Scottish Field wine columnist Peter Ranscombe thinks these five wines will fly with Neil Forbes’ chicken recipes.
TUCKED away on North West Thistle Street Lane – now there’s a mouthful – in Edinburgh’s New Town, Neil Forbes’ Cafe St Honore has been the scene of many enjoyable journalists’ lunches for me – and one or two wine tastings too down through the years.
Forbes’ food never fails to impress, so I was thrilled to find out he’d penned three of his favourite chicken recipes for Scottish Field‘s latest issue.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as a roast chicken – although perhaps coq au vin would come close.
And then there’s the potential for leftovers, whether in the form of a lighter salad for summer, or curried for a more autumnal dish.
However you pluck and cook your chook, these wine pairings should help you to spread your wings…
Terra Madre Organic 2019
Sicily’s catarratto grape serves up a splendid savoury white that will fly with chicken and skirlie stuffing. Hats off to the Co-op when it comes to extending its range of organic wines; organic farming may not be the be-all and end-all when it comes to helping the environment – especially when the production methods for the copper and sulphur used in the vineyards are taken into consideration, along with the build up of copper beneath the soil – but it’s a great first step. Lemon rind, tangerine and a crunch of basil all balance its crisp acidity. For more ideas for wines from the Co-op and Scotmid, check out my covid convenience corner shop caper.
Yalumba Organic Viognier 2019
£7.49 until 2 June then £9.99
All the freshness you need to cut through salsa verde, yet with concentrated fruit flavours for balance. Yalumba winemaker Louisa Rose is the Aussie viognier queen – she makes a range of wines from the Rhone varietal, with fruit coming from the estate’s own vineyards in the Eden valley and parcels further afield, including the Riverland, from where the grapes for this organic example hail. The apricot and lemon aromas are bright and intense, as I’d expect from organic fruit, and there’s a twist of lime alongside the lemon sherbet on the palate, adding to the round mouthfeel.
Finest Mercury 2016
An ideal entry-level Burgundy for cooking and slurping – if you can wrestle the bottle away from chef. Mercury has long been an overlooked region in Burgundy, with its wines destined for mixing to make wider blends. Yet producers like Château de Santenay are now giving the area the attention it deserves. Tesco’s bottle is producing by another Burgundian stalwart, Bouchard Aîné et Fils, and boasts bright and fruity raspberry, red plum, spun sugar and a touch of blackcurrant on the nose. Lots of concentrated red fruit on the palate, plus fresh acidity, which will help to cut through the salty chicken.
Banfi Principessa Gavia 2017
The Drink Shop
Banfi is best known for its Brunello red, but this Gavi shows it can handle salad-friendly whites too. Attractive red apple, pear, lemon and lemon sherbet mingle on the nose, leading into fresh acidity on the palate that’s balanced by concentrated red apple and lemon flavours, with a touch of peach joining the party too. Gavi is so often dismissed as a watery nobody, but this example proves what can happen if it’s given the care and attention it deserves.
Wakefield Jaraman Chardonnay 2018
Toasty oak and savoury lemon rind flavours from Australia that won’t go amiss with a roast chook. This chardonnay from Wakefield – known as Taylors in its native Australia but going under a different guise in Europe to avoid any confusion with the famous port brand – is part of Majestic Wine’s revamped range as the chain continues to assert its new-found independence. It’s made from a blend of two-third Clare Valley fruit and one third Margaret River; two wine regions that are 2,000km apart. That focus on quality grapes produces a nose full of toasty biscuit, wood smoke, grapefruit, lemon and lemon rind, with plenty of acidity to contrast with the toasty oak notes on the palate too.
Read more of the full versions of Peter Ranscombe’s Wine to Dine columns on The Grape & The Grain, his drinks blog on the Scottish Field website, at https://www.scottishfield.co.uk/category/grapegrain/