Pete Ste­wart chooses the drinks to ac­com­pany Shirley’s recipes:

Sunday Herald Life - - FOOD & DRINK -

WITH Shirley stir­ring a mas­sive pot of potato and leek soup, it falls to me as ever to find a wine match. As well as match­ing the weight of the wine to the weight of the dish, you also have to con­sider what has come be­fore (very dry mar­ti­nis, a cheeky glass of Cham­pagne, etc) and what will fol­low in food and wine terms.

If you start with a big beefy Caber­net, for ex­am­ple, you shouldn’t re­ally go back to a sig­nif­i­cantly lighter Beau­jo­lais with the next course. The lighter wine will be strug­gling to make an im­pres­sion on your al­ready po­ten­tially jaded palate. In­stead you should build the body and flavour of the wine with each suc­ces­sive course, thus en­abling the palate to work in your favour and max­imise your en­joy­ment of each glass.

So, start light and build and build with each course, fi­nally fin­ish­ing on a lovely glass of port with the cheese. And then you can have a well-earned whisky.

Your very dry martini should in­clude your very favourite gin, and there are cur­rently dozens to choose from. I re­ally like Tan­queray Rang­pur (avail­able on­line or from very de­cent lo­cal wine and spirit em­po­ri­ums and the oc­ca­sional su­per­mar­ket for about £28). It has more of a pronounced citrus note than the nor­mal Tan­queray and in­cludes Rang­pur limes in the botan­i­cal make-up of the prod­uct. It’s zippy and fresh and de­li­cious as a re­sult. For the per­fect ver­mouth, you also have to grab a bot­tle of Coc­chi Amer­i­cano (In­ver­ar­ity One to One, £17.99). This bot­tle will last you a while as you only need a drop or two per martini. The less ver­mouth you add, the drier the cock­tail, and you re­ally want your martini to be es­pe­cially dry.

Af­ter a cou­ple of mar­ti­nis, you’ll be ready for a wee glass of Cham­pagne. We’re tee­ter­ing on the brink of silly sea­son in the su­per­mar­kets, so make sure you shop around for loss-lead­ing bar­gains to stock up your wine racks. In the mean­time, pop into Ma­jes­tic and take ad­van­tage of their lim­ited of­fer on Bollinger Spe­cial Cu­vée Brut NV Cham­pagne (Ma­jes­tic, nor­mally £43.99, cur­rently £32.99 un­til mid­night on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 23). Bollinger is a lovely rich fizz, and it’s al­ways a treat.

And then, you come to the potato and leek soup. I’d sug­gest a wee glass of Sauvi­gnon Blanc from New Zealand, which will be a good match and will also give your palate a zesty wake-up call to get it ready for the Caber­net with the beef main course.

En­joy! Pete Ste­wart is Glas­gow di­rec­tor of In­ver­ar­ity One to One, 185a Bath Street www.in­ver­ar­i­ty­mor­ton.com

PHO­TO­GRAPH: SHUTTERSTOCK

SHEEP GRAZ­ING IN AU­TUMN VINE­YARD

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