Which Drink Pairings for a Mexican Buffet?

2016-03-25 18.03.382016-03-25 18.17.572016-03-25 18.22.49We enjoyed a family holiday on the Riviera Maya in February and decided to get together with our family and some friends who had also been to the same resort to enjoy a photo evening. We thought a Mexican buffet would be a good idea. Our son contributed his own delicious version of chicken enchiladas and one of our friends supplied a chilli con carne with dark chocolate in the sauce. Our daughter and son-in-law provided a spectacular nachos, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and salad. We did Justine Patisson’s pulled pork tacos from the BBC Good Food website.

What to drink with such a variety of flavours? A couple of different Shirazes were on offer, including Blaxland Estate 2015, from Tesco. 2016-03-25 18.23.572016-03-25 19.15.19Those preferring white wine, enjoyed Louis Felipe Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, supplied by our son because it was one of the house whites from our Mexican hotel. There was also Guinness West Indies Porter available as an alternative to wine.

With such a variety of flavours it was impossible to find something that paired well with everything, especially with dishes like the pork tacos that contained marked sweetness. My preference was Shiraz, but the porter was also popular. Overall, a buffet with such diverse flavours is probably not the best occasion to bring out the fine wines.

An Italian White is a Better Match with Mexican Pork Chops Than a Red

Having just returned from holiday in Mexico, we fancied cooking a favourite from Supercook – Costillas a la Mexicana, which is Mexican pork chops.

Garlic is rubbed over the chops and they are refrigerated while the Salsa Mexicana is made. Chillies, tomatoes, onion and garlic are chopped and blended and salt added. The chops are pan-fried and the sauce is poured over at the end. We served with tortillas.

We tried a bottle of the excellent Ravenswood Zinfandel, but we quickly decided this didn’t work and switched to an Italian white – The Society’s Pinot Grigio 2014, from the Wine Society.2016-03-08 18.04.40 2016-03-08 18.16.16

We detected a slight pineapple sweetness with flavours of tropical fruits and nectarines. A good wine and a good match with the pork.

South African Red Ideal with Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

We cooked an old favourite from Supercook and had forgotten how delicious this recipe is.  It’s called pork chops with mustard sauce.

The pork chops are seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika and served with a sauce made from shallots, garlic, mushrooms, French mustard and double cream.

We served with sauté potatoes and green beans with melted garlic butter.

We paired this superb meal with a bottle of Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, a full-bodied red from Naked Wines.2016-01-05 17.50.02

We detected black fruits on the nose and flavours of sweet chocolate, blackcurrants, and plums, with an intensely savoury, smooth, slightly spicy finish. We even detected coffee notes.  This lovely wine was an excellent match with the pork.

Australian Red Blend is Great with Pulled Pork Fajitas

We made pulled pork fajitas by loading some tortilla wraps with Tesco‘s BBQ pulled pork, which is slow cooked pork shoulder with a BBQ glaze and a hickory BBQ sauce.  We then added grated Cheddar, guacamole, sour cream and shredded lettuce.  Tasty.

We opened a bottle of Ballingarry Estate, Clare Valley Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2009 from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

This wine was a lovely inky black in the glass. We detected black fruits on the nose, followed by an initially sweet palate, spicy black fruits and a long chocolaty finish.  A moreish wine and a very good match with the fajitas.

German Riesling Great with Chinese Stir-Fry

We had a medium-dry German Riesling that we knew would go well with an Asian dish with some sweetness.  See here for a previous
pairing.

We cooked Shao Jou (Cantonese Roast Pork) from Supercook.  This is
strips of pork marinated in onion, soy sauce, sugar, sherry, ginger and
hoisin sauce.  The pork is then roasted.

We served this tasty dish with egg-fried rice and stir-fried pak choi,
a delicious recipe from the Riverford Organics website. The pak choi is
stir-fried in sunflower oil with red chillies, salt, garlic, ginger,
soy sauce and sesame oil.

We paired this meal with a bottle of Tesco‘s Finest Riesling Steillage
2014, a medium-dry German white.  It had a creamy sweetness, with
flavours of tropical fruits and pineapple.  The wine had just the right
degree of sweetness to cope with the sweetness in the food and was a
very good match.

A Southern French Red is Excellent with Delia’s Pork Chops with Mushrooms & Crème fraîche

In the tasting notes that came with Domaine de l’Arjolle Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, the Wine Society suggested it would make a perfect pairing with Delia’s Pork Chops Baked with Wild Mushrooms and Crème fraîche, a recipe we have tried before.

Pork chops are fried in butter and cooked with dried porcini mushrooms, Crème fraîche, fresh thyme, open-cap mushrooms, lemon juice, flour and salt and pepper.  We served with grilled courgettes and croquette potatoes.

The medium-bodied Southern French red blend displayed red fruits on the nose, vanilla sweetness, red berries and cherries with a nice acidity on the finish.  We agree with the Wine Society that the wine is an excellent match with Delia’s pork chop recipe.2015-07-08 19.43.14

See here for a previous pairing with this wine.

A Californian Red Blend is Good with Barbecued Jerk Pork

2015-06-11 18.04.04We visited Jamaica a few months ago and brought back with us some Island Spice Jerk Pork rub. The rub contains corn starch, crushed pepper, Jamaican pimento, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, black pepper, salt, sugar, cumin and Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper.

We coated some pork chops in the rub, grilled them on the barbecue and served them with a mixed green salad.

We thought the pork was reasonably tasty, but didn’t think it was especially hot as indicated on the packet.

We paired the food with a bottle of Fetzer Crimson 2010, a medium-bodied Californian red blend from Tesco made from Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Durif and Petit Verdot.  An enjoyable, easy drinking wine that delivered mixed red and black fruits, with a warm spiciness.  It was a good match with the pork.

A Southern French Red Works Well with Wolf Berner Sausages

We bought some Wolf Berner Sausages from Costco. These are frankfurter-style sausages stuffed with Emmental cheese and wrapped in bacon. We decided to grill them on the barbecue and serve with a potato salad, corn on the cob and pickled gherkins.

The sausages were alright, but a bit salty for us. We also didn’t detect much cheese.

We paired the meal with a bottle of La Rectorie Côtes du Vivarais 2013, a medium-bodied Southern French red blend from Waitrose.2015-06-10 18.36.28

The wine had a perfumed nose, with red fruit flavours and a slightly spicy finish. An easy drinking wine that was a good match with the food.

A Spanish Tempranillo is Very Good with Delia’s Pork Stroganoff

2015-05-27 18.48.13A few months ago we discovered three Pork Stroganoff recipes online and wine pairings with the first two can be found here and here.

This one is Pork Stroganoff with Three Mustards from Delia online.  Sliced pork is cooked in a sauce made from mustard powder, grain mustard, Dijon mustard, mushrooms, Crème fraîche, onion, dry white wine and seasoning.  We served with tagliatelle rather than rice.

Our verdict on this Stroganoff is that it is better than Mary Berry’s but not as enjoyable as Jo Pratt’s.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Seleccion del la Familia Carlos 2011, a medium-bodied Spanish Tempranillo from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We detected red fruits and spices on the nose and this was followed by vanilla sweetness, spiciness, strawberries and red cherries on the palate, with a smooth finish.

A very good match with the Pork Stroganoff.

A German Riesling is Very Good with Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass

We tried Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass from Madhur Jaffrey.

Sliced pork loin is marinated in soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, green chillies, black pepper, sugar and hot curry powder.  The pork is then stir-fried with shallots and garnished with coriander leaves.2015-04-24 18.26.36

We served the pork with prawn crackers and egg noodles stir-fried with garlic, ginger, chilli, fish sauce and chopped coriander. We thought the noodles competed a bit with the flavours of the pork, so served the leftovers with plain noodles, which was better.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Klein Riesling 2013, a German white from Naked Wines. The wine was off-dry with crisp, fresh, tangy, citrussy lemon and grapefruit flavours.  A very good match with the pork.2015-04-24 18.29.54