Pairings | Sage
People carp about food and beer pairings, griping that they're just made up pretentions that have no right being associated with something as inclusive and democratic as beer, writes Stephen Beaumont
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.
Vodka may be primarily thought of as a base for cocktails but in vodka-loving countries like Russia and Poland it’s always accompanied by food. Basically anything smoked, pickled or cured works well. Here are some ideas:
Malbec has become so popular it may have become one of your favourite red wines but what are the best kind of dishes to pair with it?
Today is International Grenache Day, a celebration of a grape which is (often anonymously) responsible for some of the most generous and appealing reds in the wine world.
Although there's not quite the feverish frenzy there was about kale a couple of years ago there's still a lot of kale lurve around.
There are very few occasions on which sausages don't appeal but what’s the best pairing for them?
We are all familiar with the pop of the cork, the seductive stream of bubbles and the heady sensation as you take your first sip, but how much do you really know about the world’s most romantic drink ?
One of the most evocative cookbooks to have been published recently is Lori de Mori and Laura Jackson's Towpath, a series of recipes and reminiscences from the charmingly quirky Towpath Café. It's divided up month by month and this is in fact a September recipe but as squash is still in season and wonderful warming at this time of year it works equally well now.
This is one of the deceptively simple recipes in Rachel Roddy's wonderful A-Z of Pasta.
We have the PERFECT prize for any gadget freak this month - a Sage Smoking Gun which enables you to smoke any food or drink you fancy from nuts to cheese and cocktails. And we have THREE of them to give away!
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.
Those of us who have been writing about beer and food for a while have seen many false dawns in the UK - breweries positioning their beers as perfect for different kinds of food, competitions to find the best beer for British staples such as fish and chips, Indian restaurants offering beer pairing menus . . . there was no lack of ingenuity but it didn’t quite take off. But with the number of events and initiatives taking place this summer it really looks as if beer and food pairing has reached a tipping point.
Those of you who are sceptical about vegan food should try this delicious recipe from Mildreds Vegan Cookbook by Daniel Acevedo and Sarah Wasserman. Yes, it's vegan but omnivores would enjoy it too and the pumpkin seed granola is wonderfully versatile.
The idea of drinking champagne with fast food might seem outrageous but you have to believe me it works!
Maybe I've got a bit overexcited with all the sun this week but the barbecue season doesn't seem that far away so it was good to find Dan Vaux-Nobes' 101 BBQ and Grill recipes arriving through my letterbox.
Last week’s highlight without a doubt was the meal I had with my Guardian colleagues at Brawn, Ed Wilson’s new restaurant in Columbia Road. As you may know it’s the new City outpost of the hugely popular wine bar Terroirs with a similar natural wine list which you can read about on my natural wine blog here.
This week’s pairing is as much about the wine as the dish though the two went exceptionally well together.
OK, pie and beer is not rocket science but sometimes it’s good to be reminded what a very good match they can be. Especially when both the pie and the beer come from the same place.
Before we finally plunge into winter here's a late autumn supper menu from my book Food, Wine and Friends that combines the best of autumn’s produce with a couple of convenience products.
Even after all this time we still don’t often think of champagne in the context of a meal but a brilliant Champagne Leclerc Briant dinner I went to last week at Berry Bros & Rudd underlined that we might be missing a trick.
A report on the fascinating food and wine matching workshop that was held at the International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon last month which showed that you can find a pinot pairing for almost any kind of lamb dish.
A question from one of the members of our Facebook group which you may want to join if you enjoy chatting about what you've been eating and drinking.
Faggots, which are basically a rather gamey British meatball made with pork belly and offal, are a bit of an acquired taste along the lines of the French sausage andouillette but well made, as they are when supplied by our local butcher, they can be very tasty. They need to be accompanied by onion gravy which normally leads one in the direction of a robust ale but the other night we had them with a bottle of Mas Belles Eaux Vieux Carignan 2006 which actually worked very well.
With the unseasonally warm weather showing no signs of a let-up it’s time to revisit the classic combination of French charcuterie and Beaujolais - perfect for picnics and other outdoor eating.
I still remember my visit to the great Oktoberfest in Munich, the world’s biggest beer festival. Mysteriously it’s not held in October at all - or rather it doesn’t start in October but in September - kicking off next weekend.
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.
Today, being St George’s Day, what other pairing could I offer you but a classic British dish with a classic British beer?
I don’t often get inspiration from chefs when it comes to food and wine pairing - you’d think they’d be into wine but they often aren’t - but Theo Randall’s suggestion of a super-Tuscan red with his dish of roast sausages with borlotti beans and nduja sauce was spot on.
Artichokes have the reputation of being a wine-killer but as with most of these diktats the problem is over-played. True, artichokes can make even dry whites taste oddly sweet but that doesn’t account for the different ways in which they are cooked and how they are served.
What on earth do you drink with currywurst? Last week I was in Berlin so had the perfect opportunity to find out.
Last week I was travelling back through France again and encountered a number of interesting matches but the one that worked best for me was in a modern bistro by the covered market in Besançon called La Table des Halles.
Last week I had lunch at my new favourite London hangout, the wine bar Terroirs which is run by a partnership including the quirky and original Caves de Pyrène. It's a place that you'll absolutely love if you're a Francophile: it feels just like a Parisien wine bar - without the surly service. The food is also cracking but as we'd resolved to kick off the new year by splitting a Vacherin Mont d'Or, as you can read on my cheese blog The Cheeselover, we didn't get a chance this time to sample chef Ed Wilson's robust bistro food.