Pete Stewart chooses the drinks to accompany Shirley’s recipes:
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
SHEEP GRAZING IN AUTUMN VINEYARD