Pairings | Garnacha
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.
The thing you need to ask yourself when you’re wondering which wine - or other drink - to pair with Mexican food is what kind of Mexican. Authentic Mexican or Tex Mex?
I came across this exuberant garnacha when I was tasting wine at Lea & Sandeman in Notting Hill the other day and it struck me as the most incredible bargain at £8.95 (or £8.25 if you’re buying a case).
Marks & Spencer might not be the first place you think of looking for a wine bargain but their Terrenal garnacha from the Cariñena region of Spain is an absolute steal.
If you think of grenache or garnacha as its known in Spain as a rich sense full-bodied red that often hits 15% you need to try this wonderfully vibrant juicy example from Valencia which falls into the category of what Aussies are calling a ‘bright and crunchy’ style of grenache*. (And it’s only 13.5%)
In some cases it doesn’t matter what form an ingredient takes, if it’s present in a dish it dominates the match. So Claire Thomson of 5 o’clock apron’s innovative beef cheek and black rice arancini which she brought to a (very soggy) outdoor picnic last week hosted outside by wine importer Carte Blanche was just as good a pairing with a grenache as braised beef cheek would have been. In fact the dark nutty rice added an extra dimension which made it even more interesting.
If you’re a bit hesitant about the idea of matching fish and red wine you might automatically think of pairing paella with a white wine. But I think it goes just as well with a rosé or a red.
If I saw this wine on a supermarket shelf I wouldn’t pick it up. There’s the name for a start, which sounds like something a marketing department has invented
Frankly almost any full-bodied red will work with a roast meat like venison but I’m particularly excited about the new breed of modern Spanish reds that are appearing on the shelves.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about ingredients that cause problems for wine and have come to the conclusion that lemon is one of the major culprits. Of course we add lemon to many things for a subtle lift - I’m talking about recipes where lemoniness (if there is such a word) is the essence of the dish.
If you like a bit of a project make Richard Turner's beef rendang this weekend - one of his favourite recipes, he tells me, from his brilliant new book PRIME.
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.
A fair bit gets written - including by yours truly - about pairing wine with turkey but what type of drinks go best with the Christmas ham?
The idea of drinking sparkling wine with Indian street food might seem crazy but it’s a really good pairing as I was reminded last night when I dined at Masala Zone just off Carnaby Street with Warren Edwardes, the CEO of a company called Wine for Spice.
As the weather is finally turning warmer we thought we had better clear the freezer of winter ingredients so last night my husband pot-roasted a couple of pigeons we’d picked up on the cheap. Unusually we didn’t have any red wine left over so we cracked open a bottle of Torres Sangre de Toro, a sound but not overly exciting Garnacha and Cariñena-based Spanish red.
Today’s Guardian column was all about getting out of your wine drinking rut which in the case of Spanish wine most likely means Rioja.
I was reminded about my trip to Priorat almost exactly two years ago by my recent visit to the Roussillon which has a similar terroir. And I think the wines would go with similar kinds of food. These were my suggested pairings at the time . . .
A warming wintry recipe from José Pizarro's Catalonia - the perfect dish to cook as the nights draw in.
This impressive Moroccan-style pie from Josceline Dimbleby's food memoir Orchards in the Oasis would make a great centrepiece for a dinner party or more casual supper with friends.
If you fancy a proper US-style barbecue this weekend try this brilliantly easy recipe from chef Brad McDonald's book Deep South: New Southern Cooking