Scottish Field wine columnist Peter Ranscombe mixes five sweet and dry bottles to back up Sophie’s baking.
BAKER Sophie Greig scooped the top prize in the Contini Bake Off competition with her caramel apple Paris brest and so it was fascinating to get an insight into some of her other recipes in the May issue of Scottish Field magazine.
Her mix of sweet and savoury dishes led to a similarly wide variety of wines to match.
Two very different sweet interpretations of the muscat grape are joined by a red wine from the sun-kissed south of France and whites from both California and New Zealand.
I can’t wait to see Greig’s caramel apple Paris brest on the menu at The Scottish Cafe, the eatery run by the Contini family at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.
Until then, I’ll have to make do with these vinous treats…
Carte Or Muscat Beaumes de Venise
£6.49 for 375ml
Not only is Muscat Beaumes de Venise a good match for rhubarb, but it’s great with panna cotta in general too. Light lemon, runny honey, and a floral hit on the nose develop into richer peach, lemon, and orange flavours. It’s light on its feet, with fresher acidity for balance, and a gentle warming heat from the 15% alcohol by volume. Muscat Beaumes de Venise is a versatile player and a useful tool in any chef’s food and wine matching toolkit.
Ara Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2020
New Zealand sauvignon blanc’s flagship freshness is exactly what we want to cut through the cheesy, garlicky goodness in Sophie’s twisted bread. I was really impressed with the Ara’s balance between its high acidity – the source of that searing freshness – and its concentrated guava, passionfruit, and lemon curd flavours. There’s a surprising richness to its texture too.
Quady Essensia Orange Muscat
£11.99 for 375ml
The poshest non-Tunnock’s teacake that I’ve ever seen deserves an equally sweet treat from California. Orange by name and orange by colour, this dessert wine’s aromas really leap from the glass. Brown sugar, honey, ginger, and a touch of toffee lead into a fresh acidic kick for balance, plus flavours of marmalade, lemon, and spicy ginger, which will pick out the flavours in Sophie’s teacake. Orange muscats in general are a good match for chocolate, with enough heft to take on that thick cocoa goodness.
Chateau des Jaume Cru Maury Sec 2016
Maury in the South of France is best known for its sweet red wines, but this dry example remains ready for coffee cake. It has all those same delicious dark chocolate flavours that you’d find in the sweeter versions of this wine, but here they’re not hidden by any sugary sweetness. It’s the wine’s texture that won me over though – it’s rich and deep and full bodied, with plenty of dark fruit flavours to balance its well-integrated tannins. I reckon it’s a contender to match Sophie’s chocolate teacake too.
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018
Give quiche a chance – and give this Californian chardonnay the chance to stand up to the bacon, leek, and cheddar. This style will unite lovers of both new and old world chardonnay thanks to its rich butter, pineapple, and lemon curd on the nose and its fresher red apple on the palate, with enough rich butter and lemon curd flavours to balance its fresh acidity. A great lesson in how to balance fruit, oak, and acidity in a food-friendly white wine.
Read more of Peter’s wine, beer, and spirits reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.