Pairings | Chips
Now that fish and chips can found in every posh fish restaurant, wine has become as popular a pairing as a nice cup of builders' tea (good though that is). But which one?
You might think egg and chips was too humdrum a dish to be paired with wine but not the way the Spanish make it.
My first meal of the new year was a Mexican which might sound unusual in London but not much is open on New Year’s Day. We went to Wahaca which has a number of restaurants around the capital with some good non-alcoholic drinks options.
There’s a long story behind this week’s match but it’s a good one so bear with me . . .
It was a bumper week for food pairings last week a number of which I’ll be flagging up elsewhere on the site and my Facebook page but I’ve gone for this very straightforward combination because its so simple to replicate at home
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.
A reminder this week of just what a perfect match champagne and fried fish is - with a twist. The fish was one of the cheapest of catches, the humble sprat.
One of the most enjoyable food and wine matches I’ve experienced was also the most serendipitous. The family were away, I was working on a book and staggered down half way through the evening to find the fridge virtually bare except for a half bottle of Krug, a half-empty packet of the kids’ fish fingers and some frozen spinach. Ten minutes later, the spinach well anointed with butter, the fish fingers grilled and the Krug poured I had the perfect supper.
Manzanilla, as you probably know, is a fino sherry made in the port of Sanlucar de Barrameda rather than in the cities of Jerez or Puerto de Santa Maria which gives it its characteristic salty tang.
Given the immense popularity of gin the chances of you sitting in a bar downing a gin-based cocktail are pretty high. But at some point you're going to need something to eat so what kind of food can you pair with it?
I was at the opening of TV chef Mitch Tonks' new fish restaurant in Bristol last week, Rockfish Grill. Normally they serve you bubbly on these occasions and there was some - an appealing Prosecco - but what caught my eye was an oyster stout that Mitch and a mate who owns the Albert Inn at Bridgetown, near Totnes had brewed up between them.
This month’s issue of Observer Food Monthly hasa special on TV dinners featuring celebrities talking about their favourite snacks. Very few beverages are mentioned so I thought I’d suggest a few pairings ;-)
There’s such an obvious wine match for lobster (great chardonnay) that you might wonder if it was worth considering anything else but there are other interesting alternatives.
Wheat beers are fabulously flexible when it comes to food matching - the beer world’s equivalent of a crisp white wine.
As with other grape varieties sauvignon blanc varies markedly from one part of the world to the other - from the crisp minerally wines of the Loire to the exuberant grassy herbaceous sauvignons of New Zealand's Marlborough region.
Last week I was in Manchester for lunch at the new Hawksmoor, a restaurant I can hardly review given it’s one of my son Will’s.
The usual bombardment of hearts and flowers that heralds Valentine’s Day is bound to make anyone who doesn’t have a Valentine feel a bit out of it. But there’s no reason not to enjoy yourself . . .