Pairings | Basil
What wine (or other drinks) should you pair with herbs?
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.
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.
Carrot and basil-infused slugs and Saumur Blanc
For the first time my match of the week is not one I’ve experienced myself but was reported by Ron Zimmerman of The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington on Twitter (where he tweets as Herbguy - and I tweet as winematcher)
Spaghetti with courgettes, basil, smoked almonds and Bordeaux rosé
I was sent a really unusual rosé the other day from biodynamic Bordeaux wine estate Chateau le Puy, their 2019 Rose-Marie.
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.
Polenta with roasted courgettes, tomatoes and basil and Bardolino
After months of lockdown it’s been such a pleasure to return to favourite restaurants like Elliott and Tessa Lidstone’s Box-E and I couldn’t have had a more perfect day to enjoy it. The food too - especially this quintessentially summery dish of courgettes, tomatoes and basil with the lightest, fluffiest polenta - was just perfect for sitting outside on a hot day.
Clams Stir-fried with Roasted Chilli Paste
Though I long to recreate its singing flavours I've always been slightly daunted by Thai food. The recipes always seem so long and complex and contain so many ingredients.
A Valentine's dinner for lazy lovers
Whatever you get up to on Valentine’s night (and truly, I’d rather not know) my guess is you’ve got better things to do than spend it slaving over a hot stove. So this is an unashamed cheat’s menu from the archives for you to romance your loved one with the absolute minimum of effort.
The best food matches with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
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.
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.
Pasta with pesto and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
This past week has reminded me yet again what a great match Italian whites are for food. Their lack of obvious character means they tend not to stand out in a tasting but they explode into life with a dish.
Grilled aubergine, red pepper and goats cheese baguette and Le Fruit Défendu rosé
It’s been so steamingly hot this past week down in the Languedoc (sorry to rub it in, rain-sodden folks back home) that there isn’t any alternative to rosé for my match of the week. That’s what I’ve been drinking (albeit from different producers) with everything.
Gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce and Barbera d'Asti
A surprisingly good pairing I came across in a local Italian restaurant on Saturday night. The (admirably light) home-made gnocchi were dressed with a fresh tomato sauce with basil which I would have thought would have been overwhelmed by the firm, well-structured 13.5% Barbera the boys had ordered with it - a Ca’ del Matt 2002. (For preference I’d have drunk a dry Italian white such as a Soave.) But it was spot on - even better than it was with my main course of slow roast pork belly.