Pairings | Herbs
Good news! The best wine with chicken can be either red or white - it depends on your own personal taste and the way it’s cooked.
Do herbs ever have a strong enough influence on a dish to determine your wine pairing? Relatively rarely in my view. Only very herby sauces like pesto or salsa verde dominate a dish to such an extent that you need to choose a wine to accommodate them.
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’.
You may not be familiar with Carmenère but it's a delicious red at this chilly time of year.
Sauvignon blanc is many people's favourite wine but what type of food pairs with it best?
Cabernet franc can be the most food-friendly of wines, as good with fish and veggies as it is with meat but as I pointed out in a recent Guardian column it comes in several styles.
Winemakers like to tell you that their wines go with everything but in the case of Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s best known white wine, it’s true.
There’a a fair chance that if you grow courgettes - or zucchini - you’re eating more than your fair share of them at this time of year but what wine should you drink with them?
Vermentino is incredibly versatile - a brilliant wine pairing for anything fishy, herby or citrussy and a great wine for spring and summer drinking.
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.
It’s been so hot over the last couple of days here in the Languedoc I haven’t felt much like cooking so we raided the very good local traiteur (takeaway) in Murviel yesterday for our weekend’s eating. The highlight was some beautifully cooked rare roast veal with herbs - in the style of Italian porchetta.
A really lovely, summery way of cooking roast chicken from Olia Hercules beautiful new book Summer Kitchens.
One of the books I'm most enjoying at the moment is Mark Diacono's Herb which is perfectly suited to a man who is a great gardener as well as a cook (and the most engaging writer as well as taking all his own photographs. Sickening, really!)
A new book from Claire Thomson (aka Five o'clock Apron) is always a treat and New Kitchen Basics is no exception. Like all Claire's books it manages to be both practical and inspirational with recipes you can fit in with daily life but which give your cooking a real lift. And they work too. This she describes as 'bombproof'!
I've been absorbed by a fascinating new book by award-winning food writer Sybil Kapoor called Sight Smell Touch Taste Sound which reveals the role our senses can play in the way we cook and eat.
A really lovely summery recipe from Olia Hercules most recent book Kaukasis.
Bulgur is a useful grain that you can apparently eat if you're diabetic as I discovered when I was staying with friends in France a while ago. It makes a great base for a simple salad that you can basically adapt to whatever you have in the storecupboard and fridge.
Although it's still a bit nippy at night, the blossom is out, it feels like spring and the clocks are going forward in the UK this weekend. So here's a light lunch to enjoy with a couple of friends that has a touch of spring about it but still includes a warming stew.
The flavours of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - and this is why it is so popular - are powerful and aromatic: citrus, gooseberry and passionfruit in spades. So you if you're looking for a food match need big flavours on your plate to stand up to it.
Last week I caught up with Hein Koegelenberg of La Motte which I visited a couple of years ago when the winery was nominated Wine Tourism Champion by the Great Wine Capitals of the World (you can find my Decanter article on the experience here).
Monkfish is regularly referenced as a meaty fish you can pair with red wine, especially when it’s wrapped in pancetta but suppose you serve it with salsa verde instead as they did at the Seahorse al Mare pop-up in Dartmouth last week?
There were two wine pairings in contention for my match of the week slot this week. The other being the excellent combination of mature cheddar with Washington State cabernet but that’s not rocket science and this was the more intriguing discovery.
Asparagus, it’s often said, is tough to match with wine, let alone a red, but this combination with a light, chilled Saumur Champigny at the re-opened Bell’s Diner in Bristol was a perfect pairing.
The cookbook I've probably cooked most from this year is Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley's fabulous Falastin which is all about the food of Sami's Palestinian childhood together with some more contemporary recipes of which this is one.
Wine pairing is much more about the way you cook a dish and the sauce you serve with it than it is about the basic ingredient and so it proved with this week’s match at the recently opened Brackenbury.