Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Aïoli A thirst-quencher is needed for its garlic heat. Rhône, sparkling dry white; Provence rosé,
Verdicchio. And marc or grappa, too, for courage.
Antipasti Dry or medium white: Italian (Arneis, Soave, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Vermentino);
light but gutsy red (Valpolicella, straight or ripasso, can handle most things).
Artichoke vinaigrette An incisive dry white: NZ Sauv Bl; Côtes de Gascogne or a modern
Greek; young red: Bordeaux, Côtes du Rhône.
with hollandaise Full-bodied, slightly crisp dry white: Pouilly-Fuissé, Pfalz Spätlese, or a
Carneros or Yarra Valley Chard.
Asparagus A difficult flavour for wine, being slightly bitter, so the wine needs plenty of its own.
Rheingau Ries goes well. Sauv Bl echoes the flavour. Sém beats Chard, esp Australian, but
Chard works well with melted butter or hollandaise. Alsace Pinot Gr, even dry Muscat is gd,
or Jurançon Sec.
Aubergine purée (melitzanosalata) Crisp New World Sauv Bl, eg. from South Africa or NZ; or
modern Greek or Sicilian dry white. Baked aubergine dishes can need sturdier reds: Shiraz,
Zin. Or try a Turkish red like the Imam.
Avocado and tiger prawns Dry to medium or slightly sharp white: Rheingau or Pfalz Kabinett,
Grüner Veltliner, Wachau Ries, Sancerre, Pinot Gr; Sonoma or Australian Chard or Sauv Bl,
or a dry rosé. Or premier cru Chablis.
with mozzarella and tomato Crisp but ripe white with acidity: Soave, Sancerre, Greek
Carpaccio, beef Seems to work well with most wines, incl reds. Top Tuscan is appropriate, but
fine Chards are gd. So are vintage and pink Champagnes.
salmon Chard or Champagne.
tuna Viognier, California Chard or NZ Sauv Bl.
Caviar Iced vodka. Full-bodied Champagne (eg. Bollinger, Krug). Cuvée Annamaria Clementi
from Ca’ del Bosco.
Ceviche Australian Ries or Verdelho, Chilean Sauv Bl.
Charcuterie/salami Young Beaujolais-Villages, Loire reds (ie. Saumur), or NZ or Oregon Pinot
N. Lambrusco or young Zin. Young Argentine or Italian reds. Bordeaux Blanc and light Chard
like Côte Chalonnaise can work well, too.
Chorizo Fino, Austrian Ries, Grüner Veltliner, but not a wine-friendly taste.
Crostini Dry Italian white such as Verdicchio or Orvieto. Or standard-grade (not Riserva)
Morellino di Scansano, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Valpolicella.
Crudités Light red or rosé: Côtes du Rhône, Minervois, Chianti, Pinot N; or Fino Sherry. For
whites: Alsace Sylvaner or Pinot Bl.
Dim sum Classically, China tea. For fun: Pinot Gr or Ries; light Pinot N. For reds, soft, evolved
tannins are key, and the more mature and complex the wine the better it will go. Bardolino,
Rioja, or light Southern Rhône are also contenders. Plus NV Champagne or gd New World
Eggs See also SOUFFLÉS. These present difficulties; they clash with most wines and can ruin good
ones. But local wine with local egg dishes is a safe bet, so ★★ of whatever is going.
Try Pinot Bl or not-too-oaky Chard. As a last resort I can bring myself to drink Champagne
with scrambled eggs.
quails eggs Blanc de blancs Champagne.
seagull (or gull) eggs Mature white burgundy or vintage Champagne.
oeufs en meurette Burgundian genius: eggs in red wine with glass of the same.
Escargots A comfort dish calling for Rhône reds (Gigondas, Vacqueyras). St-Véran or Aligoté,
in Burgundy, . In the Midi, Petits-Gris (“little grey snails”) go with local white, rosé or
red. In Alsace, Pinot Bl or dry Muscat.
Fish terrine or fish salad Pfalz Ries Spätlese Trocken, Grüner Veltliner, premier cru Chablis,
Clare Valley Ries, Sonoma Chard, or Manzanilla.
Foie gras Sweet white. In Bordeaux they drink Sauternes. Others prefer a late-harvest Pinot Gr or
Ries (incl New World), Vouvray, Montlouis, Jurançon moelleux, or Gewurz. Tokaji Aszú 5
puttonyos is a Lucullan choice. Old, dry Amontillado can be sublime. With hot foie gras,
mature vintage Champagne. But not on any account Chard or Sauv Bl. Or red.
Goats cheese, warm Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, or New World Sauv Bl.
chilled Chinon, Saumur-Champigny, or Provence rosé. Or strong red: Château Musar, Greek,
Turkish, Australian sparkling Shiraz.
Guacamole Mexican beer. Or California Chard, Sauv Bl, dry Muscat, or even non-vintage
Haddock, smoked, mousse, soufflé or brandade Wonderful for showing off any stylish, fullbodied
white, incl grand cru Chablis or Sonoma, South African or NZ Chard.
Ham, raw or cured See also PROSCIUTTO. Alsace Grand Cru Pinot Gr or gd, crisp Italian Collio
white. With Spanish pata negra or jamón, Fino Sherry or Tawny Port. See also HAM, COOKED
(Meat, poultry, game).
Herrings, raw or pickled Dutch gin (young, not aged) or Scandinavian akvavit, and cold beer. If
wine essential, try Muscadet.
Mackerel, smoked An oily wine-destroyer. Manzanilla Sherry, proper dry Vinho Verde or
schnapps, peppered or bison-grass vodka. Or gd lager.
Mayonnaise Adds richness that calls for a contrasting bite in the wine. Côte Chalonnaise whites
(eg. Rully) are gd. Try NZ Sauv Bl, Verdicchio or a Spätlese Trocken. Or Provence rosé.
Mezze A selection of hot and cold vegetable dishes. Fino Sherry is in its element.
Mozzarella with tomatoes, basil Fresh Italian white, eg. Soave, Alto Adige. Vermintino from the
coast. Or simple Bordeaux Blanc. See also AVOCADO.
Oysters, raw Non-vintage Champagne, premier cru Chablis, Muscadet, white Graves, Sancerre,
or Guinness. Some like cold, light Sauternes.
cooked Puligny-Montrachet, gd New World Chard. Champagne gd with either.
Pasta Red or white according to the sauce or trimmings:
cream sauce (eg. carbonara) Orvieto, Frascati, Alto Adige Chard.
meat sauce Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Salice Salentino, Merlot.
pesto (basil) Barbera, Ligurian Vermentino, NZ Sauv Bl, Hungarian Furmint.
seafood sauce (eg. vongole) Verdicchio, Soave, white Rioja, Cirò, Sauv Bl.
tomato sauce Chianti, Barbera, Sicilian red, Zin, South Australian Grenache.
Pastrami Alsace Ries, young Sangiovese or St-Émilion.
Pâté, chicken liver Calls for pungent white (Alsace Pinot Gr or Marsanne), a smooth red like a
light Pomerol, Volnay or NZ Pinot N, or even Amontillado Sherry. More strongly flavoured
pâté (duck, etc.) needs Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cornas, Chianti Classico, Franciacorta, or gd
white Graves.
Pipérade Navarra rosado, Provence or southern French rosés. Or dry Australian Ries. For a red:
Prawns, shrimps, or langoustines Fine dry white: burgundy, Graves, NZ Chard, Washington
Ries, Pfalz Ries, Australian Ries – even fine mature Champagne. (“Cocktail sauce” kills
wine, and in time, people.)
Prosciutto (also with melon, pears, or figs) Full, dry or medium white: Orvieto, Lugana, Grüner
Veltliner, Tokaji Furmint, white Rioja, Australian Sem, or Jurançon Sec.
Risotto Pinot Gr from Friuli, Gavi, youngish Sém, Dolcetto, or Barbera d’Alba.
with fungi porcini Finest mature Barolo or Barbaresco.
nero A rich, dry white; Viognier or even Corton-Charlemagne.
Salads Any dry and appetizing white or rosé wine.
NB Vinegar in salad dressings destroys the flavour of wine. Why don’t the French know this?
If you want salad at a meal with fine wine, dress it with wine or lemon juice instead of
Salmon, smoked A dry but pungent white: fino (esp Manzanilla) Sherry, Alsace Pinot Gr, grand
cru Chablis, Pouilly-Fumé, Pfalz Ries Spätlese, vintage Champagne. Vodka, schnapps, or
Soufflés As show dishes these deserve ★★★ wines.
cheese Red burgundy or Bordeaux, Cab Sauv (not Chilean or Australian), etc. Or fine white
fish Dry white: ★★★ Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, Chard, etc.
spinach (tougher on wine) Mâcon-Villages, St-Véran or Valpolicella. Champagne can also
be good with the texture of soufflé.
Tapas Perfect with Fino Sherry, which can cope with the wide range of flavours in both hot and
cold dishes. Or sake.
Tapenade Manzanilla or Fino Sherry, or any sharpish dry white or rosé.
Taramasalata A rustic southern white with personality; even possibly retsina. Fino Sherry works
well. Try white Rioja or a Rhône Marsanne. A bland supermarket tarama submits to fine,
delicate whites or Champagne.
Tempura The Japanese favour oaked Chard with acidity. I prefer Champagne.
Tortilla Rioja Crianza, Fino Sherry or white Mâcon-Villages.
Trout, smoked Sancerre; California or South African Sauv Bl. Rully or Bourgogne Aligoté,
Chablis or Champagne. German Ries Kabinett Feinherb.
Vegetable terrine Not a great help to fine wine, but Chilean Chard makes a fashionable
marriage, Chenin Bl such as Vouvray a lasting one.

Whitebait Crisp dry whites, eg. Furmint, Greek, Touraine Sauv Bl, Verdicchio; or Fino Sherry.


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