Top 5 Food and Wine Pairings to have at Home

With most of the workforce working from home during the Covid-19 outbreak (including the Honest Grapes team), naturally we have more time to think about what we're going to eat and, more importantly, what wine pairing we're going to have with our meals. Fortunately our Wine Director Tom Harrow has picked five affordable food and wine pairings to keep you going at home. Enjoy!

In her book World Vegetarian Classics, my friend Celia Brooks showcases a great Andalucian recipe – Blind Vegetable Rice, a sort of vegetable paella with fried aubergine, courgette, and tomatoes, flavoured with Pimenton (smoked paprika) and saffron and finished with green beans and peas.  It’s really delicious and the saffron, which I normally ration for special occasions, actually really elevates such a simple dish.  The Lavradores Branco is long-standing Honest Grapes favourite and glugs very well alongside.

Lavradores de Feitoria Douro Branco, 2018

£13.10 each (£78.60 for 6 bottles) 

Roasting a chicken is my preferred way to unwind – given the classic Simon Hopkinson treatment (stuffed with lemon, garlic, thyme and tarragon) and given a coating of butter before being seasoned and popped in the oven for an hour or so.  I might serve with all the trimmings at the weekend (my elder daughter loves cauliflower cheese and everyone adores roast potatoes) or otherwise just a green salad and baguette fresh from the French bakery up the road.  There is usually a leg and some of the breast meat left over after a family dinner and I’ll always boil the carcass for stock so a single bird tends to go quite a long way.  Either white or a simple red Burgundy are my preferred pairings and the Bichot Secret de Famille does the job mid-week admirably.

Albert Bichot Bourgogne Pinot Noir "Secret de Famille", 2017

£18.30 each (£109.80 for 6 bottles)

I’ve still got some tins of Alaskan salmon – canned off the coast of British Columbia after a fishing trip a couple of years ago!  As the shelves are emptying of tinned goods – now is the perfect time to makes batches of fishcakes, an easy, tasty and nutritious family staple, served with a peppery salad.  This Jamie Oliver recipe is a tried and tested staple and great with our Pouilly Fuissé – that appropriately for fishcakes is named for the fossil rich, maritime soils of the vineyard!

Domaine Nadine Ferrand Pouilly Fuisse 'Eclat d'Amonite', 2017

£22.00 each (£132.00 for 6 bottles)

The Celler Alimara Llumí Negre offers a lot of wine for a smart price. At home it's a staple kitchen supper red with chorizo sausages from one of our two excellent local butchers served atop lentils, cooked in stock with a classic trio of diced, sautéed carrots, celery and onion.  The spicy, powerful berry fruit, and liquorice and tobacco undertones of the Llumí is equally delicious with some new season lamb chops, grilled and served with chopped up cherry tomatoes and rosemary, and crumbled feta.

Celler Alimara Llumí Negre, 2017

£12.50 each (£75.00 for 6 bottles) 

I really enjoy cooking but sometimes, especially if coming home a bit late, can’t be bothered, so do like treating myself to a pizza from Franco Manca – Roasted cured ham, British mozzarella, ricotta & wild mushrooms is a current favourite.  Morellino is a great pizza wine, it is the sexy and generous expression of the sangiovese grape.  It might not have the lithe acidity of Chianti Classico or the richness and structure of Brunello but it has warm, ripe berry fruit, plenty of spice and supple tannins.  And the price is always attractive.

Castello Romitorio Morellino di Scansano, 2017

£15.90 each (£95.40 for 6 bottles)