The best wine - and other - pairings for leeks
March 1st is St David’s Day so what better to focus on than Wales’s national symbol, the leek? (Well they have daffodils and dragons too but I’m assuming you don’t want to eat either of those ... )
Leeks generally feature in dishes in their own right rather than as a side and have a mild sweet flavour you want to respect.
Here are my favourite pairings:
* Smooth dry white wines such as Chenin Blanc and unoaked or subtle oaked Chardonnay or Italian whites such as Gavi or Soave work with dishes that have a creamy texture or a light cheese sauce or leek dishes with eggs like a leek and cheese quiche. They’re also the type of wine I’d pick for a leek and potato soup or if I was serving leeks with salmon.
* Crisper whites such as Chablis, Albarino, Vermentino and citrussy Sauvignon Blancs are good with other fish dishes or where the leeks are served in a salad such as leeks vinaigrette. I wouldn’t pick a more grassy, gooseberryish style of Sauvignon like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which tends to overpower leeks’ delicate flavour
* An afterthought, following the comment below. Alsace Sylvaner - always good with light vegetable dishes. Or a fruity but not oversweet riesling.
A dry to medium dry cider or perry generally matches most leek dishes
I’m not a big fan of red wine with leeks - neither the red fruits or tannin seem to work with their delicate oniony flavour but if you were serving them in a lamb stew I’d probably go for a basic red burgundy or other inexpensive pinot noir.
Incidentally if you’re a leek fan there are some pretty inventive recipes on this British leeks page I stumbled across on Google or try this totally delicious Caerphilly and Leek Toastie from my friends at Trethowans Dairy.
Image © juefraphoto - Fotolia.com
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