Perfect Winter Wine Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc - Wine Pairings this Winter

It’s that time of year, family and friends gathered round the table, enjoying homemade meals with a glass of wine. If you’re like me, you have a go to wine. Mine happens to be a Pinot Grigio, it seems to go with so many dishes, it’s light on the palate and easy to enjoy. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’m getting to that age where it’s time for me to branch out into different wines, to challenge my palate and my cooking prowess.

It seems like pairing a pasta dish with a deep shiraz would be too easy. So I went with a few bottles of wine from Naked Wines. Trying something new is never easy and you never know if you’re going to even remotely like it, but I went with it.

While I was in this trying new things state of mind, I’ve decided to give lamb a try. Where I come from lamb isn’t something that is either eaten very often or served in many standard restaurants. To be honest, I was completely frightened of eating a lamb, but my friends swear it’s delicious, so here we go.

Moroccan Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks

Appliance City - Food and Wine - Recipes - Braised Lamb Shanks

Of course, I’ve never cooked lamb, but a cabernet sauvignon does go well with both lamb and spicy dishes, especially this Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon.

The wine – this wine is blissfully fruity, made up of a refreshing black currant flavour with an elegant oak, smokiness. It tastes best when it has been decanted and allowed to breathe.

With a wine this perfect, I had to find a meal equally perfect to serve it with or risk drinking the whole bottle and leaving the leftovers to the bin. I found this delicious Moroccan lamb recipe from Elemental Custard and it definitely did not disappoint.

I wasn’t sure to do a meal with the ribs or the shanks, but with the appetites in my family shanks were definitely the go to. This dish combines lovely Middle Eastern flavours with apricot, fresh ginger and vegetables and is garnished with yoghurt. It’s perfect at this time of year when the fog is thicker than pea soup and we wouldn’t dare leave home without a coat or umbrella!

Wine: Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, perfect decanted and served at 6-8C

After tasting the beautiful notes in the Cabernet Sauvignon I was looking forward to the Sauvignon Blanc. I love a crisp white wine and had my hopes up that this one would pair nicely with a seafood dish.

Ever wondered what temperature is perfect for which wine?

Risotto with Spring Asparagus and Scallops

Scallop risotto paired with sauvignon blanc - appliance city and naked wines

I have a fondness for seafood, but most importantly it must be sustainable and in season. Nothing like doing my bit for the planet! Scallops are widely available in the UK during the winter months and are quite easy to prepare at home. Now the rest of this recipe from Betty Rosbottom does take some time and preparation. It isn’t for the fainthearted as it does take a bit of skill to get the risotto just right.

Risotto, a short grained white rice is a family favourite when either ordering at our local Italian or when I can muster up a few extra hours to make it from scratch. When I tasted the Petit Villebois Sauvignon Blanc I knew that this dish would pair perfectly with it. The wine itself is crisp, clean and slightly fruity. It had a lovely finish and brought out the sweetness in the scallops.

Wine: Petit Villebois Sauvignon Blanc 2014.

Have you tasted these wines yourself? Have a favourite pairing or a suggestion on which wine we should review next? Get in touch!

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