The best wine - and other - pairings for leeks
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. There are some good ones in Wales.
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 website I stumbled across on Google or try this totally delicious Caerphilly and Leek Toastie from my friends at Trethowans Brothers.
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