Pairings | Madeira
Lucy Bridgers discovers some stunning matches with madeira and gets some inspiration for Christmas entertaining.
You may well have given a fair amount of thought by now to what you’ll be drinking with your turkey or goose and have set treasured bottles of Bordeaux or Burgundy aside for the main Christmas meal. But what about all the other occasions over the festive period which these days tends to stretch a good 10 days into the early New Year?
There’s no doubt about it, trifle is tricky. If it includes booze already do you serve more on the side? And what kind of booze should that be?
Chocolate is supposed to be impossible to match with wine but like any other ingredient it depends on the chocolate and how it’s used.
My assertion that custard tarts are the new cupcakes provoked such a heated exchange that I thought I’d stoke the fire by suggesting what you drink with ‘em.
The most useful clue to the kind of wine that works with cheesecake is to think of the toppings and flavourings that are used in cheesecake recipes rather than the base.
The type of artisanal cheddar I was writing about yesterday - mature, full-flavoured, unpasteurised - isn’t the easiest cheese to match with wine.
A chocolate yule log or 'buche de Noël has become an increasingly popular dessert at Christmas but what kind of wine should you pair with it?
We automatically think of matching wine and cheese or beer and cheese but there are many drinks that work just as well and can give a real ‘wow factor’ to your cheeseboard.
One of the all-time favourite British desserts sticky toffee pudding is super-sweet so will overwhelm most wines you might think of pairing with it so what should you choose?
I was hard pushed to choose just one bottle from the amazing collection of aged madeiras that was shown at the Berry Bros & Rudd tasting a few weeks ago but went for this 1977 Terrantez from Pereira d'Oliveira on two grounds:
It was a tough call coming up with a single wine pairing last week - there were so many good ones but I’m going for this combination because it’s such a cool serving suggestion.
Lots of good food and wine combinations this week but I’m picking out the one with the most unusual wine: Barbeito's Rainwater 5 year old reserva medium-dry madeira which I had at Bell’s Diner in Bristol on Friday night
It’s not often you get eight pairings in a single session, any one of which could have been a match of the week which makes this week’s choice particularly difficult but I’m going for a combination that surprised me as much as, I suspect, it will amaze you.
Toasted hay tart might not sound particularly appealing but you’ll have to trust me, it was delicious! It was the spectacular finale to a meal to celebrate 36 years of the iconic Bristol restaurant Bell’s Diner at the Eat, Drink Bristol Fashion festival in Bristol last week. The current chef Chris Wicks who cooked the meal has been in place for the last 12 or so.
A recent email from a reader asked me to suggest a wine to go with “a triple coconut cake with a tangy pineapple icing served with fresh fruit salsa that has kiwi, strawberry, madarine oranges, blueberries and fresh pineapple in it”. Quite a challenge (I suggested demi-sec Champagne or a peach-flavoured liqueur topped up with fizz) but it got me thinking that there are many possible matches for cake beyond a cup of tea or coffee, particularly if you're serving it as a dessert.
Mince pies are not that different to Christmas pudding and Christmas cake so you could drink much the same sort of wine with them. But tradition obviously plays a part in terms of what most people expect and they do pair particularly well with fortified wines like port, sherry and madeira
One of the innovations at the Marks & Spencer wine tasting this week was a chocolate and wine tasting based on a Single Origin Tasting Box designed to help consumers explore chocolate pairings with different wines.
If you're thinking of baking something for teatime today try this traditional English caraway seed cake from cookery writer Orlando Murrin.
You may well know what you’re going to drink with the turkey by now but here are some ideas for what to match with your Christmas starters, paired with recipes from some of Britain’s favourite chefs and cookery writers.
Chocolate is generally considered a tricky ingredient to match but it's not that hard - unless it's a hot fondant pudding.
It’s a bit of a long story. A customer of my friends Stephen and Judy Markwick who own the Bristol restaurant Culinaria wanted to track down some Louis Roederer Rich and I helped him find it. He wanted me to share a bottle with him as a reward which was totally unnecessary but a gesture it seemed churlish to refuse. (Or that's my excuse anyway!)
The other evening I had an interesting session with a few food bloggers matching Davidstow cheddar for which I’d been asked to come up with some drink pairings*. My task was to talk about the wine. The company’s Head Grader Mark Pitts-Tucker brought along a couple of Cornish ales - Sharp’s Doombar and St Austell Tribute.
The question I get asked most often as a wine writer is how long you should keep a bottle of wine. It’s one of those ‘How long is a piece of string?’ questions: it depends both on the bottle and the drinker.
I was casting around for a dessert to make for friends on Saturday when I remembered this fantastic coffee cake from chef Margot Henderson’s book You’re all Invited. I suppose it’s more of a mid-morning or tea-time treat but I sometimes prefer cake to a full-blown pudding at the end of a rich meal.
This doesn’t, I admit, sound a particularly tempting proposition so let me explain. By oxidised sweet wines I mean dessert wines which have been deliberately exposed to air through extended barrel ageing, giving them a complex nutty, treacley flavour.
Simnel cake, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is the traditional British Easter cake (although at one time it was baked to celebrate Mother’s Day).
Last week I was given a couple of slices of gorgeous game terrine by Stephen Markwick of Culinaria with whom I’ve been writing a book (of which more news soon). We had it for lunch and the only wine I had open wasn’t up to the intensity of the spicing (which was dominated by allspice) and the accompanying damson chutney.