We had friends to visit who share our interest in enjoying exploring food and wine pairings. Our starter from Supercook was called Wykeham Mushrooms, which is a combination of mushrooms cooked with chicken liver paté. We opened a bottle of Marques de Carano Gran Seleccion 2007 from Tesco, a Spanish red from Cariñena. This is medium-bodied, smooth with red fruits and a little spiciness. One of our guests detected violets. The wine did not overpower the food and was an easy-drinking, pleasant match.
For the main course, we served the Chicken Tagine, mentioned in my post of 9th October. This lovely recipe from The Slow Cook Book contains aubergines, cinnamon, chillies, cumin, chopped tomatoes, coriander and preserved lemons. It is accompanied by couscous and harissa paste. Last time we enjoyed it with an Argentinian white but this time we opened a bottle of McPherson Family Series, Pickles Sauvignon Blanc 2009, an Australian white from the Sunday Times Wine Club.
The wine was full of crisp lemon and pineapple flavours with good acidity and we all thought it matched the tagine well. However, our friends prefer reds and had brought a potentially good Spanish match to try – Barón de Barbón Oak-Aged Rioja 2009. This was a pleasant surprise as it is one of our favourite Riojas and is apparently also the all-time favourite of Laithwaites’ customers. The wine is 100% Tempranillo and medium-bodied. We tasted blackberry, vanilla and spiciness with chocolate. Very smooth and great with the Tagine.