Pairings | Rioja
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.
The best food pairings for rioja
Rioja - and by that I mean red rioja - is one of the UK's best-loved wines and one of the easiest ones to match with food too.
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
Top wine pairings for lamb
It’s true that lamb is one of the most wine-friendly of meats, as at home with red Bordeaux and Rioja as it is with the fruitier wines of the new world. But if you’re looking for a spot-on wine pairing it’s worth thinking just how - and for how long - you’re going to cook it.
6 of the best Spanish wines to pair with tapas
It shouldn't come as a massive surprise that Spain can provide any style of wine you might fancy to drink with tapas.
Wine and lamb: my 5 favourite pairings
It’s tough to say what the best wine matches for lamb are - it’s served so many different ways and there are so many wines (mainly red) that work but here are my five favourites.
The best wine pairings for pheasant
Even if not well-hung, as it rarely is these days, pheasant has a stronger flavour than other feathered game such as partridge or duck. And older, tougher birds are often braised or pot-roasted which calls for a more robust wine match still.
Which wine to pair with a Moroccan tagine?
While summer isn’t a time one feels drawn to hearty stews Moroccan tagines are a different matter. Exotic and aromatic, they somehow suit the heat and not being particularly spicy are relatively simple to match with wine.
The best wine pairings for partridge
I sometimes think partridge is my favourite game bird - less full-on and ‘gamey’ than pheasant, more subtle and delicate than chicken. But what wine should you drink with it?
The tricky task of pairing wine and citrus
This is the perfect time of year for buying oranges and lemons but what effect do they have on the recipes you’re making? Quite a marked one, if truth be told. Lemons in particular have a high level of acidity which will make any wine you drink with them taste sweeter. If that’s counterbalanced in the recipe by sugar as in a lemon tart or lemon meringue pie, for example, the result is a dish that’s really quite hard to match.
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?
Wine, beer and other pairings with Mexican food
The thing you need to ask yourself when you’re wondering which wine - or other drink - to pair with Mexican food is what kind of Mexican. Authentic Mexican or Tex Mex?
Which wines and beers pair best with mushrooms?
If you think of the ingredients that show off a great wine mushrooms would have to be near the top of the list.
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 wine to pair with goose
If you’ve decided to serve goose rather than turkey this Christmas you’ve already opted to be adventurous. So you could arguably be adventurous about your wine (or other drink) pairing too.
Top wine pairings with asparagus
Whenever anyone talks about foods that are difficult to match with wine, asparagus always comes up but I reckon the problem is overstated.
The best wines to pair with haggis
I’ve argued before that whisky and beer are the best matches for haggis but what if you prefer a wine? What colour and style work best?
The best wine pairings with monkfish
Monkfish (or lotte, as the French call it) is a meaty fish that is often roasted so pairs equally well with red wine as with white. In fact a lightly chilled red wine would generally be my preferred match, particularly if it’s wrapped in pancetta or bacon
The best wine and beer pairings for steak pie
As with many other pairings the best match for steak pie depends how you cook it and whether the sauce includes beer, stock or wine
Some top beer and wine pairings for Cheshire cheese
I’ve recently had the chance to taste through a range of wines and beers with Cheshire - Appleby’s Cheshire to be exact - so the hits and misses are fresh in my mind. As you probably know it’s a British territorial cheese with a crumbly texture and mellow flavour but quite a firm bite.
Six of the best drink pairings for kale
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.
5 wine and beer pairings for shepherd’s pie
You’ll always find people argue about shepherd’s pie but in my view it should be made with lamb rather than beef (that’s cottage pie) and with very little, if any tomato - apart from maybe a dash of ketchup for sweetness.
The best food pairings for Grenache
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.
Win a case of top quality rioja
Sponsored feature We have an absolutely fabulous prize for you this month - a case of some of the best and most highly rated wines from the Rioja region worth over £400.
Rioja - and rioja drinkalike - bargains
Rioja remains one of the most popular reds in the UK, not least because of its price, and there are two bargains right now that any rioja-lover should snap up.
Win a fabulous case of Rioja!
I know this month’s competition is going to be really popular because so many of you love Rioja. However it’s probably the red wines of the region you’re most familiar with: this is a chance to try the whites and rosados (rosés) too along with some more expensive wines you may not have had a chance to taste before.
Win an aged Spanish beef meat box, a bottle of Rioja gran reserva and a copy of Prime
For this month’s comp we’ve teamed up with our good friends Islington-based butchers Turner & George* again to offer you a type of beef that’s become a real hit on the London restaurant scene. THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
Oaked white rioja and rabbit terrine
This time of year is full of pre-Christmas get-togethers which means a higher than usual number of meals out and an above average number of interesting wine pairings.
Wine of the Week: The Society’s Exhibition Rioja Reserva 2017
There are apparently only low stocks left of The Wine Society’s Exhibition Rioja Reserva 2017 which should encourage you to snap up a few bottles if you're a member.
Win a case of exceptional Mirto rioja from Ramon Bilbao
A couple of months ago I went to Moscow to speak at an event organised by the Rioja producer Rámon Bilbao and reported back on one of the most extraordinary pairings they came up with - a chocolate layer cake and a really, lush modern rioja called Mirto which is only made in the region’s best vintages.
Lobster and sweetcorn with Allende Rioja Blanco
I came across this pairing at a dinner to launch the London Restaurant Festival. It was held at Nuno Mendes Loft Project, a permanent East London pop-up - if there is such a thing - where he normally hosts visiting chefs of a similarly experimental bent. Mendes is one of the most talented chefs in London at the moment and normally cooks at nearby Viajante in Bethnal Green which I reviewed here.
Cune Gran Reserva Rioja Imperial 2005
It’s easy to overlook the familiar in favour of the esoteric, particularly when you’re a wine writer but it’s hard to think of a bottle that consistently gives more pleasure than Cune’s Gran Reserva Imperial Rioja.
Wine and cheese: Rosemary and ewes’ milk cheese and (very) old white rioja
Last week I hosted a tasting for Wines of Rioja at Cambridge Wine Merchants. You never know quite how these things are going to work out on the day but happily most of the matches were spot on.
Chicken, lemon and olive tagine with Rioja reserva
Friends came round the other night and I cooked one of my favourite new recipes - a chicken, lemon and olive tagine (which appears in my forthcoming book Food, Wine and Friends, she adds, unable to resist a cheap plug!). One of the reasons it’s slightly different from the authentic Moroccan version is that I remove the chicken skin which makes the dish a lot lighter.
Peruvian-style scallops and Rioja rosado
I thought it was pretty brave of rioja producer Ramon Bilbao to present their wines at a cutting edge Peruvian restaurant last week. Still, everyone knows rioja goes with Spanish food so why not? You never make new wine pairing discoveries if you don’t push the envelope.
Panoramico Rioja rosado 2019
Who thinks about Rioja when it comes to rosé? Well maybe we should, certainly if this stylish example from Panoramico is anything to go by.
Morrisons The Best Marques de Los Rios Rioja Blanco Reserva 2011
I’m flagging this up not because I think you’re all going to love it - mature white wines are not for everyone* - but because I think it’s a fantastic achievement for a supermarket to stock a six year old wine of such quality in its own label range.
Matching wine and tapas
Lucy Bridgers selflessly devotes herself to finding the perfect pairing for tapas on a tapas crawl through some of London's leading tapas bars
Young red rioja and menestra (Spanish vegetable stew)
Of all the great food and wine pairings I experienced in Rioja last week this was the most unexpected.
Chocolate layer cake and single vineyard rioja
I’ve always been sceptical about the combination of red wine and chocolate but I came across one in Moscow last week that was simply sensational
What to eat with your favourite wines this Christmas
Although we wine writers like to think we might be able to encourage you to be more adventurous in your wine choices this Christmas the truth is you’re probably going to stick to the wines you're familiar with.
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.
The best wine matches for Manchego, Berkswell and other hard sheep cheeses
Hard sheep cheeses are the winelover’s friend.
What makes a vino da meditazione?
You may have a fixed idea of what constitutes a vino da meditazione but, as Peter Pharos argues, many wines are well suited to sipping thoughtfully on one's own.
Beer vs wine: experiments with cheddar
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.
Which wine to drink with paella?
If you’re a bit hesitant about the idea of matching fish and red wine you might automatically think of pairing paella with a white wine. But I think it goes just as well with a rosé or a red.
Spanish wine matches for Moro recipes
For the last couple of weeks The Telegraph has been running recipes from two of my favourite chefs, Sam and Sam Clark of Moro, the iconic Moorish recipe in Exmouth Market in London that I discover, to my amazement, is now 11 years old. Sam (the husband) is very into his wines, particularly sherry, so I'm suggesting Spanish wines for the pairings.
Red wine and red meat - what could possibly go wrong?
Wine writer Stuart Walton casts a sceptical eye over accepted wisdom:
A robust Spanish fish stew from Stevie Parle's fabulous new Dock Kitchen Cookbook. Stevie is one of the best -travelled and most original chefs in London with a well-honed magpie tendency of picking up ingredients and techniques from every country he visits. He also writes a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph.
The best wine matches for turbot
Turbot is a luxurious fish you might well be serving over the holiday period, most probably roast or seared. But what sort of wine should you pair with it?
Middle eastern-style lamb with grilled vegetables and a natural red wine
We all know that roast lamb is a great pairing with red wines but the assumption is often that it’s prepared in a classic French way so it was interesting to note over the weekend that if you give it a middle-eastern spin exactly the same applies
Top wine and beer matches for game
We Brits have always had a reputation for liking our wines old and our game high but times have changed. Today the key factor in matching game tends to be not how ‘gamey’ it is but how it’s cooked and what is served with it.
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?
What to drink with asparagus part I
Last night I had dinner at the Dorchester Grill Room, one of London’s grander hotel restaurants which has been given an absurdly baroque makeover reminiscent of what Balmoral must have looked like in Victorian times. The team in the restaurant though are bang up to date with one of the smartest sommeliers in town, Jason McAuliffe doing an impressive double act with the talented young chef Aiden Byrne.
Duck tagine and Moscatel
I certainly feel duck’s status as one of the best ingredients to pair with wine has been enhanced by this week’s match of the week
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 ;-)
The lemon dilemma
I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about ingredients that cause problems for wine and have come to the conclusion that lemon is one of the major culprits. Of course we add lemon to many things for a subtle lift - I’m talking about recipes where lemoniness (if there is such a word) is the essence of the dish.
Risotto of smoked haddock, leeks and cauliflower with a vadouvan dressing
An unusually complicated recipe for this site but one which should be absolutely worth the effort. It comes from Phil Howard's fantastic The Square: The Cookbook volume 1 which I suspect is already well-thumbed in many restaurant kitchens.
Rare seared sirloin steak slivers with feta, charred lettuce and charred cucumber
If you're thinking of going in for our Le Creuset competition this month you may have been tempted by the rather gorgeous-looking cast iron square grill.
Parsnip, Miso, Oat and Shallot Boulangère
A gorgeously hearty, warming vegetable-based dish from Gizzi Erskine's inspiring book Restore which is full of and advice on how to eat ethically and seasonally.
Navarin of lamb
I made this simple, classic French one-pot meal down in the Languedoc in April last year - proof that a stew hits the spot at what can still be a chilly time of year.
Kid Rogan Josh
One of the most interesting cookbooks to come out in the past couple of years is James Whetlor's Goat - a book of recipes for using goat meat.
Josceline Dimbleby's Crispy Pigeon Pie
This impressive Moroccan-style pie from Josceline Dimbleby's food memoir Orchards in the Oasis would make a great centrepiece for a dinner party or more casual supper with friends.
A stylishly presented alternative cheese board
We tend to get stuck in a bit of a groove when it comes to serving cheese, picking five or six and serving them on a big cheeseboard but if you’re serious about trying to find a good wine match that isn’t the best strategy.
The 10 best wines for spring and early summer drinking
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.
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.
What to drink with an omelette (or frittata)
There aren’t many wine pairings that form the subject of a book title but Elizabeth David’s Omelette and a Glass of Wine immortalised the combination.
What to drink with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's veggie recipes
If you’re used to choosing wine - or other drinks - to match with meat or fish you may be flummoxed when it comes to chosing one for vegetarian friends. But as I explain in my Guardian column today it’s a question of finding out how the wine is made - and in particular whether any animal-based products have been used in the fining process.
The best wine matches for Comté
After a recent visit to the Jura I've rethought my ideas about which wines make the best wine pairings for Comté cheese.
Six of the best wines with a nut roast
You might be surprised that a nut roast isn’t that different from a conventional roast when it comes to finding a wine pairing. The savoury flavours are designed to act as a satisfying substitute for meat and so work best with similarly full-bodied red wines.
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?
8 great wine matches for brussels sprouts
The idea of doing a post on wine matches with brussels sprouts might strike you as a tad over the top - after all who eats sprouts on their own? (Answer: me. Whenever I get the chance.)
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.
Salade Niçoise and Rosé
The weather has been so unseasonally hot over the last couple of days - well into the 20s (or the late 70s for those of you who prefer to think in Fahrenheit) - that I’m suddenly fast-forwarding to summer and one of my favourite meals, Salade Niçoise.
Roast turbot with wild mushrooms and white Minervois
I spent last week in the Languedoc where we visit quite regularly so there weren’t many new food and wine discoveries to be made but I think the most thought-provoking match was a main course dish of roast turbot with girolles and a bottle of Château Cabezac 'Alice' 2008 from the Minervois I had at a restaurant in Agde called Le Bistrot d’Hervé.
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.
Braised pheasant with chestnuts and Vacqueyras
Our final pre-Christmas meal at our favourite local restaurant Culinaria the other night was a real feast of winter flavours. Unusually every dish went well with the bottle we chose, a 2005 Vacquéyras Cuvée des Templiers from Le Clos des Cazaux, a wonderfully full-flavoured blend of Syrah and Grenache that was as good as many minor Châteauneuf-du-Pâpes I’ve tasted. A real treat.
Must grouse wine matches be classic?
I’m always in two minds about whether to write about the beginning of the grouse season. After all only a tiny number of people will be sufficiently interested - or well-heeled - to bag the first birds that arrive on restaurant tables this evening.
Wines - and other drinks - to match recipes from the Ottolenghi Cookbook
The book I’ve been looking forward to most so far this year has just started being serialised in the Guardian today. It’s by Yotam Ottolenghi who founded two exceptional London restaurants and is simply called Ottolenghi: the Cookbook. l love Ottolenghi's food - it’s so generous and big-flavoured, piled high on bright, colourful platters - you can't fail to be tempted by it. It also lends itself perfectly to entertaining for large numbers at home.