I love wine so much that I made it my day job, where I'm fortunate enough to work for a merchant specialising in Burgundy (hands down the best wine region in the world, I don’t care what anyone else says!!) and I'm about to embark on the prestigious Master of Wine qualification (lots of hard work to come!) - so yeah, I really like wine!
Equally I love spicy food and adore the flavours in Caribbean and African cooking (see the supper club menu). The problem is that traditionally hot food (chilli hot, obviously) and wine don't mix, but I don't think this is strictly true, not if you give it a bit of thought. In these posts I will make it my mission to find delicious wines (at various price points) which I think would make a great match with our menu.
The idea is to update this page on a regular basis, so it’s in tune with our current menu – and if there’s anything else you want to know just ask!
However, if these don’t take your fancy I can highly recommend rum or Red Stripe!
I look forward to raising a glass of something (preferably alcoholic) with you soon!
|Photo by Michael Thomas Jones - http://www.michaelthomasjones.com|
October Wine Recommendations
Wine matching - it's feeling very autumnal today so I suggest theses beauties to warm you up and help wash down your supper next week:
Supermarket dash: Bodegas Jimenez Landi Bajondillo 2011, Mentrida, Spain (circa £7.50)
Yummers - this is gooooood! Fruity, punchy, rich and smooth - this would be spectacular with our goat. Not technically from the supermarket but amazingly good value (and a pretty cool label to boot!)
Bit flash: Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes 2010 Frédéric Magnien, Burgundy (circa £35.00)
Like crushed velvet in a glass - oozing elegance, poise, grace and power. Wow!! - you really don't want the bottle to end.
Find them here: http://www.wine-searcher.com
September Wine Recommendations
It's a bit blooming miserable out there at the moment! What we need to brighten our spirits is a good strong proper red.
Now goat, and curry goat especially, isn't particularly vino friendly. As I've mentioned before you need something big enough to stand up to the richness and flavour of the dish but nothing too tannic, or too structured. It just doesn't work - believe me I've tried many a combo (it's to do with the spices making the tannin, oak etc taste more pronounced and often bitter = not good).
And the answer to this conundrum (that I'm sure has been keeping you all up all night) is Zinfandel; it's big, rich and the styles which have a little residual sugar work a treat with the Soul Food Girl's signature dish. Here's two beauties for you to try:
Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2010 - circa £10, Majestic, Tesco
Archetypal big, rich Zin - an absolute steal if you can find it at under a tenner.
Turley Juveniles Zinfandel 2010 - circa £20-£21 (head to www.wine-searcher.com to find this one)
From 40-50+ year old vine fruit this sure is Zin, and it oozes confidence and panache. Delish but just make sure you've got a few friends to share the bottle with, with alcohol around 15%+ I was drunk after 1 glass of this!
August Wine Recommendations
For our next supper club, and in August in general, I highly recommend you drink rosé. It's works extremely well with all sorts of food and in particular something with a bit of spice - à la the Soul Food Girls!
A lively, scrumptious rosé is precisely what you need for our August menu - just make sure it's not sweet (I've just had to purchase White Zinfandel for my Master of Wine tasting application - oh the shame!!) Here's two of my current favourites:
Domaine Rimauresq Petit Rimauresq 2011/12, Cotes de Provence - Waitrose £10.99
With a whiff of lavender and sweet thyme on the nose - this is textbook Provençal rosé. Cool, clean, crisp and very dry - this makes for a very sophisticated pink option even the boys can enjoy!
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2012 - circa £25 find it here: http://www.wine-searcher.com/wine-5950-2012-domaine-tempier-bandol-rose-provence-france-
A lot of people say there's no point spending good money on rosé and while I'd mostly agree this really is bloody delicious. Whist the Rimauresq is a perfectly respectable drink this is going up a notch, it's a turbo-charged version, whilst still retaining nuance and subtlety. With gorgeous aromas of sweet spices, tangerine and raspberries and a tangy, smooth, complex palate – it transports you to a place far more chic than the currently humid, drizzly London!
July's Supper Club Wine recommendations
(head to www.wine-searcher.com to find these)
Cheverny blanc 2011, Pascal Bellier – circa £10
You can't technically get this in a supermarket but it’s a bloody bargain, and certainly worth seeking out. Full of fresh, clean, ripe fruit this Chardonnay/Sauvignon blend is a real winner (only 20% Sauvignon – which is more than enough in my humble opinion). I served this wine at my wedding so that's a fairly big endorsement!! A lovely summer quaffer but serious enough to stand up to our prawn fritters and chicken chilli salad - delish!! They make a pretty tasty pink too!
Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie 2010, Château Thivin – circa £20
Beaujolais is where it’s at. It’s honestly so often precisely what people are after in a bottle of red under/around £20 (trust me, I’ve had this tedious discussion more than I care to remember) – just don’t get put off by Nouveau, this is NOT the same thing! Fermented and aged in oak and literally bursting with black, brambly fruit this is divine - but it’s not a blockbuster, or trying to be something it’s not. Spicy food needs a fairly rich wine but not too much in the way of tannin – and here it is! This is so good with the goat!
Wine matches for June's Supper Club
OK so the weather is still seriously crap but we can pretend it's Summer, right? Here are a couple of our favourite summery tipples:
Taste the Difference Albariño 2009 - (Sainsbury's £7.99)
This is a great find, and Albariño is still having its moment (a très chic choice) – zingy and punchy it’s like a more exciting version of Sauvignon Blanc (of which I’m normally not a fan, the Menetou below is an exception). It is the shellfish wine and so perfection with our crab dish, but it’s so delicious you’ll have no problem finishing the bottle!
Menetou-Salon blanc Clos de la Cure 2011, Roger Champault
Cool, crisp, classy Sauvignon from the eastern Loire (and Sancerre's neighbour) this would be a brilliant match with our crab course, or as a quaffable aperitif. (circa £12 – 15, find it here :
May’s Wine Recommendations
Simply Garnarcha 2010, Campo de Borja, Spain (Tesco £4.99)
This is quite yummy – full of juicy, spiced plum fruit with just enough zip and freshness to it. It’s simple (as it’s name suggests) but it’s a steal for a fiver. This would be a great match with our curry goat.
Mullineux Syrah 2010, Swartland, South Africa (circa £20 - find it here: http://www.winesearcher.com/find/mullineux+syrah/2010/uk)
These guys have been getting a lot of hype recently, and justifiably so. Vibrant, complex and complete – this is serious stuff, and there’s a lovely restraint to it (not always the case with New World reds). Again, this would be a fine match with our tremendous curry goat!