As you might imagine it doesn’t make any difference what shape of pasta you’re dealing with, what counts with wine is the flavour of the sauce. There are too many to mention, but here are the main types you’re likely to come across.
Some of the best meals - and the best wine pairings - come about without a great deal of forethought. Like the pasta I threw together last week in France from storecupboard ingredients then accompanied with a cracking bottle of inexpensive Tuscan red we’d just bought from a winemaker at a natural wine fair. Yes, Italian wine. In France! Who’d have thought it?
This is one of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's contributions to Cook for Syria a brilliant fund-raising book of middle-eastern inspired recipes from top food writers which was conceived and curated by instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy*.
What happens when you choose a wine to pair with a particular dish and the dish doesn’t materialise? Well, if you’re lucky it matches equally well.
When I’m not writing about food and wine matching I’m writing a book - and a blog - about budget eating called The Frugal Cook. So this week’s match is a chance discovery with a scratch supper I knocked up last night (for which you can find the recipe on the blog)
Yesterday I had lunch with some old friends in a chic little Italian restaurant called Trenta. It’s in in the upwardly mobile neighbourhood just west of Edgware Road in London into which Tony and Cherie Blair have just moved. (It also has a Jimmy Choo shop two doors down. It’s that kind of ‘hood)
This past week has reminded me yet again what a great match Italian whites are for food. Their lack of obvious character means they tend not to stand out in a tasting but they explode into life with a dish.
Spaghetti puttanesca - or 'whore’s spaghetti' as it’s otherwise known - is a punchy pasta dish with strong, salty flavours but which wine should you match with it?
A really robust pasta dish from my book Cooking with Wine - perfect for cold weather eating. The wine gives a richer, more warming flavour than the usual tomato-based sauce.
A re-run of a piece I wrote a few years ago following a trip to Tuscany which reminded me how differently Italians approach food and wine from how we would eat and drink in an Italian restaurant here or at home.
There’s a lot of talk about how the wines of a region tend to match its food but that seems truer of Tuscany than almost anywhere else.
There was a time, about 10 years ago, when I wrote a lot about Merlot which was widely regarded as wine world’s alternative to Chardonnay - an easy drinking red wine that went with almost any meal.
The last two days have been quite, quite beautiful, starting mistily, basking midday in an unseasonally warm sun and finishing with an extended dusk that announces that spring is finally here. I immediately want to eat lighter meals: the new season’s vegetables are not quite in yet but I can at least plan for summer and that means a spring clean of the cellar, pushing the full bodied reds to the back and assessing what whites, lighter reds and rosés I still have lurking in the racks.
A slightly obscure pairing this week from the Lombardy region of Italy, the focus for an absolutely brilliant pop-up supper I went to at Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge last Friday.
A general idea has got about that Chardonnay is for chavs but as anyone who has a taste for top white burgundy or other premium new world Chardonnays will know it’s a spectacular food wine.
If there’s one thing you might think you could be sure of it would be that you should drink white wine with a seafood pasta dish like this. But, you know what? It was this silkily delicious red that went swimmingly.
This recipe, the subject of my Match of the Week, was so delicious I've persuaded Christine Smallwood, whose lovely book An Appetite for Lombardy it comes from, to share it on the site.
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’.
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.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Rueda, a sauvignon-style wine from the north of Spain, but seem to have been drinking it non-stop since I arrived in Malaga.
Spaghetti and meatballs is a really rich pasta dish you need to wash down with a refreshing red - preferably Italian.
Romanian wines may not be on your radar but judging by this incredibly delicious red you should look out for them.
Tuna’s a versatile summer ingredient that you can use in salads or on the barbecue. Quick and easy to cook, like salmon a conductor of many different flavours it's also a meaty fish which adapts just as well to a red as to a white.
A re-run of an old post following a visit to Alsace, updating my recommendations on the best pairings for the region's dry and off-dry white wines.
Asking which wine to pair with salad is a bit like asking about what wine to match with meat or fish. There's no single answer. It depends on the vegetables you use, what other ingredients it contains and what type of dressing you use.
One of the world’s most underrated grapes yet capable of making some of its most delicious dry whites, Sémillon isn’t on the radar for many. So if you get hold of a bottle what should you pair with it?
As with other grape varieties sauvignon blanc varies markedly from one part of the world to the other - from the crisp minerally wines of the Loire to the exuberant grassy herbaceous sauvignons of New Zealand's Marlborough region.
This wasn’t the most innovative wine pairing I came across in the last 7 days but it was such a classic I couldn’t fail to make it my match of the week.
When we talk about lasagne it’s probably the meaty version that’s uppermost in most people’s minds but these days there are many different kinds. Here are my favourite wine pairings:
I agonised over which match to highlight this week - there were so many good ones, especially from my trip to the Jura which I’ll report on in the next couple of days but I’ve gone for this intriguing and off the wall pairing from a seasonal wine dinner at Lido in Bristol on Saturday night.