Archive for November, 2008

Mini Budget

Posted on: November 26th, 2008 by Andrew No Comments

I am just in the process of repricing our list just 1 month before Christmas. This govenment-induced lunacy is supposed to help so called struggling consumers, although how it will when the vast majority of consumers spend the bulk of their money on food ( no VAT), petrol ( duty increased to compensate) and household bills most of which are at low or no VAT rates.
This measure will only help rich people buy expensive wines (Cheaper!), Cars and other big ticket undiscounted items. Cheap wines have become more expensive, not helped by the continuing fall in the pound so most of us will have a disbenefit over the Christmas period and into the New Year. Oh well, think of all the money we’ll save on our kids presents, it might even be as much as a pound!

Wines with food – a continuing debate

Posted on: November 5th, 2008 by Andrew No Comments

We are often asked by customers for recommendations of wines to match certain foods. This is a question that fills me with gloom as everyone has different tastes and I’m terrified of ruining someone’s carefully planned meal with some totally inappropriate wines. The usual rule of thumb is to suggest Claret or similar with lamb, Burgundy with beef, Rhone with game and Sancerre with fish. This of course leaves out nearly all available wines not to say nearly all food types. Our cuisine experience has expanded exponentially over the last 30 years but the food/wine interface is stuck in the 50’s.

As I taste my way around the place, I am trying to log the different food types as well as the wines in an effort to broaden my horizons. After all, its one of the most important aspects of the wine experience and one that is often stressed in traditional wine regions; the local wines match the food.

Luckily for me, stuck down here in the country the question is rarely difficult to answer as most people here wouldn’t consider giving a dinner party without including one or other of the above foods. Or chicken. (chardonnay if you’re asking). However this is not satisfactory in today’s Fusion Cooking world and I need a larger ammunition of food and wine pairings.

Musing on this with a bottle of I thought rather good Chilean Pinot Noir the other night, I came to the obvious conclusion. What is it about the wine that makes it suitable as a food pairing? Well, acidity helps as does tannin. Fruit can help or hinder whilst weight and depth will also give pointers. So I just need to create a chart with all these factors and rank all my wines accordingly and bingo – problem solved. But no, I’m back where I started – everyone’s tastes are different.

So I’m hoping that that this might get some of you posting your favourite food and wine pairings and where you had them so that I may vicariously enjoy the experience and be able to pass it on when asked.

By the way I had the Pinot Noir with Cauliflower cheese and sausages – it went surprisingly well as on its own it was distinctly burgundian and slightly austere. The wine was 2006 Pinot Noir from Canata in the Bio Bio, southern Chile.


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