Pairings | Berries
I’m sure you’re enjoying a bowlful or two of strawberries at this time of year. But what to drink with them?
If you're planning a special meal for Valentine's Day you may be wondering which wine to pair with your menu. I've picked some favourite Valentine's Day foods and suggested some matches that should work well with them.
If you’re planning a Pancake Day celebration for Tuesday and haven’t yet decided what to drink here are few ideas.
Provence rosé has a particular character. It’s much crisper and drier than most rosés on the market, more like a white wine than a rosé - though within this style there are variations between the lighter, less expensive wines or ‘vins de soif’ and the more structured ones, which the local refer to as ‘vins de gastronomie’.
Sauternes is a famously luscious sweet wine from the Bordeaux region of France but what kind of food should you pair with it?
None of you, I’m sure, can have failed to notice just how many different bottles of rosé are now available on the average supermarket shelf. From being purely a summer wine there are now rosés for almost every type of food and occasion and rosé pairings to match.
Although we all talk turkey at Thanksgiving, in fact it’s the sides that tend to steal the show. Finding a wine that can cope with them all is never easy but you may just find your favourite side or dressing can inspire your choice.
It was surreal. The small room was filled with around thirty people – some with their faces painted white – walking around in disposable white boiler suits. We looked like workmen from outer space. Moreover, we’d been given miniature test-tubes of different flavoured liquids to add to our champagne to make instant, DIY cocktails – which made our glasses sparkle with exotic jewel colours of electric blue, turquoise and fuchsia. Though normally adventurous in matters related to food and drink, I chose to keep my champagne natural. After all, I was going to put my tastebuds through enough for one evening.
If you're thinking of celebrating Midsummer Day this weekend here’s a fabulous pudding cake from my friend Scandinavian food writer, Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious Baking.
A really lovely summery recipe from Olia Hercules most recent book Kaukasis.
A delicious relish to serve with the Thanksgiving leftovers or to bookmark for Christmas from Diana Henry's Salt, Sugar, Smoke. It keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
I’m really spoilt for choice for my match of the week - there were so many good ones last week. As you may have picked up if you follow me on Twitter (where I tweet as winematcher and food_writer) I was in Copenhagen eating at the world’s best restaurant, Noma (according to the 800 food writers, chefs and critics that judge the ‘World's 50 Best Awards) and also at Herman whose sommelier Jacob Kocemba came up with some excellent pairings.
If you’re looking for something really original to impress your Valentine next weekend try this fabulous pairing.
This menu was created as part of a series of pieces I wrote for Sainsbury's magazine. The idea was to invite your friends round for a wine tasting then all have a slap-up meal afterwards. This meal was based on a tasting of South American reds from Argentina and Chile but it would be just as fun to base it round Malbec (Malbec being the perfect wine for a steak).
The cover recipe from pastry chef Claire Clark's gorgeous new book 80 Cakes from around the World, photographed by the equally talented Jean Cazals.
I invented this recipe for my alcohol-free book How to Drink without Drinking. It started life as a Pimm's drinkalike but was so delicious with just strawberries I gave up on the other fruit
Before home-grown strawberries disappear totally from the shops, a re-run of what I reckon is the ultimate strawberry tart recipe from Orlando Murrin's irresistible book, A Table in the Tarn and which he used to serve at his French guest house Le Manoir de Raynaudes.
I would never in a million years have come up with the brilliant idea of baking a scone in a single tin as Great British Bake Off winner Edd Kimber has done in his book One Tin Bakes but then all the recipes can - miraculously - be cooked like that. I can't quite bring myself to call it a slab scone though which doesn't make it sound nearly as enticing as it is. So I've renamed it One tin cream tea (sorry, Edd!).
This is the kind of easy meal I like to make for friends. The soup can be made in advance (or buy one of the excellent ready made chilled soups there are nowadays and dress it up with some fresh herbs), the steak is finished in the oven and the dessert literally takes minutes.
Another good bottle for Valentine’s Day this week - this time an wild strawberry flavoured liqueur in an extraordinarily blingy bottle with wild strawberries floating on top. It’s part of Marks & Spencer’s new international spirits range which now runs to over 70 different spirits and liqueurs.
Mark Hix, a great forager himself, concentrates on recipes you can make from the hedgerow this week in The Independent (now is a good time to go to his new restaurant, I suggest . . . ) so I’m thinking a little outside the box as to what to pair with them. Country wines, made with hedgerow fruits, seem the perfect answer. I don’t know why we don’t see more of them.
The perfect weekend breakfast bake from Richard Bertinet's lovely book, Crumb.
With elderflowers in full bloom you might be thinking of making your own elderflower cordial but try this version from my latest book How to Drink without Drinking to give it a bit of a twist.
Well, I don’t know about easy but there must be some easier way to get people into German wine . . .
A lovely seasonal dessert from Sybil Kapoor's National Trust - Simply Baking. "Soft-baked meringues make a gorgeous pudding in the early autumn, especially when topped with cider-poached fruit and apple brandy cream."
A combination I came across at the launch of Moët’s new Ice Imperial Champagne last week - a Champagne that’s designed to be served over ice (yes, that’s right - with the ice actually in it)
A sample recipe from food writer and photographer Regula Ysewijn's Pride and Pudding which I really hope will make you want to buy this brilliant new book.
A simple and delicious Christmas dessert from my mate Sarah Randell, food director of Sainsbury's Magazine, which combines two of my favourite things, jelly and cocktails.
If you’re looking for something a little different to serve for dessert on Saturday (which in case you’ve forgotten, guys, is Valentine’s Day) how about a dessert martini?
The cheese ball is an American party food classic. It's a little retro, but retro food is fun, and a cheese ball is the kind of thing you can easily posh up and adapt to use your favourite cheeses, herbs, and seasonings.
One of the welcome reminders of this long hot summer (in the Languedoc at least) is just how well dry wines go with fresh fruit. I’ve been happily drinking whites, ross and even reds with fruit such as peaches, apricots, melons and figs. Sweet wines, of course, go well with all of these but sometimes sweet wines seem too intense, particularly if, like me, you don’t have a very sweet tooth.
One of the courses at the food and wine workshops I hosted for Irish wine importer Febvre at Drury Buildings in Dublin last week was a frozen milk chocolate and raspberry cake - well, sort of cake. More like a cross between a cake and a mousse.
It’s a mystery to me why we need a Chocolate Week. Surely no-one (except aberrants like myself who have an inexplicable preference for potatoes) needs encouraging to eat chocolate. But there we have it and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favourite food in the country’s classiest chocolate shops over the next few days.
If you're vegetarian - or catering for one - you expect more than the Christmas sides while everyone else tucks into the turkey. This delicious pie from Rachel Demuth of Demuths Cookery School in Bath fits the bill perfectly.