South African Chenin is Great with Apple & Pork Casserole

We revisited a recipe that we hadn’t cooked for a very long time, Apple and Pork Casserole from Supercook.

Cubed pork is casseroled with onions, sage, seasoning, and apples. The mixture is topped with potatoes. We served with puréed carrots and swedes.

We paired this simple casserole with a bottle of The Huguenot Chenin Blanc 2014, an off-dry South African white from Sunday Times Wine Club.

There was a slight sweetness with apples, pineapples and tropical fruit flavours. The wine was a very good match with the meal.2016-03-18 18.18.42

A South African Chenin is Very Good with Chilli Chicken Pasta

We tried Paul Ainsworth’s Chilli chicken pasta with red pesto sauce from the Great British Chefs website.

Chicken breast strips are cooked with a sauce containing onion, garlic purée, vegetable stock, sweet chilli sauce, red pesto, crème fraîche, basil, tomatoes and seasoning.  The mixture is served over fresh pasta and we used tagliatelle.

We decided on a bottle of Esporao Monte Velho Tinto Alentejano 2013, a Portuguese red from the Wine Society.  A good wine but a clash with this particular dish. 2015-07-15 18.27.54

We turned to a bottle of The Huguenot Chenin Blanc 2014, an off-dry South African white from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  See here for a previous pairing with this wine.

We tasted tropical fruits, especially pineapple and peach, and the finish was slightly citrussy.  The wine was a very good match with the pasta.2015-07-15 18.34.07 HDR

A Loire White is Very Good with Devilled Chicken

We cooked Devilled Chicken, a Supercook recipe that we hadn’t done for a long time.

A whole chicken is simmered in a stock made from water, carrots, celery, bouquet garni, peppercorns and salt. The chicken is then cut into serving pieces and grilled.  A sauce is poured over at the end made from Worcestershire sauce, tarragon vinegar, shallots, lemon juice, garlic, chicken stock, chopped canned tomatoes, black pepper, salt and bay leaf. 2015-01-30 19.02.30 We served with mashed potato and green beans.

The sweetness in the sauce called for a wine with some sweetness to match.  We tried a bottle of Clos de Nouys Vouvray 2012, a medium-dry French white from Waitrose.

We tasted pineapple sweetness, peaches and apricots and we found this a very good match with the chicken.  A drier wine would not have worked.

A South African Chenin Blanc is Very Good with Pork Normandy

We tried Pork Normandy from the Slow Cook Book. Lean pork is cubed and slow cooked with onions, Dijon mustard, garlic, celery, carrots, Rosemary, Bramley apples, dry cider, chicken stock, black peppercorns and double cream. We served this very tasty recipe with mashed potato.

To pair with the meal we opened a bottle of The Huguenot Chenin Blanc 2012, a 2014-06-08 20.32.42South African white from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We tasted apples, creamy tropical fruits, a slight sweetness and a zesty finish.  We thought the wine was a very good match with the pork.

A Complex Gascogne White Very Good with Rick Stein’s Balinese Pork

We tried Slow-cooked pork with ginger, chilli and sweet soy sauce (Babi Kecap) from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey.

This is braised cubed pork that combines hot, sour and sweet flavours from chilli, tamarind and palm sugar.  It includes kecap manis, the thick and sweet Indonesian soy sauce.  We served this tasty recipe with jasmine rice, rice noodles and a sambal.  IMG_0532

In view of the various flavours in the dish we thought finding a good wine pairing might be a challenge. We opened a bottle of Domaine de Tariquet Chenin Chardonnay Côtes de Gascogne 2011 from the Wine Society.

The wine combined Chenin zestiness, minerality, mixing with tropical fruits and melon, with a rich, smooth, creamy finish.  Complex, with sweet and savoury flavours.  Recommended for “exotic” cuisine and indeed a very good match with this dish.

A South African Chenin Edges a French Sauvignon with Puerto Rican Chicken

We were entertaining our daughter and son-in-law and did another recipe from Levi Roots – Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice.

This is flavoured with all-purpose seasoning, peppers, garlic, allspice berries, turmeric, chilli, thyme and green olives.  We thought white wines would be the answer.

Firstly we opened a bottle of L’Esprit de Sauvignon Vin de Pays d’Oc 2010 from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  This French white was crisp and zesty with citrus lemon and was alright with the meal, but not particularly exciting.  It had tasted better with the Danish Plaice we had on 10th Feb 2012.

Hannah had brought with her a bottle of Hannu Chenin Blanc a South African white also from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  This had apple and peach notes with good acidity and a creaminess on the palate.  We all preferred this with the meal.

A South African White Good with a Chicken Tagine

We were invited out to friends for dinner and our hostess served Chicken, Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine – a recipe from Jamie Does.  It was served with couscous and Caesar salad.  Our host, Paul, opened a bottle of Namaqua Elephant River Chenin Blanc Chardonnay 2011, a South African white from Morrisons.  We tasted melons, peaches and a lemony finish, which chimed in well with the preserved lemons in the Tagine.  We all agreed it was a good match and that Paul had chosen well.

Beaujolais – An Unlikely Success with a Thai Beef Salad

You will not have noticed too many barbecue food and wine pairing blogs here recently.  The great British summer has put paid to that.  However, today it managed a sunny and warm day, so we used our new barbie for the third time!  We had some sirloin steak and saw a Thai Beef Salad recipe in The Great Barbecue Cookbook (Ted Smart) that looked interesting.  The steak is barbecued, sliced then tossed with lemongrass, spring onions, fish sauce, lime juice, chillies and coriander.  With this mixture of flavours, choosing a suitable wine was challenging.  We tried a white first – Stumble Vineyards Chenin Viognier 2009, a South African white from Sunday Times Wine Club.  Chenin Blanc can work well with lime flavours and we’ve had successful pairings in the past with Thai food.  Not this time though.  The steak flavours did the wine no favours.  Our Plan B was a bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages 2008 from Costco.  We have not had much success in finding good pairings for this wine so far, but I had read that Beaujolais is one of the few reds that can cope with Thai food.  It is also recommended by some as a good partner for plain steak.  Anyway, we were both pleasantly surprised.  The Thai Beef Salad brought out some lovely savoury, earthy, fruity flavours in the wine, which also managed to meet the acidity in the sauce.