A Spanish White Works Better Than Chilean Rosé with Greek Fish Stew

We had Jamie’s Greek Fish Stew from Jamie Does and I was expecting something on a par with the Mediterranean Fish Stew we had last week (see 19 August).  However, it was much milder tasting and the Tarapaca Syrah/Cabernet Rosé 2008 from Sunday Times Wine Club was too strong for it and just didn’t work.  We switched to a Torres Vina Sol from Costco.  An aromatic Spanish white from Catalonia that complemented the fishy broth containing seabass, haddock, fresh tomatoes, dill and parsley.  The herbs were added just before serving.

An OK match, but I wonder whether a slightly blander white would have been better.

Spanish Garnacha Pleasant with Beef Stifado

We finished off the Stifado with a bottle of El Bombero 2007 from Sunday Times Wine Club.   This is a Spanish Garnacha from Cariñena DO and the Stifado tended to accentuate the plum, cherry and vanilla flavours in the wine.  Very pleasant but not perfect.  Next time we do this recipe we wil leave out the wine vinegar; it makes the sauce acidic and not red wine-friendly.

Given the lack of real success with reds, we wondered whether we would have been better off with a white, perhaps a Sauvignon Blanc?

Chilean Cabernet or Syrah with Beef Stifado?

Tried the Beef Stifado from Jamie Does.  We tentatively tested a Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from Costco.  The red wine vinegar in the sauce totally dulled the wine, so we set it aside.  We then went for a Gran Tarapaca Syrah 2007 from Sunday Times Wine Club.  This was much better at coping with the wine vinegar and the spicy, fruity Syrah went well with the allspice berries and tomatoes in the sauce.

White or Red with a Creamy Ham Hock Casserole?

We cooked yet another recipe from Economy Gastronomy.  (Don’t worry we do source recipes from elsewhere).  This time we went for Creamy Ham Hock Casserole, but we substituted cheddar for the goat’s cheese.  Initially, we thought the creamy sauce might favour a Chardonnay and while the sauce was finishing we opened a bottle of Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay, a Chilean white from Tesco.  This is fruity with ripe tropical fruit flavours and creamy oak, which we thought would work well.  Wrong.   The sauce was not overtly creamy, more milky and the combination of flavours made the wine taste too sharp, so we went back to the drawing board.  I was struggling to think which of the white wines  we had would go any better and decided to switch to red.  Warm climate Merlots are recommended by some to go with braised ham, so we tried a bottle of Casa Porta Merlot, a Chilean red from Costco.  Its soft, smooth flavour went very well with the dish.

An Italian Primitivo with a Classic French Navarin of Lamb

We tried Navarin of Lamb also from Economy Gastronomy.  We used the rest of the tomato sauce made the previous day, but this time it was infused with lamb, herb and vegetable flavours producing a lovely savoury flavour.   I did some research and thought an Italian Primitivo (aka Zinfandel in North America)  would be a good bet.  We opened a bottle of Duca Petraccone Primitivo 2005 again from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  The wine comes from Salento IGT and was a very good match.  The fruitness from the wine complemented the Navarin beautifully.

An Italian Rosé Complements a Med Fish Stew Very Well

This is the first of many food and drink matching blog posts.  Initially, I will be focusing on wine and food combinations, but will also be writing about a variety of  food and drink topics.

We had a Mediterranean Fish Stew adapted from a recipe from Economy Gastronomy by Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett.  The consensus was that a Provence Rosé would fit the bill.  We didn’t have one but tried a bottle of Visionario Rosato 2008 from Sunday Times Wine Club.   This is an Italian blended rosé from Venezie IGT and was a lovely match.  Very full, but refreshing with enough acidity to cope with the tomatoey stew.