her food his wine

Cooking for a wine fanatic

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Thank god it’s Thursday!

Thursday is a weekly milestone for us – for a number of reasons we stay off of the booze Monday to Wednesday but Thursday evening is the official soft start to the weekend (except on a bad week when in exceptional circumstances (usually someone being a tosser at work, so for both of us it can be a regular event!) we allow ourselves a drink for restorative purposes).

Last night was no exception. Mark started a new job so I thought i’d cook him something special to celebrate as well as giving us the opportunity to open something nice. After attending an Ottolenghi cookery class with the great man himself last year at Leiths School of Cookery, we’ve both had a real love of his food. Up until that point i’d only cooked one or two dishes from  Ottolenghi and Plenty so got away with bringing my own books for him to sign as they still looked new. A dish many people have been raving about is his cod cakes in tomato sauce from Jerusalem so it seemed the obvious choice given we’re both going through a period of being “meated” out.

We kicked off proceedings with a few glasses of Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2011 from New Zealand. We met Kevin Judd for a private tasting and tour of his vineyards in December 2011 during a holiday in New Zealand. Kevin is the man responsible for making Cloudy Bay so popular, before deciding to go it alone under the Greywacke label. He’s also an amazing photographer, however with scenery like you find in New Zealand, everyone can come away feeling like a budding photographer.

Greywacke vineyard visit, Marlborough, New Zealand  -December 2011

Greywacke vineyard visit, Marlborough, New Zealand -December 2011

It was summer when we first got into Greywacke SB and we found it a perfect aperitif sitting in the garden on a sunny evening as well going really well with my rather well used and worn out recipe for beetroot and goats cheese salad with caramelised walnuts. Recreating that garden moment in the cold, draughty kitchen of our 450 year old listed farm house on what was meant to be the official first day of spring (spring my arse, when is this chuffing cold weather going to end?!?) just wasn’t going to happen, and the wine that usually slips down so easily without having to be accompanied by food struggled big time. Tastes change and I really hope that mine for SB isn’t going the same way as my love affair with Viognier in 2005 – just the smell of it now almost makes me gag.

So we needed to move on to something else for dinner. Mark suggested a red, maybe a Beaujolais – I guess it may have worked, however I thought that a Mas de Daumas Gassac white from south west france would work better with the spices in the dish (and yes, for the smart arses out there, I do realise that it is 25% viognier however that is about the limit of my viognier tolerance these days) . The first bottle we tried was a 2005, however as has been the case with around half of the bottles in that case, something was not right with it. A bottle of 2008 was spot on with fresh fruity flavours that develop sherry like qualities with bottle age and we decanted it as recommended. The cod cakes didn’t disappoint either. I served them with a herb couscous.

Moral of this story – wine fanatics occasionally know sweet FA about food and wine pairing – maybe I should have called this blog her food her wine!

A taste of things to come

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I meant it when I said he is passionate about his wine
This rather nice bottle accompanied another great lunch at the Sportsman in Seasalter