The proofs for my FORTHCOMING BOOK arrived last week (sorry, didn't mean to shout), a final chance for me to read it through and make sure everything is as it should be. To be honest, I've still got my doubts. Not about the book, rather the fact that I might be, in fact, dreaming this whole episode. But I'm reading it nonetheless, a couple of chapters at a time. And earlier this evening I read the one about matching food with wine, including what wine to have with pudding. Which resulted in me finishing off the last of the chocolate ice cream with a small glass of red. Doesn't work, as it turns out. Nothing if not dedicated.
Current white in the fridge: Villa Maria Gewurztraminer 2010, £9.99, Waitrose
The word 'gewurz' translates as spice, and what you've got here is a definite spicy character to this New Zealand east coast wine. Not quite garam masala, more very gentle allspice. With a fairly generous amount of alcohol (here, 13.5%) and a definite whiff of lychees, pungent enough to transport me back to a time when we used to go out to eat Chinese food (sighs). Anyway, this is no shrinking violet. In fact, it is a bit of a show off with its pungent smell and almost luscious flavours. But then again, why not show off if you've got something to show? Loved it; refreshingly different. Just quite tricky to match with food. Ideally, needs a bit of chilli-given heat or even sweetness in the dish to balance it.
Current red in the rack: Tesco Finest Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2009, £6 on offer, Tesco
Just as Nigella is misty-eyed about all things Italian at the moment, same goes for me and their wines. Specifically reds; they are just so gorgeously autumnal in character. This one is made from the Barbera grape in the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy, specifically near the town of Asti (there's more to this place than sweetish sparkling wine). Think blueberries, black cherries and a sprinkling of allspice (there it is again). The Piedmont region is also home to the more talked-about Nebbiolo grape, but no-one puts this Barbera in the corner.
Chin chin x