“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 enter 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 today is officially World Sauvignon Blanc Day, why not plump for this example from Little Beauty, a single estate production from top winemaker Evelyn Fraser in Marlborough.
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 ahead of next weekend 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.
We have recently 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.
Alternatively, last week we received our first allocation of wines from Sébastien Brunet in the Vouvray appellation of the Loire Valley. His ‘Renaissance’ Vouvray, made with 100% Chenin Blanc, would bring a creaminess to this dish that makes us salivate just thinking about it!
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. We are really excited by the ‘Quartz’ Caillou, a Rhone-blend that is another new arrival in recent weeks, or alternatively you could opt for this Sangiovese/Montepulciano blend from the Marche region of Italy.
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.
Or, should you wish to fully embrace today’s theme, you could grab a bottle of Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc from the organic estate of Menade in central Spain.
Crucially, both these wines are light and fresh enough not to dominate the more delicate flavours of the strawberries – a match made in heaven!