Victoria Moore suggests wines to drink with chicken liver pâté
These days, the chicken liver mixture I make to spread on toast is Italian in flavour – chunky and filled with capers, anchovies, garlic and olive oil – all salty and vinegary, and slightly feral. No surprise then that it likes Italian wines – reds more than whites. An unclassified sangiovese or a cheap chianti, with its spikes of acidity and dusty taste of sour cherries, are usually the perfect wines to hurl into this rustic, shouty conversation. But the recipe I’ve used here is a different creature. Made with a big slab of butter, as well as a dollop of cream, it’s more French in style – luxuriously creamy and rich. I like to eat this with a rounded, mellow white wine with curves that feel slinky against the pâté’s smoothness. An oaked chardonnay is the best wine to bring out its golden glow. If you like the combination of fruit and savoury (I don’t usually, but this is one of my exceptions), then top the pâté and toast with tiny pieces of date – the sweet vanilla from the oak in the wine will make the whole thing taste even more luscious. It’s especially good if you almost burn the toast. To customise this recipe to suit sangiovese rather than oaked chardonnay, serve the pâté with vinegary cornichons, or throw a few capers into the mixture before it’s cooked. Ramekins of this pâté can be frozen once they’re cooked, so it’s worth making a large batch – just seal with clarified butter and cool completely before freezing.