Food & Wine Matching
Godminster Black Truffle Cheddar & Ancre Hill Estates Chardonnay 2014
Black truffle Cheddar is an indulgent, decadent and richly flavoured addition to the Godminster range perfect for autumnal months and festive grazings. The cheese has been matured for up to 12 months, with generous flecks of black truffle authentically sourced using a truffle hunter and hound.
Truffle is the dominate flavour here, so it’s key to find a wine equally as flavoursome and bold. Godminster have combined the smooth creaminess of their classic Vintage Organic Cheddar with the umani flavour for this cheese, and it is this creamy texture that lingers on the palate.
Chardonnay, in both its sparkling and still forms, make a wonderful match to both Cheddar cheese and truffle (so it was only natural that we had to try it for ourselves). When choosing a Chardonnay, opt for a wine that has partially oak ageing. We have chosen Ancre Hill Estate Chardonnay 2014 to pair with Godminster black truffle Cheddar. This biodynamic Welsh wine, spent 14 months in untoasted oak barrels, which means the flavours of oak imparted are minimal but it has created a wonderful creamy texture that matches that of the cheese. On the finish, the wine has a lemony kick and delightful acidity that cleanses the palate after tasting the decadent black truffle.
Head over to Slate to find out more about Godminster black truffle Cheddar.
In Season: Hake
In a world where fish is becoming overfished there are small changes we, as consumers, can make to prevent this from happening. The winter months can be tough for fishermen who have to fight with rough seas and less daylight hours, all of which drives prices up and can leave some fish unavailable.
Hake is lesser known in the UK but it is a great option compared to cod and haddock. It is a strong meaty white fish that works well in a range of dishes. Rosé pairs well, particularly with Spanish inspired dishes including chorizo. Red wine can dominate the fish, so again a full-bodied rosé is a good substitute. Simple pan-fried hake is delicious when paired with Bacchus.
The Good Fish Guide recommends not eating hake during it’s breeding season, February - July.
What to drink with Venison
Venison is available throughout the year but in the UK it is mostly enjoyed throughout the winter months. Classed as game, venison refers to the meat of a deer, most commonly roe or red deer in the UK. It is similar to beef but is leaner with a slightly richer taste, and can, therefore, pair well with wines matched to beef. However, we would generally recommend something slightly more elegant.
Pinot Noirs with a little age are a good match to roast venison or venison loin. Reds that are slightly fuller-bodied suit a venison casserole or stew. Rondo that has been aged in oak would work well.
What to drink with Pumpkin
When it comes to wine pairings pumpkin can be treated in a similar way to butternut squash. Richer pumpkin dishes and those that have been roasted and/or spiced have a concentrating effect on the flavour, often showcasing its sweetness. These dishes match bold wines, such as an oaked, buttery Chardonnay.
Due to our cool climate, Great Britain currently lacks bold red wines however, a slightly tannic Pinot Noir pairs well when the pumpkin is an accompaniment to duck.
In Season: Pheasant
Our In Season ingredient of choice for October is pheasant. Game is a wonderful partner to Pinot Noir which we discussed back in August (see In Season: Grouse), so we have taken inspiration from our French neighbours for this food and wine matching.
October sees the final game birds become available, namely pheasant and partridge. It is also a time when English apples, such as Egremont Russet and Rubens, are coming into season.
Pheasant Normande is a classic French dish consisting of pheasant in an apple and cream sauce. The sweetness of the apples with the richness of pheasant is a gorgeous combination, and showcases both ingredients at their best.
Pinot Gris is a wonderful match here and will complement the natural sweetness of the apples in the dish. An Alsatian style Pinot Gris that is dry to off-dry is the best choice. Try to avoid a wine that is too sweet. England has been producing excellent examples of Pinot Gris the last couple of years and Stopham Estate’s is particularly good. It has a slightly viscous body with a brilliant cutting acidity that balances the wine, and has notes of stone fruits.
Pitchfork Cheddar & Oxney Organic Estate Classic 2016
Cheddar is one of the world’s most popular cheeses and makes up roughly 50% of all British cheese sales. Cheddar can be made all over the world but those made in the West Country are the most authentic, with some cheese dairy’s holding a Protected Designation of Origin status for their cheddar.
Pitchfork is a brand new Cheddar from Somerset. It is handmade to a traditional recipe by Trethowan's Dairy, and is clothbound and matured for twelve months. Pitchfork has a golden colour and succulent texture. Its flavour has savoury tones well balanced by bright acidity and hints of tropical fruit, with a long lasting tangy finish.
When we think of a fruit pairing with cheese most of us think of grapes, but Pitchfork is absolutely delightful with Conference pears and Russet apples, both of which are in season now. Our wine pairing is then a specific match to this refreshing and tangy cheeseboard.
Red wine is the obvious wine match with Cheddar but, Pitchfork’s tangy finish and the natural acidity in pear and apple match that of English sparkling wine like nothing else. Oxney Organic Classic 2016 has aromas of brioche and toast from 24 months ageing on lees providing depth and complexity, yet the palate is much more refreshing. Ripe orchard fruits and England’s characteristic high acidity balance perfectly with the flavours and acidity of this more unusual cheeseboard.
Head over to Slate to find out more about Pitchfork.
In Season: Mylor Prawns
Mylor prawns start coming into season in September and will be available until February. Caught in Mylor Harbour near Falmouth, these tiny prawns are sustainably fished with pots and hand-held nets, before being delivered to restaurants alive and in their shells.
Mylor prawns are particularly succulent and sweet, with a delicate flavour that you want to respect during cooking. Keep it simple and cook in a little garlic butter, tapas style.
Sauvignon Blanc loves garlic, so opt for the English version of Sauvignon; Bacchus. Choose one with a little more acidity for a crisp and refreshing pairing. We recommend Astely Vineyard Bacchus 2017. Wave goodbye to long summer nights with a dry rose, which would also pair well. It’s delicate fruit characters being a match for the prawns sweetness.
Renegade Monk & Chapel Down Chardonnay 2015
Renegade Monk is a unique soft washed rind cheese with undertones of blue cultures, similar to those found in other blue cheeses. Made at Feltham Farm in Somerset, each cheese is hand-washed in local ale and matured for four weeks. A "cheese for grown ups", Renegade Monk is bold and pungent with a pleasant sweetness, and it can vary in texture from soft to firm. On the palate the cheese has a wonderful buttery character with a slight sweetness. Its flavour is much less assertive than its aroma.
We enjoyed the cheese when it was young, with a soft texture and pale rind, and have paired our wine to match the cheese at this stage in its development.
Our English wine of choice to pair with Renegade Monk is Chapel Down Chardonnay 2015. Before bottling, the wine was matured on lees for an extended period of time resulting in delicate buttery characters, which will match those of the cheese. With England’s trademark high acidity, Chapel Down Chardonnay helps to cleanse and refresh the palate after each mouthful.
Head over to Slate to find out more about Renegade Monk.
Fish & Chips
Fish and chips is a classic Great British dish, be it in takeaway form from the local chippy on a Friday night or a seaside treat devoured on the beach in the summer months. However you like to enjoy your fish and chips, Heritage Wines can’t recommend a glass of fizz enough. Champagne has long been paired with fish and chips, but English sparking wine is much more suited thanks to England’s cooler climate and a resulting higher level of acidity in the wine. It is this acidity that cuts through the oil and fat of the fish and chips, making them so well matched. Brut styles work best, whilst sparkling rosé should be avoided here.
What to eat with Bacchus
Bacchus is the UK’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc. The wines tend to have an intense gooseberry, citrus and elderflower character with high acidity and low alcohol, resulting in a wide range of food and wine matching options.
Light dishes using seasonal ingredients grown during UK spring and summer time will pair best with Bacchus. Salads and vegetables work particularly well, especially a tomato and goats cheese salad and most spring vegetables, including green beans, peas, asparagus, and cucumber. Fish and Bacchus can make a nice pairing, however, the choice of fish and sauce/dressing plays a pivotal part. For example, seafood (crab and prawns) is a great option, as is salmon, however the dish will work best, when matched with Bacchus, if in a citrus or lightly spicy sauce. You want to avoid rich, creamy sauces here.
In Season: Grouse
August 12th marks the start of the grouse season, lasting for 121 days. The flavour of grouse can change depending on when in the season you eat it. If you’re eating grouse in August then it’s likely the bird will be younger than those shot later in the year, and it will have a more tender texture and subtler flavours. Grouse love heather, eating up to 50g a day, and birds shot later in the season can take on such flavours.
As it is August, our wine suggestion is for younger Grouse. Blackberries are also in season now and make a wonderful match for grouse, which we recommend including in your dish. The subtle gamey note and sweet blackberry flavours are a great match for Pinot Noir. Choose one that has spent time in oak and has some age to it. These wines will be fruity (plum, cherry, blackcurrant) with notes of smoke and sweet spice.
Westcombe Ricotta & Hattingley Valley Entice 2018
Ricotta can be a difficult cheese to pair with wine and so for August we decided to cook with it and bring you one specific cheese and wine match. We have created a pairing that we believe is perfectly suited to end a meal on a hot summer’s day; ricotta cheesecake paired with Hattingley Valley Entice 2018.
Recipes for ricotta cheesecake vary but, many are dairy rich including cream, eggs, butter and of course cheese. Hattingley Valley Entice makes the perfect match for many different reasons. It is lusciously sweet (165g/l residual sugar) but is balanced with such high acidity that you have an incredibly refreshing sweet wine that isn’t cloying at all. The sweetness of the wine will also match the salty tang of the ricotta. The flavour profile of the wine is incredibly refreshing with notes of elderflower, peach and pear.
The wine’s fresh character and the delicate cheesecake make for the lightest of dessert pairings we are yet to find.
Head over to Slate to find out more about Westcombe Ricotta.
The traditional Sunday roast dinner is a staple in many family homes. Roast chicken, pork belly, beef or rack of lamb, we all have our favourite roast. When choosing what to drink with your roast dinner there are a two key points to think about. Firstly, what is the cut of meat and how has it been cooked. Secondly, what are the accompaniments.
Roast chicken can be paired with either a white or red wine. Chardonnay is an excellent match to chicken, especially when the roasted chicken has been slathered in butter and the chardonnay is delicately oaked.
Roast pork, like chicken, works well with both white and red wine. If you opt for a red wine choose a young and fruity Pinot Noir; the acidity will cut through the fat of the pork belly and crackling. Red wine with slow-roast shoulder of pork can work particularly well, too. Chardonnay pairs well with pork loin and belly, as well as suiting fennel seeds and crackling. Roast pork accompanied by apple sauce or caramelised apples marries nicely with an off-dry sparkling cider, as does pork served with calvados cream.
The UK has a cool climate, which can make growing red grape varieties tricky as the growing season is often not long enough to ripen red grapes fully. Meaning those big, full-bodied red grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, that work so well with beef would be underripe and bitter when grown and produced in the UK. It might seem as though there are fewer options when it comes to matching roast beef and lamb to English and Welsh wines, but choosing your food and wine carefully can result in some excellent matches.
Young, pink lamb rubbed with Provencal herbs and served with fresh seasonal vegetables will pair well with a Pinot Noir rosé. Whilst a rare beef fillet will work with an English or Welsh Pinot Noir, preferably one with a few years of age. If you’re having roast veal, Pinot Noir will work well again or even a richly textured white wine, such as a Pinot Gris.
A Wimbledon Classic: Strawberries
Rosé wines generally have a strawberry and raspberry character to them, making them the ideal partner to strawberries and cream. Sparkling Rosé can work particularly well, as the acidity and bubbles balance nicely with the natural sweetness of the strawberries. Flint Vineyard Charmat Rosé is fruit forward and rich in cherries and fruits of the forest. A small percentage of the wine has been aged in oak barrels giving the wine texture and notes of praline. It was made for Wimbledon!
Late harvest wines are better matched with Eton Mess. The wines have a higher level of residual sugar, meaning they are sweeter and will match the sweetness of the luscious whipped cream.
Mothais-sur-Feuille & Wiston Estate Blanc de Noirs 2010
If you were to look up wine matching for goats cheese you would find most often recommended is Sauvignon Blanc, preferably from France’s Loire Valley. So you may be expecting us to suggest England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc - Bacchus. But no. Just like wine, a type of cheese can vary in flavour and texture depending on where it is produced. As Slate explains, “Mothais-sur-Feuille is creamy in texture and in taste with a distinctive tang at the end of its long finish. A unique combination of earthy and woody flavours, there can also be hints of nuttiness with age.”
At Heritage Wines we have a wonderfully lavish match for Mothais-sur-Feuille. Wiston Estate Blanc de Noirs 2010. A vintage sparkling wine made entirely from red grape varieties (something of a rarity in the UK currently). The delicate bubbles and the creamy texture of the cheese were a match made in heaven, clearing the palate for the next mouthful. A hint of red fruits with brioche and hazelnut complexity matched the earthy undertones of the cheese.
Head over to Slate to find out more about Mothais-sur-Feuille.
In Season: Peaches
Peaches are a wonderful fruit that are at their best in July. They can be enjoyed simply as they are, sliced, with a glass of crisp Bacchus. Or, if used in a salad with either a mild blue cheese or mozzarella, an off-dry Pinot Gris or Bacchus with its fruity and floral characters are good choices. A demi-sec sparkling wine makes a fantastic pairing with grilled peaches and mascarpone cream for dessert. Alternatively, England is beginning to produce dessert wines to rival the likes of Sauternes. Many are made from the Ortega grape variety, with citrus and floral notes and are less sweeter than our European counterparts, and these too will match with grilled peached for a summery dessert.