It’s not quite time to pack up the bbq yet – I am sure we are all hoping for an Indian Summer and to enjoy more al fresco dining. However, this month’s focus is on matching wine to game.
If you are lucky enough to find grouse at your local butchers I would snap this delicacy up! It is best enjoyed classically roasted with bread sauce and a simple salad. There are many wine matches to this special dish, aged Bordeaux can work beautifully with the gamey flavours, as does Rioja, Burgundy or even Barolo. Here are a few we would recommend.
Chateau Deville, 2006 £9.49 – A popular Claret with a bit of age combines well with the gamey flavours of grouse, it has enough fruit to complement this delicacy without overpowering the flavours.
Navajas Rioja Reserva 2005, £12.99 – This Rioja from a traditional Bodega is aged for 20 months in French and American oak. The balance of fruit and oak in the wine will bring out and complement the flavours of the meat making this a lovely match.
Mallard is also in season at this time of year. Delicious classically roasted or try it pot roasted with quince or apples. I would head towards Pinot Noir to match with this game bird and here are a few suggestions below.
Stoneburn Pinot Noir, 2009, Marlborough, NZ £10.49 Special Offer £9.99 – This New World Pinot Noir has an abundance of dark cherry and berry fruit flavours to stand up to the strong flavours of duck. It has smooth tannins and a good acidity to cut through any fat.
La Boussole Pinot Noir, 2011, France £8.99 – This Pinot Noir from the South of France has bright acidity and it is full of fruit with smooth tannins – again this would match well to roast duck.
At this time of year, vege boxes are brimming with different types of squash, and my favourite is butternut squash – if you are vegetarian or just wanting a break from meat then I highly recommend it roasted and put into ravioli or a lasagne. The velvety texture and almost sweet flavour works well with a wine with a bit of oomf, and here are a few to try –
Finca La Linda Torrontes £8.99 – This is a great white wine from Argentina, it has a lovely floral bouquet (rosehip and lavender), on the palate flavours of peaches and orange peel and refreshing acidity. I think this works well particularly with the silky texture and nutty flavour of butternut squash.
Mont Rocher Viognier, France £7.99 Special Offer £6.99 – Try this Viognier from the South of France with butternut squash lasagne or ravioli. The wine has flavours of honeysuckle and apricots, but it also has a lovely citrusy, dry finish that matches well to this pasta dish.
If you have a good fishmonger near you, then order up some squid and either flash fry it (keep the cooking of it quick and hot!), add a small amount of chilli sauce at the end, or stuff it with a herby breadcrumb mix, cover with a Spanish inspired tomato sauce (lots of paprika) and slow roast it until its really, really tender – delicious! If you lightly batter the squid (aka calamari) try it with Prosecco, rosé or a good quaffable Pinot Grigio.
Modella Prosecco £9.99 Special Offer £8.99 – Prosecco is such a fun fizz, and always goes down well at parties – the fruity, frothy, fragrant sparkling wine is a perfect match to calamari – the refreshing acidity and fizz cuts through the fat of the batter.
Castillo del Moro Rosado £5.99 – This flavoursome rosé from Spain has enough fruit to cope with the flavours of squid dishes with chilli or paprika, and it has a lovely dry, zesty finish to leave the palate refreshed and wanting more!
Zio Albarino, Spain £13.99 – Squid and seafood is on the menu in most Galician restaurants, and this Albarino from the same region is a perfect pairing. The green herb and tropical fruit flavours stand up to the most flavoursome of squid dishes.
Whatever you are serving up this month, we can help you with matching a wine to complement. Happy cooking!