Pairings | Saint-Emilion
The best wines to pair with haggis
I’ve argued before that whisky and beer are the best match for haggis but what if you prefer a wine? What colour and style work best?
Haggis is quite a funky-tasting meat - a bit like a savoury, spicy sausage - so I think red wine is a better match than white. I’ve found big jammy reds such as Australian shiraz work well (there is appropriately enough one called Bobbie Burns shiraz (available for about £15-£16 from independents including Alexander Hadleigh and Old Butcher's Wine Cellar.
Northern Rhône syrah and grenache/syrah/mourvèdre (GSM) blends from the southern Rhône, the Languedoc and Australia are also good matches, especially if they have a year or two’s bottle age.
Robust ‘natural’ reds (i.e. wines made with wild yeasts and low levels of - if any - sulphur) are also a good choice though again I’d go for syrah rather than lighter gamay or pinot noir. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t drink an orange wine (a white wine made like a red by leaving the juice in contact with the skins) either. It would match the colour of the neeps (swede) after all ;-)
Traditionalists, as I've discovered from past Burns’ night dinner's go for claret - but then they tend to like Bordeaux with anything and everything meaty. I’d pick a more full-bodied Saint-Emilion rather than a more elegant left bank claret. I personally think rioja or, even better, Ribera del Duero is a better match.
Pure carignan, which has become increasingly popular is a good partner for haggis too. I like the old vine carignans which are made by a number of producers in the Maule region of Chile under the VIGNO label
And finally I’d be more than happy to drink a Zinfandel - again, especially one made from old vines.
Image © exclusive-design on fotolia.com
If you found this post useful and were happy to get the advice for free perhaps you'd think about donating towards the running costs of the site? You can find out how to do it here or to subscribe to our regular newsletter click here.