Pairings | Pinot grigio
You may think tasting wine sounds arduous but a major wine and food tasting, I assure you, is a much greater assault on the system as I was reminded the other day when Victoria Moore of The Guardian and I ran 14 Pinot Gris through their paces with foods that ranged from smoked eel to chicken tikka masala. Neither of us was able to eat much for several days.
It's always a struggle to think of something quick and delicious to make for a mid-week supper. This easy Italian-inspired recipe from my book Cooking With Wine solves the problem.
The news that pinot grigio has leapfrogged merlot to become the third most popular grape variety in the US is confirmation that, despite its critics, it’s gaining rather than losing fans.
The last two days have been quite, quite beautiful, starting mistily, basking midday in an unseasonally warm sun and finishing with an extended dusk that announces that spring is finally here. I immediately want to eat lighter meals: the new season’s vegetables are not quite in yet but I can at least plan for summer and that means a spring clean of the cellar, pushing the full bodied reds to the back and assessing what whites, lighter reds and rosés I still have lurking in the racks.
Whenever anyone talks about foods that are difficult to match with wine, asparagus always comes up but I reckon the problem is overstated.
Spaghetti carbonara - spaghetti with a creamy bacon and egg sauce - is one of my all-time favourite pasta dishes but what’s the best wine pairing for it?
If anyone still needs convincing about the virtues of food and wine matching Mark Hix’s fresh seasonal recipes in The Independent today should convince them. Even the ‘drink what you like with the food you like’ brigade would have to admit that a voluptuous Meursault or oak-aged white Bordeaux would totally overwhelm the flavours of raw food.
Turkish food is not traditionally accompanied by wine. And although the Turks do have a wine industry not much of it makes its way over here. But here are some thoughts on possible pairings for Mark Hix's Turkish inspired recipes in the Independent this weekend"
Summer is the perfect time of year to eat crab so why not try out your wine pairing skills and work out which wines you'd match with these eight different crab dishes. My own suggestions below . . .
It does of course depend on how you make your spaghetti alle vongole - the classic Italian dish of spaghetti with white wine and clams - but in my book, the answer is simple: a young, unoaked, Italian white wine.
As you might imagine it doesn’t make any difference what shape of pasta you’re dealing with, what counts with wine is the flavour of the sauce. There are too many to mention, but here are the main types you’re likely to come across.
Although we wine writers like to think we might be able to encourage you to be more adventurous in your wine choices this Christmas the truth is you’re probably going to stick to the wines you're familiar with.
Asking which wine to pair with salad is a bit like asking about what wine to match with meat or fish. There's no single answer. It depends on the vegetables you use, what other ingredients it contains and what type of dressing you use.
Like other dishes the perfect wine match for risotto depends on the flavourings for the risotto rather than the rice itself - the lighter the dish, the ligher and fresher the wine.
A lot of chefs - particularly male chefs - don't really get salads, making them either an afterthought or wildly, elaborately fussy. Mark Hix of the Independent is an exception - his are always simple but imaginative, reflecting the season perfectly. Here are my matches for his recipes in the Independent this weekend.
If you haven't yet worked out what to drink tomorrow (which is February 14th, if you need reminding!) here are a few suggestions to match popular Valentine's Day foods.
As we head into the second half of August here are my top pairings for one of my favourite summer foods, prawns - or shrimp as they’re known over the pond.
One of the best hot weather dishes, this piquant dish of cold poached or roast veal with a tuna, anchovy and caper mayonnaise invariably pops up on menus at this time of year. But what to drink with it?
I wouldn’t have thought of proferring wine pairings for garlic cheesy bread had I not stumbled across the fact that it was the most repinned image on Pinterest. Exceeding even sparkly toes!
Should you drink wine or beer with pizza? No rights or wrongs, obviously but here are a few thoughts which might encourage you to experiment.
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.
Mark Hix may have been knocking back the tequila on his recent trip to Mexico but if you’re not made of such stern stuff try my alternative suggestions for his Mexican-inspired recipes in the Independent today.
My friend cookery writer Andrea Leeman is one of the best home cooks I know with a knack of making even the simplest food taste utterly delicious.
“Can you come up with a tastier, more satisfying, more consensual dish than calamari fritti?” asks restaurateur and Guardian columnist Yotam Ottolenghi in the paper today. Well, it’s a tough call but his other mouthwatering recipes would certainly run it close. Ottolenghi’s food is full of flavour and therefore quite a challenge for any accompanying wine but here’s what I would choose.
If there’s one dish more difficult to pair with wine than already tricky tomatoes it’s gazpacho, the chilled Spanish summer soup that includes raw onion and peppers as well. So what wine should you match with it?
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.
Since goats cheese and Sauvignon Blanc are such a great match it might seem redundant to think of anything else but despite its reputation for being . . . well . . . goaty, goats cheese is easy to pair with other wines.
Although not the problem they're generally made out to be tomatoes do have an influence on a wine pairing.
As with most salads Caesar salad is all about the dressing which on the face of it sounds tricky, anchovies being notoriously difficult to match with wine.
I’m a huge fan of Nigel Slater’s. I buy the Observer every week just to read his recipes. Yes, I know I could read them online (as you can here) but you don’t get the luscious Jonathan Lovekin photographs. Not that you need them. Slater’s prose is so evocative you can taste the recipe as you read.
You might think sushi would be tricky to match with wine but surprisingly that’s not the case. And there are other drinks that work too . . .
Now that we're back into months with an 'r' in them it's time to enjoy oysters again. But what’s the best wine - or beer - to pair with them?
Cuttlefish is a pain to prepare as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall points out in the Guardian today but it is particularly delicious to eat. It’s often partnered with robust flavours so you need to think in terms of equally intense flavoured wines.
With its intense citrussy flavour ceviche - marinated raw fish - is a tricky dish to pair with wine.
I was beginning to think we’d managed to skip winter this year before last week’s icy blasts and snow came as a timely reminder we’ve got a good few weeks to go yet. So there’s still time to enjoy one of winter’s great favourites - a Swiss cheese fondue.