A Jurançon Sec is a Very Good Match with Roast Chicken

2015-11-17 18.32.15We cooked a modified version of Jamie’s Roast Chicken with all the Trimmings.

The chicken is rubbed all over with butter flavoured with lemon zest and thyme.  A lemon and thyme sprigs are placed in the cavity and the chicken is then roasted with garlic, sliced potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnips. However, we used turnips instead of parsnips.

We have read that Jurançon Sec is a good match with roast chicken and so we opened a bottle of Domaine Cauhapé Chant de Vignes Jurançon Sec 2012, a Southern French white from the Wine Society.

We detected a slight initial sweetness, smooth tropical fruits, followed by a pleasant tangy grapefruit finish. We though the wine was a very good match with the roast chicken.

A Puglian Red is Good with Pasta alla Norma

We tried Pasta alla Norma from Jamie Oliver.  This famous Sicilian recipe includes a pasta sauce made from aubergines, olive oil, oregano, red chilli, garlic, frsh basil, white wine vinegar, chopped canned tomatoes and seasoning.  Ricotta is used in the authentic recipe, but we used Parmesan.  We served with spaghetti.  A very tasty meal.

Research online suggests the Sicilian grape variety Nero d’Avola is a good wine pairing.  We didn’t have a bottle but we did have Cosiero Nero, Nero di Troia 2013, an Italian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  This full-bodied wine is from Puglia and we found black fruits on the nose with a palate of black fruits, vanilla sweetness and a smooth, spicy finish.  A good match with the pasta.2015-10-27 17.41.21

A Spanish Rueda is Very Good with Jamie’s Chicken in Milk

A friend of ours recommended Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk recipe from his website.

The chicken is cooked in a pot along with cinnamon, sage leaves, lemon zest, garlic cloves and milk.  The result is supposed to be a very succulent chicken and it was. We served with roast potatoes and green beans.2015-01-23 17.49.11

We paired the chicken with a bottle of Villasilos Angel’s Selection Rueda Verdejo 2013, a Spanish white from Naked Wines.

The wine was fresh, crisp with zesty lemon flavours and creamy vanilla to complement the flavours of the food.  A very good match.2015-01-23 17.55.47

A Sicilian Grillo Goes Well with Sicilian Seafood Pasta

Last time we drank Stenmari Grillo Sicilia 2011 was with a Tagliatelle Bolognese and we made a note to try this Italian white from the Wine Society with fish or seafood next time.

We found a recipe in our Jamie’s Italian cookbook called Spaghetti con Gamberetti e Rucola (Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket). The sauce contains prawns, garlic, red chillies, white wine, sun-dried tomato purée, zest and juice of lemon and rocket.  Lemon zest is sprinkled on top of the spaghetti too when serving and so the dish IMG_0426had a definite spicy and lemony kick.

It seemed very appropriate to pair this dish that Jamie discovered in Sicily with a Sicilian wine and we found it fresh, crisp, citrussy, zesty with a grapefruit finish.  It coped well with the strongly-flavoured sauce.

A Lemony Portuguese White is Very Good with Jamie’s Lemony Fish Pie

We tried the fish pie recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website.  The pie contains salmon, smoked haddock and prawns and has a lovely lemony flavour, with a spicy kick from the addition of red chilli.  We served it with runner beans.IMG_0555

We thought a lemony white would be just the job to drink with the meal and opened a bottle of Albarrada Vinho Regional Alentejano 2011, a Portuguese white from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We detected freshly cut grass on the nose, clean, fresh lemon fruitiness and a little earthiness, with a creamy finish. We thought this was a very good match.

A Bordeaux Blanc is an Agreeable Match with Jamie’s Chicken Pie

The chicken pie recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals contains chicken breasts, spring onions, mushrooms, mustard, crème fraîche, chicken stock, thyme and nutmeg.  We served it with a green salad.

We opened a bottle of Château La Perrière, Bordeaux 2011 from the Wine Society. This white is a blend of Sauvignon and Semillon and was grassy with fresh lemon, grapefruit and peach flavours and a zesty finish.  A good match with the pie, but we might try an unoaked Chardonnay next time.IMG_0540

A Rioja Crianza is an Excellent Match with Jamie’s Lamb Fricassée

It had been a while since we cooked Lamb Fricassée from Jamie Does.  The lamb cubes are cooked with onions, garlic, lettuce, dill, seasoning and Greek yoghurt.  The lovely rich Greek flavours are enhanced by mixing in avgolemono (egg yolks and lemon). We served this with little roast potatoes.  We love this meal and by the time I remembered to take a photo we’d eaten half of it.

See here and here for previous pairings with this recipe. We’ve also tried a bottle of the Sunday Time’s Wine Club‘s The Hundred Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011 with it and that was a very good match.  (See here for another food pairing for this wine.)

This time though we opened a bottle of The Society’s Rioja Crianza 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Wine SocietyIMG_0534. We detected red fruits on the nose followed by flavours of red fruits, vanilla oakiness and a creamy smoothness, with soft tannins.  This was an excellent match with the meal and probably the best we have achieved so far.

Tuscan Reds Surprisingly Mediocre Pairings with Jamie’s Peposo

IMG_0207.JPG (2)IMG_0208.JPG (2)We have previously tried a peppery Tuscan Beef Stew from the Slow Cook Book and thoroughly enjoyed it with a Super Tuscan red (see 2 Nov 2012).  We had, therefore, been looking forward to trying Jamie Oliver’s Peposo – the famous hunter’s peppery beef stew, from Jamie’s Italian.  His recipe includes lots of garlic cloves, black pepper, rosemary, red wine and bay leaves. We liked the recipe, but not quite as much as the previous one.

We thought a local red would again be the answer and opened a bottle of Collezione di Paolo Chianti Riserva 2008, a medium-bodied Italian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  Nothing wrong with the wine, but it wasn’t a good enough match with the food, so we set it aside for drinking another time.

Undeterred, we went for another Chianti and opened a bottle of Canonica a Cerreto, Chianti Classico Riserva, 2008, also from the Sunday Times Wine Club. This medium-bodied Italian red is made from 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot.  We found it spicy, with cherry and red berry flavours and a reasonable match with the meal.

Overall though, we were surprisingly underwhelmed with these pairings.

A Frascati Superiore is Fair with a Seafood Risotto

We tried the Seafood Risotto recipe from Jamie’s Italian, which contains a mixture of fish and shellfish with fennel, tomatoes, carrots, bay leaf, parsley and lemon.  The risotto bianco is cooked in white wine, fish stock and flavoured with onion, garlic, celery and Parmesan.  We thought the recipe was only OK and we wouldn’t do it again.

We opened a bottle of Poggio Verde Frascati Superiore 2011, an Italian white from the Wine Society.  The wine was crisp, citrussy with a creaminess and we enjoyed it.  It was a fair match with the food.IMG_0191.JPG (2)

A Spanish Red Surprisingly Better Than a Tuscan with Jamie’s Pollo alla Cacciatora

We cooked a recipe we have done a few times before – Pollo alla Cacciatore (Hunter’s Chicken), but this time we tried the recipe from Jamie’s Italian.  Jamie’s version is full of bold flavours. The chicken is marinated in red wine with bay leaves, rosemary and garlic and cooked with more fried garlic, anchovies, olives, tomatoes and the reserved marinade.  Lovely.

We thought a bottle of the excellent Saracosa 2009, a full bodied Italian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club, would go well, because it had paired so beautifully with a Peppery Tuscan Stew (see 2 Nov 2012). We tasted berries, black cherries, vanilla oak and a pepperiness at the finish and we considered this Sangiovese an adequate match.

Next evening we had more of the stew and it was even more intensely flavoured. We thought we could improve on the wine pairing and opened a bottle of Villa Anita Old Vines Tempranillo Monastrell 2010.  This is a powerful Spanish red also from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  I have read mixed reviews on it, but we found it rich and smooth and loved its red fruits and vanilla.  An excellent match.IMG_0173.JPG (2)