Pairings | St Emilion
The best wines to pair with haggis
I’ve argued before that whisky and beer are the best pairings 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 £18-19 from independents including Alexander Hadleigh and Field & Fawcett.
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.
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