“I am having lamb for dinner on Friday evening, what do you recommend I drink with it?”
Queries like the above are among the most common we receive in the l’Art du Vin inbox. We love food just as much as we love wine, so it is fantastic to see many of our customers looking to engage with the thought process behind matching bottles with specific dishes. Therefore, as we head towards the month of May, we thought we would take this opportunity to highlight some of our favourite personal seasonal pairings.
Whether poached or grilled, seasonal British green asparagus possesses a strong, deep flavour. In order to match that intensity it is key to select a wine that showcases lots of aromatic elements. In contrast, a tannin-heavy red wine has the potential to clash with the strong vegetal greenness of asparagus.
As we near World Sauvignon Blanc Day – celebrated this year on the 7th of May – why not plump for this example from Mahi, a premium estate in Marlborough whose key philosophy focuses on respect for their land and the promotion of the quirks and individuality of their varied vineyard sites.
For something a little different, you could try this Muscat from Domaine Schwach. It is dry, as is typical for Muscat from the region of Alsace, and displays a wonderfully expressive flavour profile that will stand up to the flavour intensity of asparagus.
The first hauls of Sea Trout should be landing on our shores in a couple of weeks’ time and we can’t wait to get our hands on some. It is, in our opinion, one of the best fish to eat simply poached or ‘en papillotte’ with a light butter sauce.
Over the last 18 months, we have seen a surge in popularity from customers wanting to re-acquaint themselves with wines produced using Chardonnay. This is the sort of dish that is perfect to pair with an unoaked example, such as this Mâcon-Péronne from brothers Stéphane and Richard Martin in Burgundy.
Pairing wine with lamb is very much dependent on the cut being used. Loin and rack tend to be more delicate and sweet whereas cooking with shoulder or leg will result in more robust flavours on your plate.
For loin or rack therefore, we can opt for something a little lighter, like this Pinot Noir from Bulgaria that punches well above its price tag.
As for those more intensely flavoured cuts, we need to find something a little bolder and richer. After our recent ‘Behind the Label’ blog on Domaine de Beaurenard, many of you got in touch for information on their wines. A dish like this would be a prime example of when their ‘Rasteau’ comes in to its own – a Grenache-dominated blend packed with red fruits, spice and earthy notes.
The Scottish strawberry season is on its way! To provide an exciting pairing here we need a wine with a balance between residual sugar and acidity.
Our top pick would be a well-chilled Muscat Beaumes de Venise from Château Pesquié in the south of the Rhône region in France.
The key to this pairing is that the Muscat is sufficiently light and fresh not to dominate the more delicate flavours of the strawberries – a match made in heaven!