Update from last week.
Many of you have sent in comments and suggestions following my temporary takeover of the Sheldon’s Times last week. Some of them kind, some of them helpful and some I’m choosing to ignore!
John and our friends in Australia pointed out a gaping flaw in the sporting events – so apologies to our Australian readers. England are playing the Wallabies down under in a 3 match mini series. Sadly, England lost the first game but have another 2 to make it up, with the next match tomorrow (Saturday) . John says “Go Wallabies”…..The next game is this Saturday (I say “Go Ingerlaaaand”)
Well done to England for a thrilling last day and win against India in the Cricket Test, and to the Lionesses for their win in the first game of the Football Euros. Bad luck to Northern Ireland for last night’s loss.
Thanks to those of you who sent in your tips for spending less, inspired by last week’s article. Our very own Nigel took it to heart and has decided to cut down to one glass of 1961 Chateau Mouton Rothschild a day. I’m not convinced that this is going to save him money though….
Port Summer Cocktails
Alex B has requested that we feature Port as a summer drink to enjoy at the end of a hard day working or gardening – thanks Alex, what a great suggestion.
This inspired me to have a rummage through my drinks cabinet at home and see what I have left from various festivities earlier in the year (AKA Christmas – sorry Shane , I’ve mentioned the C word in July). As luck would have it, there was half a bottle of Sheldon’s ruby port and an unopened bottle of Taylor’s chip dry White Port. Alex ‘s suggestion for summer cocktails is a brilliant way to use up Port before restocking for ‘festivities later in the year’. So, we tried
Ruby Port with old fashioned lemonade and a slice of orange (totally delicious),
White Port and Tonic for those with less of a sweet tooth
and then he suggested Pink Port with ice, mint and ginger ale or soda.
(Pink port is usually made from a blend of ruby and white port, so I created my own …)
I can highly recommend all of the above as easy to make, easy to drink and very refreshing. If you don’t fancy a cocktail, strawberries marinated for a couple of hours in of ruby port with a touch of freshly ground black pepper are gorgeous served with vanilla ice cream.
Food and Wine Combinations
Val (she with the superior knowledge of Chardonnay) has asked for more food and wine related content. I am delighted to oblige..
Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to be invited to supper with some fellow wine lovers, who also happened to be great cooks. It would have been rude to refuse! We tried various wines throughout the evenings but there were a couple of accidental pairings that stood out for different reasons. We started the evening with a previously untried sparkling wine. It was very dry and really too acidic for my taste – I was about to abandon my glass and take a rennie when I was offered an anchovy fillet, marinated in olive oil and vinegar. I took a swig of wine to wash it down, and could not believe the difference in the wine. Acid in food (the vinegar used to souse the anchovies) makes wine smoother and less acidic and the difference in my wine was incredible. It became smooth, fruity and very drinkable. In return, the acid in the wine cut through the oil in the anchovy marinade and allowed the subtle fish flavours to shine through. It was one of my favourite ever surprise matching moments. So next time you have an overly acidic wine, reach for the pickle jar!
The second pairings was not so successful, but equally interesting – later in the meal I was enjoying half a glass (work the next day) of a big, smooth, juicy Italian red wine called Verso Sud. The wine comes from Puglia in Southern Italy and is a favourite of many of our customers. It goes particularly well with cheese and pizza. I was relishing the final few sips as I tucked into a bowlful of strawberries, cream meringue and lemon curd. The sweetness of delicious dessert instantly made the wine taste harsh and thin. Sugar in food makes wines taste much less sweet and fruity. Dessert wines are so sweet that they can stand up the sugar in puddings that dry wines can’t. I left what was left of my wine until the end of the meal! Next time you have a glass of wine with dessert see what the impact is. Thanks to Jamie and Fran for a fabulous evening.
If you would like to know more about food and wine pairings, come into the shop or drop us a line – we are always happy to help.