ve lost track of the number of times my wine of the week has been a pinot noir but hell, I’ve been in Burgundy this week so what else could I recommend?