Most readers of The Buyer will have a pretty good idea of the basics of wine-pairing. It’s a skill isn’t it, picking the right colour, variety, style, producer (even vintage) to go with a variety of dishes… in the hands of the right sommelier it is almost an art form. But put aside for a minute the fresh goat’s cheese salad, rib-eye and poached rhubarb crumble, how good are you at picking the right wine to go with what you only just managed to find at the back of the decimated supermarket shelves during lockdown? So what wine do you think sir or madam would like to complement the delicious umami succulence of their Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodles?
Winebuyers, the online wine club, were game enough to take on the challenge of matching wines and wine styles with ‘Lockdown Larder’ favourites.
Baked Beans on Toast
A national favourite, baked beans contain a reduction of sugar and vinegar that forms the base of the sauce. Look for fruit-driven reds from warm climates such as a Chilean Merlot or Aussie Shiraz.
Lorosco, Reserva Maipo, Merlot, 2017 (£8.12)
Intense, fresh, and fruity aromas of blackberries and plum combine with soft, toasty notes and sweet vanilla in this Merlot. Medium-bodied, soft tannins and a pleasant finish make this an ideal companion for a comforting plate of beans of toast.
Chicken and Mushroom Instant Noodles
Wine and soup (or broth) can be tricky to pair, but wine-friendly flavours chicken and mushroom are easy to match. Try pairing with a lightly oaked Chardonnay as it complements both meat and vegetables.
La Reverence, Chardonnay, 2018 (£8.09)
Pale, golden straw-like in colour with rich summer fruit aromas and peach and melon flavours on the palate, which are balanced by a fresh, crisp finish. The combination of grapes from Roussillon and Minervois give this wine a buttery, fresh, and mineral profile.
Tuna Penne in Tomato Sauce
Picture a glossy and spiced tomato sauce flecked with tuna. What started as a cupboard raid is now a feast. This dish requires a red wine but nothing too tannic. The light tannins in Beaujolais are perfectly suited to the oily nature of the fish. Its medium body suits a richer tomato sauce.
Oedoria, L’Exception, Beaujolais Rouge, Beaujolais, 2017 (£11.40)
Intense in colour, this wine combines fruity aromas, smooth tannins and a pleasant structure. Well-bodied, well balanced and an excellent example of a fuller flavoured Beaujolais.
Frozen Pea Soup
Natural sweetness in peas is brought to life with the aromatic and bright expressions of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Its crisp and herbaceous nature pairs well with grassy ingredients like peas.
Ward Valley, ‘Triple Block’, Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 (£10.50)
Intensely aromatic and immediately appealing, the bouquet combines passion fruit, green melon, lime peel and feijoa aromas. The palate is equally gorgeous with a bright, fruity intensity and vibrant mouthfeel with long finish.
The simple but effective elements of pesto; grains, herbs, cheese and oil, pair with a wine that’s similarly effortless. Starch herbs and lipids also call for a white without too much fruit. The wine should have similar restraint and this Austrian Grüner will do just that.
Eschenhof Holzer, Wagram, Grüner Veltliner, 2018 (£12)
An uncomplicated style, with fine acidity and fruit flavours resulting from the rich clay soils. Peach, red apple and hints of spicy pepper characterise this vegan and organic dry white.
Tinned Rice Pudding
Tinned rice pudding is stalwart of forgotten nooks in cupboards across the country. Pair a vanilla milk rice pudding with a sun-drenched and similarly sweet Sicillian Grillo for a nostalgic treat.
Caruso E Minini, Naturalmente Bio, Grillo, Sicilia (£18)
Organic and vegan-friendly with vintage notes of oak and acacia, this Sicilian white boasts the perfect mix of intensity and elegance.
Cured meat is a globally common way to extend the life of food. Biltong requires ripe and moderately structured wines. Look for oaky Cabernet Sauvignon from the New World to match the heavy spice of the meat.
U By Undurraga, Central Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 (£9.68)
Elegantly perfumed aromas and a fresh, floral palate characterise this Chilean red. Smooth texture, fruit tones, well-balanced acidity and an elegant finish.
Linguine Aglio e Olio
Linguine, anchovy, garlic, chilli flakes and parsley: the perfect dish where every element balances another and takes ten minutes to make. Fresh Portuguese reds with fruity flavours serve this dish well without dominating.
Herdade Do Mouchão, Mouchao Dom Rafael Red 2015 (£15.99)
Possibly the world’s leading producer of Alicante Bouschet, the Dom Rafael red has enough punch and fruit to handle but not overbear this classic linguine. Castelao, Trincadeira and Aragonez are the other varieties that make up the blend.
If a tasty ramen dish is your pantry pick, pair with lighter lagers, Sake, or a white wine with body and ‘spice’, as the velvety texture complements the noodles and broth.
Tatsuuma-Honke Brewery, Isaké Classic ‘Junmai Ginjo’ (£26.50)
Born from a collaboration between a French sommelier and a Japanese Saké expert, this wine is carefully designed to pair perfectly with dishes such as ramen. Made with an unique blend of Saké rices, flavours of melon, peach and walnuts are on the palate with a long, intense finish.
This delicious and versatile vegan staple lends itself well to recreating meat-like textures and absorbing BBQ flavours. Pair with richer styles of sparkling rosés to complement its sweet taste. The thing we look for when pairing is freshness and this sparkler is laden with strawberry fruit.
Comte De Bailly, Crémant De Bourgogne, Sparkling Rosé From Veuve Ambal £11.99
Clear, light rosé with a fine, persistent mousse. Fresh aromas of raspberry and redcurrant pair perfectly with sweeter jackfruit. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay make up the blend.
All of the suggestions are by Winebuyers the online wine and spirits club.