Pays d’Oc IGP is offering foody Brits a guide to food and wine pairing as most admit to wine pairing panic and the fear of choosing a ‘wrong’ wine.
We may know our chimichurri from our kimchi, but according to research by Pays d’Oc IGP, 87% of Brits are clueless when deciding what wine to drink with more unusual dishes and ingredients. A further 41% claim to panic when choosing wine for any meal, traditional or modern.
With over a third of us Brits having cooked Korean, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Greek or North African for friends in the past three months, our lack of knowledge of the wines to pair with these flavours could be ruining our enjoyment of them.
Pays d’Oc IGP, leader in French varietal wines and no. 1 French wine exporter, is here to help, along with wine expert Jane Parkinson, IWSC Communicator of the Year 2014, and French Michelin starred chef Eric Chavot, of Brasserie Chavot in Mayfair.
Eric has created ten recipes with both traditional and modern influences (based on research), which Jane has then paired with two Pays d’Oc IGP wines, demonstrating their suitability for a range of occasions. Eric’s recipes nod towards modern dining trends, such as Middle Eastern Mezze and Asian influences, whilst also featuring some of the most widely used ingredients that have gained popularity in recent years, such as kale, sweet potato and avocado.
Pairing wines with new flavours doesn’t have to send you into a panic, so Jane has some general tips which can help out, commenting; “Pinot Noir is famously (and usefully) very versatile with food. From game or ratatouille to Chinese ribs, Pinot Noir can handle it! Matching wine with spicy food can be tricky, but aromatic grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc work well with rich and creamy curries, as well as lighter dishes like sushi and sashimi.”
Pairings include a Domaine de Valensac Sauvignon with lemongrass aromas or a juicy La Croix Gratiot Les Zazous Pinot Noir with one of Eric’s modern dishes, Grilled sea bass fillets, fennel and pomegranate slaw. Whereas the more traditional Daube de boeuf provencal, is paired with four delicious wines, the peppery Domaines Paul Mas Vinus Malbec, the floral Les Jamelles Syrah, the bold, rich Pierrick Harang – Cuvée Balthazar, and the jammy Domaine l’Engarran Assemblage.
Eric has also given traditional favourites a modern twist, such as his Beef tartarewith a Kale salad, paired by Jane with a delectable Villa Blanche Grenache Roséor a fruity Domaine Sainte Marie des Crozes Cabernet Franc. The traditional French dish of Veal blanquette is made modern by the addition of a Quinoa pilaff, with this hybrid of modernity and tradition, Jane recommends the easy drinking Domaines Paul Mas Grenache Syrah, or a Domaine des Aspes Chardonnay.
Pays d’Oc IGP Make Food and Wine Pairings Easy; Try my favourites:
Domaines Paul Mas – Elegant Frog – Viognier – White – 2014
Ripe roasted lemon aroma and with juicy peach flavours and a little white pepper spice.
Louis Max – Pinot Noir – Climat Haute Vallée – Red – 2013
Rich oaky nose and roasted beetroot with a hint of cumin and paprika. Drying and reasonably oaky with a black tea-flavoured finish.
£7.60, Wine 2 You
Domaine Sainte Marie des Crozes – Le Clandestin – Sauvignon Blanc – White – 2014
Full-on Sauvignon Blanc-ness from start to finish, with freshly cut grass, peas and asparagus flavours.
£7.94, Matthew Clark
Louis Max – Chardonnay – Climat Haute Vallée – White – 2014
Zesty and tangy with red apple crunchiness, it’s one of the freshest Chardonnays in the group.
£7.60, Wine 2 You
Calmel & Joseph – Villa Blanche – Grenache – Rosé – 2014
Strawberries with with pepper spice. Punchy Pomegranate juiciness and crunch on the palate.
£9.50, PMI Wine Cellars
Domaine Sainte Marie des Crozes – Cabernet Franc – Red – 2014
A good easy-drinking style with generous red and black fruits and a hint of spice.
£8.85, Matthew Clark
M. Chapoutier – Marius -Vermentino, Terret – White – 2014
Lively with zesty grapefruit, a white pepper spice and a tangy sour freshness giving it a zippy, clean vibe.
£7.46, Cru World Wine
Pierrick Harang Wine – Cuvée Balthazar – Viognier – White – 2014
Richer peach and apricot, on the nose. Tastes juicy and fresh while tense with acidity. Fresh and clean with a lingering apricot finish. Nicely done.
François Lurton – Tanners – Sauvignon Blanc – White – 2014
Subtle aromas of nettles and citrus fruit. The palate is clean and crisp, it’s an easy-drinking style with a decent juiciness factor and a clean mineral finish. A crowd-pleaser style.
Les Vignobles Foncalieu – Versant – Grenache Noir – Rosé – 2014
Pomegranate-filled nose with delicate white pepper spice and a tangy sourness with red grapefruit.
£10.60, Hennings Wine Merchant
Badet Clément – Les Jamelles- Viognier – White – 2014
Peachy with a buttered pastry richness to the aroma. Plush and rich peachiness on the palate, with little salty streak through mid-palate that saves the fruit from being too in-your-face.
Mas Janeil – Les Hauts de Janeil – Red – 2014
Enticing plum-favoured richness and fruit, but with a nice beetroot nose too. Good balance between fruit and oak, even though the tannins are big, the fruit is big enough to support the nutty oak.
Domaine de Valensac – Sauvignon – White – 2014
Enticing lemongrass aroma and packed with tense freshness in the mouth. Green herbs and grass offset the crunchy lemon and lime fruit nicely, and it has a cleansing salty lick to finish.
£7.95, Lea Seindem
La Croix Gratiot – Les Zazous – Red – 2013
A pretty flora aroma with strawberry and raspberry. Good juicy fruit, easy-going tannins and plenty of classic Pinot Noir character.
£80.78 for a case of 6, Excel Wines
Domaines Paul Mas – Paul Mas Grenache Syrah – Red – 2014
Generous cherry ripeness and black fruits with a little bit of creaminess. Gentle tannins and the kirsch flavour make it easy-drinking.
Domaine des Aspes – Chardonnay – White – 2014
Crammed with nutty, waxy richness with a hint of olive oil. Ripe with tropical fruit and a creamy finish.
£11.99, Wine Butchers
Vignobles Lorgeril – Marquis de Pennautier, Terroirs d’Altitude Chardonnay – White – 2013
Malty and slightly nutty to start, but with a good citrus. Crisp, zesty, but with a richer undertone of honey and gentle beeswax. Creamy finish.
Laudun Chusclan Vignerons – Oppidum Merlot – Red – 2013
Deep purple colour. Rich and meaty with a rustic nutty savoury flavour and a good grip-to-your-gums tannin.
£6.10, Portall Dingwall & Norris
Domaines Paul Mas – Paul Mas Vinus Malbec – Red – 2014
Alive with black fruit and black pepper with a gentle grip to the tannin. Malbec for beginners.
Pierrick Hanang Wine – Cuvée Balthazar-Syrah- Red – 2013
Bursting with intense black fruits, this is a bold, rich and serious Syrah with a lovely dry spice flavour to lift the richness of the tannin.
Badet Clément – Les Jamelles – Syrah – Red – 2014
Intensely fragrant with black fruit and cloves, with floral notes as well. Meaty fruit with sweet black plums and rich in tannin in the mouth. A crowd-pleaser Syrah.
Domaine l’Engarran – Assemblage – Red – 2013
Concentrated black fruit on the nose with plenty of jammy fruit. Woody in a dry spice way rather than with heavy oakiness. Meaty and rich with plenty of fruit and a chewy woodiness.
£9.99, The Imperial Wine Company
The Two bottles show are my favourite seasonal red and white, which is sure to please any guest when paired with seasonal meats and desserts; a sort of good all rounder. Easy to source from your local supermarket or wine seller, at a price that’s easy on the pocket means you can now look like a proper sommelier in your house.
For those interested in food and who want to expand their wine knowledge, Pays d’Oc IGP wines, Eric Chavot’s recipes and Jane Parkinson’s expert advice is a good place to start.
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