Pairings | Pork
Which wines pair best with pork?
As with most foods, the best wine pairing with pork depends how the pork is cooked, and what it’s served with.
What sort of food to pair with prosecco?
Prosecco is so often drunk on its own that you may not have given much thought to the kind of food you can pair with it but if I had to sum it up in two words it would be ‘party food’
Which wine to pair with Texas BBQ
US-based wine writer and educator David Furer reports on an epic tasting in the homeland of American barbeque, Austin, Texas pairing a selection of international and home-grown reds with different meats.
Six of the best pairings for roast pork
If you’re wondering which wine to pair with roast pork the good news is it’s a flexible meat that can take a white or a red - or even - given the crackling, a sparkling wine.
Some top food pairings for pear cider and perry
Pear cider - also known as perry - has a different taste from apple cider. It’s generally lighter, drier and more fragrant, a better match for delicate ingredients like fish.
A quick guide to wine pairings with a Sunday roast
For many of us Sunday roasts aren’t a weekly occurrence any more but that makes them even more of a treat - worthy of a good bottle of wine. But which should it be?
Food pairings for wheat beer II - hefeweizen, dunkelweizen and other German-style wheat beers
German wheat beers are sufficiently different from Belgian wheat beers to merit a separate post - so what are the best food matches for hefeweizen with their striking banana and clove flavours?
Wines to pair with fennel
Fennel is one of the handful of vegetables that can influence a main course pairing - almost always for the better. Its aniseed flavour seems to have a pronounced affinity with many wines, especially whites. Here are some suggested matches with recipes that two British chefs have published this weekend - Gordon Ramsay in the Times and Skye Gyngell in the Independent on Sunday.
The best food pairings for Lambrusco
If you’re wondering why I’m devoting a post to Lambrusco you obviously haven’t tasted the real thing and today, Lambrusco Day, is your ideal opportunity to try it.
Six of the best drinks to pair with a scotch egg
For those unfamiliar with the delicacy a scotch egg is a whole egg wrapped in sausagemeat, then coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Traditionally the egg would have been hard boiled but more recently the fashion has been to serve them soft and even runny like this version from the Opera Tavern. And in some cases - presumably in a vain attempt to make them more healthy - they’re now baked which is wrong on every level.
Some great food pairings for tequila
Despite the recent increase in interest in Mexican street food like tacos consumers in the UK still have to take to tequila (maybe because they’re too busy drinking gin) but in fact it’s an attractive and versatile spirit to pair with food
Top pairings for dry and off-dry Alsace whites
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.
The best food pairings for white rioja
White rioja is tricky when it comes to wine pairing as it comes in such contrasting styles. There are the crisp fresh unoaked white riojas which behave much like a sauvignon blanc and much richer barrel-fermented ones which can tackle more intensely-flavoured fish and meat dishes
What food to pair with a 15% ABV wine
Last night we opened a bottle of 2005 Nugan Estate McLaren Parish Vineyard Shiraz - a typically big lush Aussie red at a hefty 15% ABV.
Top pairings for Pinot Noir: some new ideas from Natasha Hughes
Natasha Hughes re-orders her hit list of wine matches for pinot following her visit to the International Pinot Noir Celebration.
The best pairings for amontillado and palo cortado sherry
Amontillado sherry has richer, nuttier flavours than a classic fino or manzanilla sherry and calls for different food matches. Think more in terms of cured meat, game and cheese than seafood and richer, meatier tapas.
The best food to pair with vodka
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:
Top food pairings with Barbera
Barbera is a versatile red that will happily partner pretty well any meaty dish you throw at it. It is more robust and typically drunk younger than its Piedmontese counterparts Barolo and Barbaresco.
The best food pairings for Grüner Veltliner
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.
The best food pairings for dry oloroso sherry
The Spanish are more adventurous than us when it comes to matching sherry and food. I remember drinking a dry oloroso with roast partridge a few years back in Jerez. But what else could you pair with it?
The best food pairings for Carmenère
You may not be familiar with Carmenère but it's a delicious red at this chilly time of year.
10 good wine pairings with paté
By paté I’m thinking of what wines to drink with rough country patés and terrines like a paté de campagne rather than fish patés or vegetarian patés which I’ll tackle separately. The sort that you might take on a picnic or eat in a wine bar.
10 food pairings for peaty whiskies
Following my trip to Islay a while ago I drew up some pairings for its extraordinary peaty whiskies. I’m not a great one for whisky dinners but I like the idea of serving tapa-sized dishes with a dram.
Three surefire pairings for pinot noir
Most of the time, as you’ll have noticed, I feature the more offbeat wine pairings I’ve come across in my match of the week slot. This week I’ve been reminded of the virtue of some that seldom go wrong.
What food to pair with mature Margaux
The other night I was lucky enough to go out with a wineloving friend of mine and his wife who brought along a bottle of Château Palmer 1990 with them. It was a lovely wine but, as any 20 year old vintage would be, quite delicate so immediately created the dilemma of what to eat.
Who’s pairing what? From bacon and beer to Earl Grey and lemon cake . . .
A new series for the Wine Pros section on what’s been happening in the world of food and drink pairing over the past few weeks:
A cocktail pairing dinner at The Seahorse
One of the main events at the Dartmouth Food Festival this weekend was a dinner at Mitch Tonks Seahorse restaurant cooked by London chef Mark Hix. The unusual factor though was that every dish was matched with a cocktail.
10 offbeat Christmas wine pairings to suggest to your customers
One of the reasons people most appreciate independent wine merchants is that they can talk to them about the kind of wine that will suit the meals or occasions they're planning.
When to pair red wine with fish
Few people now throw up their hands in horror at the idea of matching red wine with fish. But how many realise just how often you can pair the two?
Food pairings for Apothic and other sweet red wines
Heavily promoted Apothic is just one of a range of sweeter red wines that have been launched on the market recently. Not having much of a sweet tooth, I must confess it’s not particularly to my taste but I can see that it would greatly appeal to wine drinkers who find drier reds unappealing.
Which foods pair best with tawny port?
We rarely think of tawny port as a flexible pairing for food. We serve it with stilton, obviously and with hard cheeses like cheddar, with nuts and dried fruits and over Christmas with fruit cake and mince pies but that’s usually as far as it goes.
What wines and beers to pair with meaty stews and casseroles
Now that winter is firmly upon us it's time to head for the kitchen and knock up a rich beef stew or casserole and leave it simmering for hours.
What to pair with Beaujolais Nouveau
With southern hemisphere wines from the 2016 vintage having been on the shelves for a few months now the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau has become less significant but you may still want to crack open a bottle today.
The best food pairings for Vermentino
Vermentino is incredibly versatile - a brilliant wine pairing for anything fishy, herby or citrussy and a great wine for spring and summer drinking.
Six of the best wine pairings with cassoulet
Anyone who has a passing knowledge of cassoulet will know that there are hotly disputed arguments about what constitutes the authentic version. But whichever way you make it it’s a substantial dish.
Six of the best wine pairings for Christmas ham
If you're serving a ham or gammon as a roast this Christmas you need a more substantial wine with it than when you serve ham as a cold cut. Which one depends on the glaze.
8 great food pairings for stout and porter
Although there are obviously differences between the two types of beer, dark stouts and porters tend to pair with similar types of food. Here are my top matches ...
15 Easter wine pairings to learn by heart
If you're wondering what wines you should buy for Easter weekend here's quick guide to what I think are the best Easter wine pairings.
10 food and beer pairings that just don't work - and 10 alternatives that do!
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
A surprisingly good pairing for air-dried ham
Think of an air-dried ham such as serrano and you probably think of tapas and therefore fino or manzanilla sherry. But I’ve experienced two recent wine matches which opened my eyes to another option that even those on a diet could enjoy!
Shanghai red-braised pork with eggs
If you're looking for something to make for the Chinese New Year try this marvellous recipe from Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Fish & Rice (Note: Fuchsia recommends you make it a day ahead.)
Gill Meller's raised pork, chicken and parsley pie
If you fancy a cooking project this weekend Gill Meller's raised pork, chicken and parsley pie from his new book Outside would be perfect.
Pot Roast Pork with Fennel, Olives, Oranges & Oregano
If you're looking for a Sunday roast with a twist try this gorgeous Spanish-inspired pork recipe from Richard Turner's amazing new book, Hog*. Not least 'cos it mentions me in the intro ;-)
Pedro Ximénez Iberico pork cheek
If you think of Pedro Ximenez as an ultra sweet sherry, yes, of course it is but you can also use it to make spectacular savoury recipes like this dish of pork cheek from Bar 44's Tapas y Copas by Owen and Tom Morgan. I'm lucky enough to have them as my local tapas bar and absolutely adore their food. Now, thanks to the book you can try it for yourself.
Overnight pulled pork
The problem about Father's Day being in high summer is that you don't necessarily want to be stuck in the kitchen making a slap-up meal. So camp out and make these delicious pulled pork rolls instead
Pork pie and pale ale
Today, being St George’s Day, what other pairing could I offer you but a classic British dish with a classic British beer?
Mangalitza pork pie and Pomerol
I often get asked what the best pairing for a serious red wine is and I don’t think the people who pose the question would expect the answer 'pork pie'.
Pork rillettes with fennel
Like many of the best recipes this came about by accident. I bought a box of free-range organic pork and didn’t have enough room for it all in the freezer so left out 4 thick slices of pork belly ...
Pork loin with rhubarb and balsamic vinegar
An elegant, quick roast from Fran Warde's New Bistro that makes the best of in-season rhubarb. You could even serve it on Valentine's night.
5 good matches for roast pork belly
Pork belly has become one of the most popular main courses on restaurant menus so what should you drink with it? It doesn't have to be wine . . .
Slow roast pork belly with a ‘Gardener’s Old Fashioned’
Pork and apple is, of course, a match made in heaven but the pairing was taken to new heights for me by mixologist Jack Adair Bevan of The Ethicurean who invented an Old Fashioned cocktail with a twist to go with a dish of slow roast pork.
West African pork and peanut stew with Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein
Quite an adventurous pairing this week which you might have thought on paper wouldn’t come off. A hot, spicy pork and peanut stew and a glass of Ben Glaetzer’s bold, ripe 2010 Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein from South Australia's Langhorne Creek.
Pork scratchings and Nyetimber 2006
This may be a mystifying pairing to those of you who don't live in the UK but bear with me ....
Miso-marinated pork belly and Karasi Sour cocktail
Sometimes I wonder what pork belly doesn’t pair with. It seems to be delicious with so many drinks but even so It’s always intriguing to find a new match.
Roast pork with an alcohol-free IPA
One of the hardest things if you’re not drinking for any reason is finding a grown-up drink that will work in a restaurant without leaving you feeling that you’re not having as good a time as everyone else. And as I’ve said before beer is much better in this respect than wine.
Roast pork belly and young tempranillo
This week’s match of the week isn’t a new discovery - roast meat with red wine isn’t exactly rocket science - but the fact that it was pork that was going so well with tempranillo rather than the usual lamb or beef intrigued me.
Pork chops and perry
Sometimes you forget the most obvious food matches like the pairing of pork and perry we enjoyed over the weekend.
Double IPA and pork belly
Those of you who have been following the reports from my recent gastronomic junket in Chicago shouldn’t run away with the impression I spent all my time drinking Champagne and Château Lafite. One of my best meals was at chef Paul Kahan’s Blackbird where they have a craft beer list that should make most British restaurants hang their head in shame.
Sticky Pork Ribs Marinated in Black Vinegar, Muscovado and Spices
One of the most exciting books to come out last year was Angela Clutton's much awarded The Vinegar Cupboard which not only explains the origin of different vinegars and their culinary uses but contains some excellent recipes.
Pork and beans with Pierre Gonon St-Joseph
Beans are one of the great underrated aids to matching full-bodied wines as I was reminded at the weekend when we combined a dish of pork and lima beans with a fine St-Joseph.
Cold roast pork with apple and Chardonnay
I had a reminder last week of just how good Chardonnay can be with meat given the right accompaniments.
Stir-fried pork with Thai basil and Australian riesling
This week’s match of the week doesn’t come as a big surprise but it’s sometimes good to be reminded of tried and tested pairings rather than ones that come totally out of the blue.
Pulled pork roll and a smoked Belgian-style pale ale
As those of you who follow our Facebook page may have spotted I was in France last week so you might expect a pairing with a wine from Languedoc. But no: the outstanding match, as with the previous week, was with a beer - and a rather unusual one at that . . .
Pork, chilli, coconut and gapi salad with Momo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
I’ve been tasting a lot of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc this week but was also reminded how well it goes with Asian food at Peter Gordon’s new restaurant Kopapa.
Lambrusco Grasparossa and pork
One of my favourite local restaurants Flinty Red in Bristol had put a Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro on by the glass when I went for lunch last week and it reminded me how incredibly delicious and versatile it is. So much so that we went on to order a full bottle.
Coffee and maple syrup-brined pork with Saint Joseph
Occasionally a wine pairing comes along that you simply don’t expect. Invited to a barbecue at the weekend, I took along some reds I’d been tasting which I frankly wasn’t sure would go with the sweet marinades you generally encounter at a BBQ.
Pulled pork and pinot
The problem about discovering your match of the week at someone’s else's house is that you can’t really take a photo of the food if you don’t know them that well.
Pork and pistachio terrine and old vine Brouilly
This isn’t the first time I’ve remarked how well Beaujolais pairs with a terrine but sometimes it’s worth being reminded what really, really works. And both were particularly good in this case - as indeed you’d expect at one of London’s best wine bars, Noble Rot.
Porc à la moutarde
This typically Burgundian dish of pork with a wine, cream and mustard-based sauce is quick, easy and versatile. You could equally well use it for chicken.
Gennaro Contaldo's porchetta
If you're looking for new ideas for a Sunday roast try TV chef Gennaro Contaldo's fantastic porchetta (stuffed rolled pork belly) from his lovely book Gennaro: Let's Cook Italian which is all about the dishes he makes at home for his family and friends.
Pigging out - literally - at Blackfoot, Exmouth Market
As soon as I heard that one of my favourite chefs (Allegra McEvedy) was involved in a restaurant dedicated to one of my favourite ingredients (pork) I knew I had to get down there pronto. And you can’t try out a restaurant much sooner than its first full day’s trading.
Is cider more food-friendly than wine?
Susanna Forbes of Drink Britain reports on a vigorously fought contest over dinner at The Thatchers Arms near Colchester last month
Matching German Riesling made easy
Well, I don’t know about easy but there must be some easier way to get people into German wine . . .
Top wine (and other) matches for sausages
There are very few occasions on which sausages don't appeal but what’s the best pairing for them?
The best food matches for Semillon and Semillon-Sauvignon blends
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?
Off the Shelf: Desconocido 2013
The first of my random wine finds in this new series* is a young Spanish red called Desconocido #1 Tinto Joven 2013 from Alicante which is made from bush-vine Monastrell (or Mourvèdre as they call it in France).
Beers to match Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Christmas alternatives to turkey
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall proclaims firmly in The Guardian today that he won’t be serving turkey for lunch on Christmas Day so if he’s going to break with tradition why shouldn’t you? Bring on the beer!
Tom Parker-Bowles Neapolitan Ragù
If you think you have the ultimate bolognese recipe, think again. Try this fantastic version from Tom Parker-Bowles book Let's Eat Meat. I love Tom's style of writing - do read the great introduction:
The Opera Tavern's Italian-style Scotch Eggs
One of the most popular dishes at Opera Tavern from the excellent new Salt Yard cookbook which, interestingly, is self-published. And includes drink recommendations. Hurray!
Possibly the best truffle dinner ever
Did I want to go on a truffle trip to Spain at the end of January? Balmy Barbados seemed like a better option but since that wasn’t on the cards and the enquiry came from an old friend I said yes. The 2 day visit - the annual Viñas del Vero ‘Days of Wine and Truffles’ in Somontano would include an outdoor picnic in the foothills of the Pyrenees (eek), a truffle hunt and - the clincher - a multi-course truffle menu by one of the region’s most talented chefs followed by a gastronomic brunch. “Bring the Gaviscon”. my friend sagely advised.
Matching cold cuts, cheese and chutney
A couple of years ago I went to a chutney-making demonstration and tasting. No, not at the WI - it was held by the family owned company Tracklements at leading London cheesemonger La Fromagerie which has recently expanded its empire into the neighbouring shop and now has a fancy new tasting room.
The extraordinary food and wine of Georgia
There's no tradition of wine & food pairing in Georgia because, "we're permanently in the process of eating and drinking, so everyone is continuously matching for themselves," firmly declared Georgia's 'wine queen', Tina Kezeli, my host for a week's tour of eastern Georgia's Kakheti wine region. Georgian meals are lavish affairs with tables laden with dishes appearing in regular sequence but without regard for timing or harmonious wine pairing. Some guidance is needed.
Roast suckling pig and amber ale
I realise this is not the first time I’ve written about the virtues of roast pork and beer but it’s such a great match (and such an underrated one) that I keep on coming back to it. This time I came across it in a splendid northern French tavern called Le Bruegel in Bergues, the highlight of what was otherwise a rather cold, miserable journey on our way back to England last week.
Cured and smoked pig jowl with Partizan IPA
I’ve highlighted the affinity of pork and IPA before but it’s good to be reminded just what a brilliant pairing it is.
Cider Find: Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider
A departure this week - a cider not a wine - and an American cider at that. I tasted it in Oddbins at the end of a wine tasting and was really blown away by it
Little Pomona Old Man & The Bee: an exciting new cider
With the rise and rise of craft beer quality cider has been somewhat eclipsed of late but this beautifully made - and packaged - cider deserves a place on everyone’s dinner table.
Matching wine and charcuterie - an experiment
About the most daunting audience that anyone could face is a group of wine writers, especially if a number of those happen to specialise in food and wine matching so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to lead a tasting on wine and charcuterie in London on Monday night on the eve of the London International Wine Fair.
Tom Kerridge's sausage, tomato and butterbean stew
You might associate Tom Kerridge with fancy cooking but his time with footballer Marcus Rashford has found its way into his latest book Real Life Recipes which are, as the tiitle suggests, basic easy recipes to cook for the family. This hearty sausage dish is perfect for the chilly weather we're having now
Sausages with rich Guinness gravy
If you don’t like Guinness don’t be put off making this recipe for St Patrick's Day from my book Sausage & Mash. It makes the most fantastic dark, rich, sticky onion gravy that doesn’t taste remotely of beer.
Rigatoni with aubergine (eggplant), sausage and Zinfandel sauce
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.
If you're wondering what to prepare to celebrate St Patrick's Day, Coddle could be the answer. Here's the version from J P McMahon's magnificent new The Irish Cookbook.
Bacon sausage bread
If you like a bacon sandwich and/or a sausage sandwich what better idea than combining the two in a bread as Niamh Shields has done in her Bacon: The Cookbook. Stroke of genius!
Craft beer and BBQ
Although I regularly recommend wines to pair with barbecue - most recently in my Guardian column - I’m actually an equal fan of beer. In fact I think many types of barbecue work better with it.
Matching food and Priorat
I was reminded about my trip to Priorat almost exactly two years ago by my recent visit to the Roussillon which has a similar terroir. And I think the wines would go with similar kinds of food. These were my suggested pairings at the time . . .
Is wine the best partner for pie?
We Brits don't need much encouragement to eat pies. But which is the better match - wine or beer?
Wild boar and Monty's French Red
If you've been following the new alternative lifestyle programme Château Monty on Channel 4 you’ll know that ‘Monty’ is wine writer Monty Waldin who set out to make his own biodynamic wine in the Roussillon down in the far corner of south-west France
Tuscan-style sausages and beans with Montepulciano
It’s been so busy the last few weeks that good pairings have been coming thick and fast but this was a great match I enjoyed at an offbeat new occasional restaurant which was launched by food and wine writer Marc Millon in Topsham, Devon the other day. (He’s also contributed a couple of pieces to this site including this wonderful piece about Bagna Cauda)
Tête de cochon, chou and chenin blanc
Pork and chenin blanc is a tried and tested pairing but this delicious way of serving it at Le Saint Eutrope in Clermont Ferrand the other day made the wine we were drinking - a Pineau de la Loire from Thierry Puzelat of Clos de Tue-Boeuf - really shine.
Tamworth belly ribs and 2006 Qupé Roussanne
Sometimes the best matches are the unexpected ones. I was (shameless plug alert) helping the team at my son’s restaurant Hawksmoor select wines for a dinner to celebrate their 10th anniversary which will feature some of the classic dishes they’ve had on the menu since the early days.
Spiced parsnip soup with Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted
Although I’ve tasted some good wines this week it’s beer that has provided the highlights. The Magic Rock Rapture amber ale I drank at The Pint Shop in Cambridge with their awesome beer brined chicken was pretty good but it’s pipped into the ‘drink of the week’ slot by this pairing at The Hole in the Wall in Little Wilbraham
Sausage rolls and champagne
The idea of drinking champagne with fast food might seem outrageous but you have to believe me it works!
Roast suckling pig with Casa de Saima Bairrada Tinto
I recently went to a Portuguese food and wine evening in Bristol hosted by an enterprising wine merchant called Corks of Cotham. It featured the wines of a producer called Casa de Saima, the ports of Niepoort and an intriguing Barbeito Single Harvest Madeira which went exceptionally well with some classic Portuguese custard tarts.
Piggie burger and Pinot Noir
Pigs and Pinot is a well established combination that is the focus of an annual celebration at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen at the Hotel Healdsburg and after reminding myself of the combination last week at Daniel Boulud’s new London outpost Bar Boulud I can see why.
Mackerel pasty and Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2006
This actually wasn't the dish with which I drank this brilliant new sparkling wine at Rocksalt in Folkestone last week - I'd unfortunately finished my glass by then - but it would certainly have been a knockout wine pairing.
Glazed bacon ribs and Meursault
What do you pair with a classic Irish dish of bacon and cabbage? Guinness might the traditional answer but when the bacon is celebrated northern Ireland butcher Peter Hannan’s amazing French trimmed dry cured bacon rack, glazed and cooked on the barbecue and served with an outrageously creamy parsley sauce then something a little more extravagant is called for.
Faggots with onion gravy and Mas Belles Eaux Vieux Carignan
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.
Dim sum and Champagne
A very Western approach to Chinese food, admittedly, but if you're celebrating Chinese New Year today with a dim sum lunch you'll find that Champagne - or other sparkling wine - makes a perfect pairing.
Cozido and Cortello
We went to a Portuguese evening at a local cafe, Tart in Bristol last week, which does a monthly supper club. The food was great, especially a main course of cozido, a substantial, saffron-laced stew of chicken, pork, chorizo and beans that would have actually made a meal in itself.
Charcuterie and Beaujolais
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.
Braised rabbit and Château Fond Cyprès Syrah de la Pinède
Most of this past week has been spent in Paris where almost every wine match is a good one. There’s been a lot of Beaujolais - and other Gamay - drinking and a fair amount of crisp dry whites such as Aligoté - but the pairing I’m going to pick is a Syrah I didn’t know with a stonking great plateful of braised rabbit at the legendary Baratin.
Wine of the week: Monfil Garnacha 2020
I came across this exuberant garnacha when I was tasting wine at Lea & Sandeman in Notting Hill the other day and it struck me as the most incredible bargain at £8.95 (or £8.25 if you’re buying a case).
Wine of the week: Domaine d’Escausses, cuvée des Drilles
Although I’m supposed to be the wine expert in the family my husband has an uncanny knack of alighting on exactly the right bottle when we go out to eat, unfailingly plucking the bargain from any wine list.
Mas de Libian Bout d’Zan, Côtes du Rhône 2012
If you’re after a bright, fruity, sunshine-filled red to carry you through the dark, dreary days of winter you couldn't do better than this delicious Côtes du Rhône.
Chicken with sweet peppers and Tempranillo
I’m constantly amazed at the stream of good value reds that is coming out of Spain these days. Here’s another - La Copa Tempranillo 2005 from the up and coming Campo de Borja wine region which is situated in Aragon to the north west of Zaragoza. It appears to be made by a co-operative, the Cooperative de Santo Cristo de Magallon but is none the worse for that.
Ideas for a beer and game menu
I've been invited to a game dinner at Brown's hotel in Mayfair next week at which every course is matched with a beer or a perry. I can't make it but thought you'd be interested in the pairings (my notes in italics):
What to drink with a TV dinner?
This month’s issue of Observer Food Monthly hasa special on TV dinners featuring celebrities talking about their favourite snacks. Very few beverages are mentioned so I thought I’d suggest a few pairings ;-)
What to match with the world's best Bordeaux-style reds
The Bordeaux wine region produces a multitude of top class red wines that these days tend to be blends of four main grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
What to eat with Cloudy Bay
For most people the New Zealand winery Cloudy Bay is synonymous with sauvignon blanc but their range now extends to sparkling, sweet and red wines, a message underlined by a dinner at Hix Mayfair (in Brown’s Hotel) the other day.
Roasted Italian sausages with borlotti beans and ’nduja sauce
What nicer place is there to shop than an Italian deli and in Theo Randall's inspiring new book The Italian Deli Cookbook you can find out what to do with all those tempting ingredients you find there.
I first had this wonderful vegetable stew - a northern Spanish equivalent of a spring vegetable minestrone - in a restaurant in Pamplona and dreamed about it for several years before managing to recreate it.
A traditional - and delicious - recipe from a book I discovered called Cape Winelands Cuisine compiled by Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche. Basically it's a savoury bread pudding rather than a tart but none the worse for that.
A refreshing punch for a New Year's Day brunch
A fresh, zesty citrus-based punch that’s packed with vitamin C. It obviously tastes best if you squeeze the fruit yourself but bought freshly squeezed juice is fine if you’re short of time.
Pairing wine with Chinese cuisine
I’ve written before about pairing wine with Chinese food - and so have some of my contributors but here’s a slightly different way of going about it that may help you decide which bottle to choose and make your pairings more successful. It involves deciding which flavours are predominant in a dish or selection of dishes.
More tips about matching rosé
I’ll be doing a major round-up on my trip to Provence next week buthere are a few more thoughts on matching rosé and food, an update of mylast overview
What wine to drink with a Scottish (or English) breakfast
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.
Wine, beer or cocktails - what’s the best match for a 4th July barbecue?
If you’re celebrating July 4th this week and haven’t yet made up your mind what to drink here are some last minute suggestions.
Why Pinot Gris hits the spot with spicy food
You may think tasting wine sounds arduous but a major wine and food tasting, I assure you, is a much greater assault on the system as I was reminded the other day when Victoria Moore of The Guardian and I ran 14 Pinot Gris through their paces with foods that ranged from smoked eel to chicken tikka masala. Neither of us was able to eat much for several days.
Which wines to drink on St Patrick's Day
It’s hard to avoid the obvious on St Paddy’s Day. Guinness, Bailey’s and Irish whiskey are the usual suspects but if none of these appeals here are the sort of wines that will work with classic Irish fare.
Which wines and beers match best with Chinese food
With Chinese new year coming up this weekend you may be planning a trip to a Chinese restaurant or planning a Chinese meal at home. But which wine to serve?
What's the best match for a barbecue?
Should it be wine or beer - or even a cocktail? Last year I asked the Twitter community what their favourite barbecue bevvy was and this is what they came up with . . .
Pairing wine and artichokes
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.
10 great beer and food matches for summer
We all know a beer goes down well with a ploughmans and that it’s a great drink to wash down a barbecue but here are 10 more unusual pairings which should liven up your summer drinking.
What wine to drink with cuttlefish
Cuttlefish is a pain to prepare as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall points out in the Guardian today but it is particularly delicious to eat. It’s often partnered with robust flavours so you need to think in terms of equally intense flavoured wines.
What to match with Christmas ham
A fair bit gets written - including by yours truly - about pairing wine with turkey but what type of drinks go best with the Christmas ham?
Wild boar with cherry sauce and Karam Corpus Christi
It’s almost impossible to pick out one pairing from last week’s trip to the Lebanon but if I’m forced to it has to be a dish of wild boar with cherry sauce I ate with Habib Karam the owner of Karam winery (and - extraordinarily - the airline pilot who flew us to Beirut)
Teroldego and Tapas
Sometimes you get in a rut with a particular food and wine combination - maybe on a ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it? basis. Such is the case for me with tapas which I tend to recommend pairing with something Spanish - usually manzanilla sherry or - depending on the amount of seafood - a crisp Rueda, dry Spanish rosado or a young Rioja or similar Spanish red.
Spanish ham and orange wine
There were other dishes on the table* - but it was the jamon de Teruel, a lesser known ham from Aragon in Spain, that was the standout pairing with the orange wine I was drinking last week.
Sausage and gammon pie and Wiper & True Family Tree IPA
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.
Salt cod with chorizo and Cabernet - yes, Cabernet!
Few these days dispute that red wine goes with fish - it’s just a question of which wine and how the fish is cooked. Most would accept ‘meaty' steak lookalikes like grilled or spiced tuna or salmon work with Pinot Noir but would hesitate to take it much further than that but last week I found a couple of surprisingly good fish matches at one of my favourite new wine bars 28-50.
Pizza and chilled red wine
We’re in Arles this week for our annual visit to the Rencontres Arles, the fabulous photography festival that takes over the entire town. Since we’re with our youngest son, culinary exploration has to alternate with visits to his favourite pizza and sandwich joints which is how we ended up last night at a basic but brilliant pizzeria in the Trinquetaille on the other side of the Rhône.
British pepper salami and Morgon
Usually this feature focusses on less familiar wine pairings but sometimes you can’t beat a tried and trusted combination.
Paté en croute and mature Saint Estèphe
Having spent two days in the company of the most high profile advocates of the art of food and wine pairing in France, the Gardinier brothers of Taillevent, I have more outstanding wine matches than I know what to do with this week
Parma ham and figs with Malvasia
I’ve always tended to go for Prosecco with Parma ham but last week I found an even better wine pairing - Malvasia.
Palais Royal and Roquefort
We’ve been down in the Languedoc for the past week, revisiting some of the winemakers we haven’t seen for a while. They included Domaine de l’Arjolle, one of the first wineries we bought from when we bought a holiday home down here in the early 1990s.
Manzanilla and tapas
I was reminded just how enjoyable this combination is the other day when I dropped by London’s latest tapas bar Barrafina and enjoyed a pre-dinner pick-up of a glass of Hidalgo with some al-i-oli and toast. The sharp tangy sherry was the perfect foil for the crisp toast and silky, garlic-flavoured mayo that accompanied it.
Les-Baux-de-Provence and civet de sanglier (wild boar stew)
I went to a great little bistro the other day in St-Rémy-de-Provence called - appropriately enough - Bistro Découverte. It’s run by a very talented young sommelier I used to know in London called Claude Douard who worked for Marco Pierre White and Joel Rebuchon.
Lapin au vin and Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir
The other night I went back to one of my favourite restaurants Ransome’s Dock, a friendly neighbourhood restaurant in Battersea that has great food and an even more stellar wine list, put together with detailed and well-written tasting notes by chef/proprietor Martin Lam. (You can download it from the site)
Hawksmoor hot dog and Seven Barrels Red Rye IPA
I know I said I was going to make a Riesling my match of the week but given that I've already written about it and that it's the Great British Beer Festival this week I'm going for this great combo at my son's restaurant, Hawksmoor. (Blatantly nepotistic, I know. Apologies)
Ham and Barossa Semillon
Thos of you of a certain age may remember that great ‘70s favourite ham and pineapple which conisisted of a large limp gammon steak, curling at the edges and a couple of fried pineapple rings. From a tin. There was one thing that was good about the dish though and that is that ham and pineapple are great together, something we’ve rather forgotten in these more sophisticated times.
Haggis and Westmalle Dubbel
If you’re going to or hosting a Burns’ Night dinner tonight and want to create a bit of a stir, crack open a bottle of Westmalle Dubbel, a classic Belgian Trappist ale that is still made by monks at the monastery of Westmalle. You could of course drink a Scottish beer - there are plenty of good ones - but haggis to my mind needs a bit of roundness, sweetness and strength, qualities you find more often in Belgian than British beers.
Currywurst and pils
What on earth do you drink with currywurst? Last week I was in Berlin so had the perfect opportunity to find out.
Crubeens and Irish stout
I don’t drink beer often enough so I'm particularly pleased when I find a pairing that makes my match of the week slot
Couscous and Languedoc rosé
It's funny how your attitude to food and wine matching changes when you visit a wine-producing area like the Languedoc which is where I've been for the past few days. You tend to drink the local wine because it's what the locals drink. It may not be the best match but it doesn't really matter, particularly at lunchtime when you want something light.
Choucroute and Alsace riesling
I do love a tried and tested terroir-based wine match and there’s nothing better to pair with a dish of choucroute (almost Alsace’s national dish*) than a glass of the local riesling
Chargrilled endive, hazelnut crumble and Bayonne ham with white Bairrada
I’m having a bit of thing about Portuguese wine at the moment - it’s so great with food and such brilliantly good value. Especially on restaurant wine lists where it’s invariably underpriced in comparison to better known wine producing countries and regions
Charcuterie and young Syrah
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.
Chablis and Jambon à la Chablisienne
I’m in Chablis for a couple of days this week and last night enjoyed one of the classic local pairings: a basic Chablis and a dish of Jambon à la Chablisienne - thick slices of ham in a cream, tomato and white wine sauce. This version also had a touch of tarragon which cut the richness of the sauce. It contained all the elements that kicks a young Chablis into touch - saltiness (of the ham), acidity (the tomato) and richness (the cream), a perfect counterfoil to Chablis’ own crispness.
Catalan sausage and beans with southern French Syrah/Grenache
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.
Calf's kidney and Côte Rôtie
My match of the week for last week has to come from the sublime WIMPS lunch I had at the Ledbury which members can read about here. It was hard to decide which the best pairing was but I think the calf’s kidney and 1998 Gilles Barge Côte Rôtie just shaved it.
Boiled bacon and cabbage with Irish stout
With St Patrick’s Day falling on a Monday this year - and in Easter week into the bargain - many are expected to be celebrating this coming Saturday so here’s a reminder of just how great an Irish stout (Guinness or otherwise) is with that classic dish of boiled bacon and cabbage.
Bacon, egg and claret
You might think the idea of eating bacon and egg with good claret is sacrilege but bear with me.
Aged Vouvray and wild boar terrine
I sometimes forget to put the wine first in a pairing when it should be the star of the show and this 1995 Close du Bourg Vouvray from Huet was truly spectacular: still fresh as a daisy but subtly, seductively honeyed it was pure pleasure from the first to last sip.
Ribs and rum cocktails
Sweet sticky ribs aren’t the easiest thing to pair with wine so why not look elsewhere? At cocktails, for example?
Nduja and a super-Tuscan red
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.
Mortadella and Boschendal Rosé Brut
How much do people love mortadella! You have no idea. Well perhaps you’re a fellow fan and you do. When I posted this pairing on instagram last week there was a massive response. Admittedly provoked by me describing it as posh Italian spam. (Not in a bad way, you understand.)
Hot ham, kumquat relish and saperavi
Given the intense contagioiusness of Omicron it seemed a good idea to have a low key New Year’s Eve celebration this year which took the form of a really lovely kitchen supper with my friend Jenny Chandler and her family.
Country-style paté with Gamay
This week’s pairing isn’t rocket science, more a reminder of just how good charcuterie and a juicy red like gamay can be.
Celebrate your own Oktoberfest!
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.
10 ways to barbecue better - top tips from TV chef Henry Herbert
A report on an all-day butchery and barbeque course at Hobbs House cookery school I went to a couple of summers ago. A great day out for any BBQ enthusiast (or women who live with one who want to keep their end up ;-)
Simmonet Febvre Irancy 2012
I’ve lost track of the number of times my wine of the week has been a pinot noir but hell, I’ve been in Burgundy this week so what else could I recommend?
Off the shelf: Domaine Grangette La Saignée de Rose Piquepoul Noir 2012
As I mentioned in my Guardian column this week I’m slightly disenchanted with the Languedoc’s signature grape variety Picpoul which isn’t nearly the good value it once was but Grangette’s is one I rather like.
Le Chiassaie 2013 vino spumante
You have to feel sympathy for Italian sparkling wine producers who don’t happen to make prosecco (except possibly those from Franciacorta who manage to charge much the same as champagne).
Wine of the week: Morande One to One Pais
They say that the best wine is the bottle that’s empty at the end of the evening and so it proved with this light Chilean red which I shared with my neighbours the other night.