Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Barbecues The local wine: Australian, South African, Chilean, Argentina are right in spirit. Reds
need tannin, but silky tannins are best with sauces.
Asian flavours (lime, coriander, etc.) Rosé, Pinot Gr, Ries.
chilli Shiraz, Zin, Pinotage, Malbec, Chilean Syrah.
Middle Eastern (cumin, mint) Crisp, dry whites, rosé.
oil, lemon, herbs Sauv Bl.
tomato sauces Zin, Sangiovese.
Beef, boiled Red: Bordeaux (Bourgogne or Fronsac), Roussillon, Gevrey-Chambertin or Côte-
Rôtie. Medium-ranking white burgundy is gd, eg. Auxey-Duresses. Or top-notch beer.
Mustard softens tannic reds, horseradish kills everything – but can be worth the sacrifice.
roast An ideal partner for your fine red wine of any kind. Amarone, perhaps? See above for
stew, daube, Sturdy red: Pomerol or St-Émilion, Hermitage, Cornas, Barbera, Shiraz, Napa
Cab Sauv, Ribera del Duero or Douro red.
Beef stroganoff Dramatic red: Barolo, Amarone della Valpolicella, Priorat, Hermitage, lateharvest
Zin – even Moldovan Negru de Purkar.
Boudin blanc (white pork sausage) Loire Chenin Bl, esp when served with apples: dry
Vouvray, Saumur, Savennières; mature red Côte de Beaune if without.
Boudin noir (blood sausage) Local Sauv Bl or Chenin Bl – esp in the Loire. Or Beaujolais cru,
esp Morgon. Or light Tempranillo.
Cabbage, stuffed Hungarian Cab Fr/Kadarka; village Rhône; Salice Salentino, Primitivo and
other spicy southern-Italian reds. Or Argentine Malbec.
Cajun food Fleurie, Brouilly, or New World Sauv Bl. With gumbo Amontillado.
Cassoulet Red from Southwest France (Gaillac, Minervois, Corbières, St-Chinian, or Fitou) or
Shiraz. But best of all Beaujolais cru or young Tempranillo.
Chicken Kiev Alsace Ries, Collio, Chard, Bergerac Rouge.
Chicken/turkey/guinea fowl, roast Virtually any wine, incl v. best bottles of dry to medium
white and finest old reds (esp burgundy). The meat of fowl can be adapted with sauces to
match almost any fine wine (eg. coq au vin with red or white burgundy). With strong, spicy
stuffing, Australian Shiraz.
Chilli con carne Young red: Beaujolais, Tempranillo, Zin, Argentine Malbec, Chilean
Cantonese Rosé or dry to dryish white – Mosel Ries Kabinett or Spätlese Trocken – can be gd
throughout a Chinese banquet. Gewurz is often suggested but rarely works; Cantonese food
needs acidity in wine. Dry sparkling (esp Cava) works with the textures. Reds work v. well,
but you need the complexity of maturity, and a silky richness. Young tannins are disasterous as
are overoaked, overextracted monsters. Pinot N is first choice; try also St-Émilion ★★ or
Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I often serve both white and red wines concurrently during Chinese
meals. Champagne becomes a thirst-quencher.
Shanghai Somewhat richer and oilier than Cantonese, Shanghai food tends to be low on chilli
but high on vinegar of various sorts. German, Alsace whites can be sweeter than for
Cantonese. For reds, mature Pinot N is again best.
Szechuan style Verdicchio, Alsace Pinot Bl, or v. cold beer. Mature Pinot N can also work,
but make sure the tannins are silky.
Choucroute garni Alsace Pinot Bl, Pinot Gr, Ries, or lager.
Cold roast meat Generally better with full-flavoured white than red. Mosel Spätlese or
Hochheimer and Côte Chalonnaise are, as is Beaujolais. Leftover cold beef with leftover
vintage Champagne is bliss.
Confit d’oie/de canard Young, tannic red Bordeaux, California Cab Sauv and Merlot, and
Priorat cut richness. Alsace Pinot Gr or Gewurz match it.
Coq au vin Red burgundy. Ideal: one bottle Chambertin in dish, two on the table.
Duck or goose Rather rich white, eg. Pfalz Spätlese or off-dry grand cru Alsace. Or mature,
gamey red: Morey-St-Denis, Côte-Rôtie, Bordeaux, burgundy. With oranges or peaches, the
Sauternais propose drinking Sauternes, others Monbazillac or Ries Auslese. Mature, weighty
vintage Champagne is gd, too, and handles red cabbage surprisingly well.
wild duck Big-scale red: Hermitage, Bandol, California or South African Cab Sauv,
Australian Shiraz – Grange if you can afford it.
with olives Top-notch Chianti or other Tuscans.
roast breast & confit leg with Puy lentils Madiran, St-Émilion, Fronsac.
Frankfurters German/New York Ries, Beaujolais, light Pinot N. Budweiser (Budvar).
Game birds, young, plain-roasted Best red wine affordable, but not big Aussie one.
older birds in casseroles Red (Gevrey-Chambertin, Pommard, Santenay, or grand cru classé
St-Émilion, Napa Valley Cab Sauv or Rhône).
well-hung game Vega Sicilia, great red Rhône, Château Musar.
cold game Mature vintage Champagne.
Game pie, hot Red: Oregon Pinot N.
cold Gd-quality white burgundy, cru Beaujolais, or Champagne.
Goulash Flavoursome young red: Hungarian Kékoportó, Zin, Uruguayan Tannat, Morellino di
Scansano, Mencía, young Australian Shiraz. Or dry Tokaji.
Grouse See GAME BIRDS – but push the boat right out.
Haggis Fruity red, eg. young claret, young Portuguese red, New World Cab Sauv or Malbec, or
Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Or, of course, malt whisky.
Ham, cooked Softer red burgundies: Volnay, Savigny, Beaune; Chinon or Bourgueil; sweetish
German white (Rhine Spätlese); Tokaji Furmint or Czech Frankovka; lightish Cab Sauv (eg.
Chilean), or New World Pinot N. And don’t forget the heaven-made match of ham and Sherry.
Hamburger Young red: Australian Cab Sauv, Chianti, Zin, Argentine Malbec, Chilean
Carmenère or Syrah, Tempranillo. Or full-strength colas (not diet).
Hare Jugged hare calls for flavourful red: not-too-old burgundy or Bordeaux, Rhône (eg.
Gigondas), Bandol, Barbaresco, Ribera del Duero, Rioja Res. The same for saddle, or for
hare sauce with pappardelle.
Indian dishes Various options. This year’s discovery has been how well (dry) Sherry goes with
Indian food: a fairly weighty Fino with fish, and Palo Cortado, Amontillado or Oloroso with
meat, according to the weight of the dish; heat’s not a problem. The texture works, too. Or,
medium-sweet white, v. cold: Orvieto abboccato, South African Chenin Bl, Alsace Pinot Bl,
Torrontés, Indian sparkling, Cava, or non-vintage Champagne. Rosé can be a safe all-rounder.
Tannin – Barolo or Barbaresco, or deep-flavoured reds such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape,
Cornas, Australian Grenache or Mourvèdre, or Amarone della Valpolicella – will emphasize
the heat. Soft reds can be easier. Hot-and-sour flavours need acidity.
Japanese dishes Texture and balance are key; flavours are subtle. Gd mature fizz works well, as
does mature dry Ries; acidity, a bit of body and complexity are needed. Umami-filled meat
dishes favour light, supple, bright reds: Beaujolais perhaps, or mature Pinot N. Full-flavoured
Yakitori needs lively, fruity, younger versions of the same reds. See also SUSHI, SASHIMI.
Kebabs Vigorous red: modern Greek, Corbières, Chilean Cab Sauv, Zin, or Barossa Shiraz. Sauv
Bl, if lots of garlic.
Kidneys Red: St-Émilion or Fronsac, Castillon, Nuits-St-Georges, Cornas, Barbaresco, Rioja,
Spanish or Australian Cab Sauv, top Alentejo.
Korean dishes Fruit-forward wines seem to work best with strong, pungent Korean flavours.
Pinot N, Beaujolais, Valpolicella can all work: acidity is needed. Non-aromatic whites:
Grüner Veltliner, Silvaner, Vernaccia.
Lamb, roast One of the traditional and best partners for red Bordeaux – or its Cab Sauv
equivalents from the New World. In Spain, the partner of the finest old Rioja and Ribera del
Duero Res; in Italy, ditto Sangiovese.
cutlets or chops As for roast lamb, but a little less grand.
slow-cooked roast Flatters top reds, but needs less tannin than pink lamb.
Liver Young red: Beaujolais-Villages, St-Joseph, Médoc, Italian Merlot, Breganze Cab Sauv,
Zin, Tempranillo, Portuguese Bairrada.
calves Red Rioja Crianza, Salice Salentino Riserva, Fleurie.
Meatballs Tangy, medium-bodied red: Mercurey, Crozes-Hermitage, Madiran, Morellino di
Scansano, Langhe Nebbiolo, Zin, Cab Sauv.
spicy Middle-Eastern style Simple, rustic red.
Moussaka Red or rosé: Naoussa from Greece, Sangiovese, Corbières, Côtes de Provence,
Ajaccio, NZ Pinot N, young Zin, Tempranillo.
Mutton A stronger flavour than lamb, and not served pink. Robust but elegant red and top-notch,
mature Cab Sauv, Syrah. Some sweetness of fruit suits it.
Osso bucco Low-tannin, supple red such as Dolcetto d’Alba or Pinot N. Or dry Italian white such
as Soave and Lugana.
Ox cheek, braised Superbly tender and flavoursome, this flatters the best reds: Vega Sicilia,
Bordeaux. Best with substantial wines.
Oxtail Rather rich red: St-Émilion, Pomerol, Pommard, Nuits-St-Georges, Barolo, or Rioja Res,
Ribera del Duero, California or Coonawarra Cab Sauv, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, mid-weight
Shiraz, Amarone.
Paella Young Spanish wines: red, dry white or rosé: Penedès, Somontano, Navarra, or Rioja.
Pigeon Lively reds: Savigny, Chambolle-Musigny, Crozes-Hermitage, Chianti Classico,
Argentine Malbec, or California Pinot N. Or Franken Silvaner Spätlese.
Pork, roast A gd, rich, neutral background to a fairly light red or rich white. It deserves ★★
treatment – Médoc is fine. Portugal’s suckling pig is eaten with Bairrada garrafeira; Chinese
is gd with Pinot N.
pork belly Slow-cooked and meltingly tender, this needs a red with some acidity. Italian
would be gd: Dolcetto or Barbera. Loire red or lightish Argentine Malbec.
Pot au feu, bollito misto, cocido Rustic reds from the region of origin; Sangiovese di Romagna,
Chusclan, Lirac, Rasteau, Portuguese Alentejo, Spain’s Yecla or Jumilla.
Quail Carmignano, Rioja Res, mature claret, Pinot N. Or a mellow white: Vouvray or St-Péray.
Rabbit Lively, medium-bodied young Italian red or Aglianico del Vulture; Chiroubles, Chinon,
Saumur-Champigny, or Rhône rosé.
with prunes Bigger, richer, fruitier red.
as ragù Medium-bodied red with acidity.
Satay Australia’s McLaren Vale Shiraz, or Alsace or NZ Gewurz. Peanut sauce is a problem
with wine.
Sauerkraut (German) Lager or Pils. (But see also CHOUCROUTE GARNI.)
Sausages See also CHARCUTERIE, FRANKFURTERS. The British banger requires a young Malbec
from Argentina (a red wine, anyway), or British ale.
Shepherd’s pie Rough-and-ready red seems most appropriate, eg. Sangiovese di Romagna, but
either beer or dry cider is the real McCoy.
Singaporean dishes Part Indian, part Malay and part Chinese, Singaporean food has big, bold
flavours that don’t match easily with wine. Off-dry Ries is as gd as anything. With meat
dishes, ripe, supple reds: Valpolicella, Pinot N, Dornfelder, unoaked Merlot, or Carmenère.
au poivre A fairly young Rhône red or Cab Sauv.
filet or tournedos Any red (but not old wines with béarnaise sauce: top New World Pinot N
or Californian Chard is better).
Fiorentina (bistecca) Chianti Classico Riserva or Brunello. The rarer the meat, the more
classic the wine; the more well-done, the more you need New World, fruit-driven wines.
Argentina Malbec is the perfect partner for steak Argentine-style, ie. cooked to death.
Korean yuk whe (the world’s best steak tartare) Sake.
tartare Vodka or light young red: Beaujolais, Bergerac, Valpolicella.
T-bone Reds of similar bone structure: Barolo, Hermitage, Australian Cab Sauv or Shiraz,
Chilean Syrah.
Steak-and-kidney pie or pudding Red Rioja Res or mature Bordeaux.
Stews and casseroles Burgundy such as Nuits-St-Georges or Pommard if fairly simple;
otherwise lusty, full-flavoured red: young Côtes du Rhône, Toro, Corbières, Barbera, Shiraz,
Zin, etc.
Sweetbreads A rich dish, so grand wine: Rheingau Ries or Franken Silvaner Spätlese, grand cru
Alsace Pinot Gr or Condrieu, depending on sauce.
Tagines These vary enormously, but fruity young reds are a gd bet: Beaujolais, Tempranillo,
Sangiovese, Merlot, Shiraz.
Chicken with preserved lemon, olives Viognier.
Tandoori chicken Ries or Sauv Bl, young red Bordeaux, or light north Italian red served cool.
Also Cava and non-vintage Champagne, and dry Palo Cortado or Amontillado Sherry.
Thai dishes Ginger and lemon grass call for pungent Sauv Bl (Loire, Australia, NZ, South Africa)
or Ries (Spätlese or Australian). Most curries suit aromatic whites with a touch of sweetness:
German or Alsace Ries. Gewurz is also gd.
Tongue Gd for any red or white of abundant character, esp Italian. Also Beaujolais, Loire reds,
Tempranillo, and full, dry rosés.
Veal, roast Gd for any fine old red that may have faded with age (eg. Rioja Res) or a German or
Austrian Ries, Vouvray, Alsace Pinot Gr.
Venison Big-scale reds, incl Mourvèdre, solo as in Bandol or in blends. Rhône, Bordeaux or
California Cab Sauv of a mature vintage; or rich white – Pfalz Spätlese or Alsace Pinot Gr.
With a sweet and sharp berry sauce, try a German Grosses Gewächs Ries or a Chilean
Carmenère or Syrah.
Vitello tonnato Full-bodied whites: Chard; light reds (eg. Valpolicella) served cool.

Wild boar Serious red: top Tuscan or Priorat. NZ Syrah.


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