5 food and wine pairings you'd never have thought of
Cosy up to our list of the food and wine pairings you never knew you needed in your life
The leaves are beginning to fall. Scarves are clinging to our necks. And aromatic white wines are being – politely – pushed to the side in favour of big, bold and juicy reds.
I run the wine Instagram account – Corking Wine – so I'm always on the hunt for good value wine that is versatile and most importantly... delicious! A great wine for me, doesn't need to cost excess of £50. A great wine needs to be well-balanced, good value and most importantly, right for the situation. Every wine has its place, and right now that place is cosy and autumnal.
Enter Pepperbox Shiraz – the perfect partner for great food
This Aussie Shiraz will give you all the rich, ripe and juicy red fruit flavours you begin to seek out when it’s time to turn the radiators back on. You can pick up a bottle in Tesco for just £10, which is great value for all the bold flavours you’re getting.
Don’t be fooled though, it isn’t all fruit! Accompanying those full-bodied fruit flavours is a healthy dose of pepper, and earthy notes too, which means this wine just gets better glass, after glass, after glass...
So, it’s time to get out your party wardrobe, best silverware and cookbooks, as we have a list of mouth-watering pairings for you to try.
Pairing one: Keep it simple and classy with a steak sandwich
Skip the burger. Instead, go for a dinner party-worthy cut of steak, served on sourdough, with triple cooked chips.
The tannins in this full-bodied wine will complement the rich flavour of the steak just perfectly. The earthy and savoury characteristics are going to cut through the fattiness and make that steak melt in your mouth like butter.
Pepperbox Shiraz is teeming with peppery notes that will give your steak all the warming, spicy seasoning it needs.
Pairing two: A Christmas favourite of turkey and cranberry sauce
From 1 November onwards, our diaries are going to be filled with faux-Christmas Day meals with friends and colleagues. And I'm totally down with that. They've almost become as important as the big day itself.
This year, bring in a new tradition by presenting a bottle of Pepperbox Shiraz on the table.
"But with Cranberry sauce?!" I hear you cry? Hear me out.
The ripe and rich red fruit in the wine is going to enhance that sweet cranberry jam that will inevitably drip its way around the table. Together they are going to create a magical symphony of fruit so ripe you can squish it in-between your fingers.
In this situation, more is more, so don’t shy away from bold food AND bold wine.
Pairing three: Seek out a traditional butter chicken curry
The popular dish of butter chicken comes in many different shapes and sizes. However, there really is only one deliciously correct version: the traditional one.
Butter chicken is a slightly spicy curry with a tomato base and chicken that simply melts off the bone. So whether you’re heading to a fine-dining Indian restaurant, or you're ready for a challenge at home, this pairing is an unexpected match made in heaven.
There are very few red wines I would recommend with Indian food, as spice is very difficult to pair, and the competing flavours can be overwhelming. However, this Shiraz has just the right amount of juicy fruit and silkiness. Instead of competing with the heat, it’s going gently push it along.
Pairing four: Keep it chic with a cassoulet
Throw on a checked apron – only red and white is acceptable – your most exaggerated American accent, and evoke the spirit of Julia Child to whip up this classic French staple: the cassoulet.
Turn the music on, open this Shiraz during your cooking (a glass for you, a glass for the pot, the only way) and polish the bottle off at the table with your guests, as they gush over your culinary efforts.
Top tip: Don’t add too much black pepper to your cassoulet and let the peppery notes in the wine do all the talking.
Pairing five: Finish a night with a luxurious slab of dark chocolate
It’s not often we indulge in a good quality piece of dark chocolate. Let’s be honest, most of it comes as gifts and goes straight to the back of the cupboard.
However, I challenge you to find me a person who doesn’t love this pairing.
Imagine dark chocolate bark laced with dried cranberries? Can you taste it? That’s exactly the flavours this pairing plays with. The juicy fruit, plus the note of creamy vanilla in the wine is exactly what you need to take that slightly bitter dark chocolate to a whole new level.
What takes your fancy?
There you have it, a list of deliciously unexpected pairings for your bottle of Pepperbox Shiraz. Whether you fancy a bit of cooking, you're looking for a wine to bring to a dinner party, or simply just want to enjoy a good glass of wine on the sofa, Pepperbox Shiraz has your back.
The versatility of this wine means you can try pairings you may not have considered before, and most importantly, impress all your friends.
But don’t forget, some days – or weeks – are just lazy ones, and this wine also pairs flawlessly with a good film and an early bedtime. No judgement from me!