Wine, like fashion and food, is seasonal, that’s not to say that the same wine would taste different depending on the season, only that it is preferred. Take a rosé wine for example, a lot more is consumed during the Summer period than in winter, and vice-versa with bold red wines. There are some people that will say they drink rosé all year round because they love it, and why not, if that’s your favourite then by all means go ahead. But when it comes to matching wine to seasonal dishes you might want to change your favourite tipple. A rosé with a Sunday roast and all the trimmings is completely lost, as you will taste more the food than the wine.
Justin Bautista, the chef and brains behind Mama Lotties, will for the next few seasons give me a couple of his delicious homely dishes for me to “try” to match wines to, so here goes.
There’s a chill in the air, which to me means Autumn is here, and, like Justin, we have started to make some warmer more filling dishes than the summer salads and BBQs. The two dishes for this season are the VEGETABLE LASAGNE and LENTEJAS. Two very traditional dishes here in Gibraltar and like Justin mentions “done differently in each house-hold”, (y a qual mas bueno!)
Vegetable Lasagne. Matching a wine to a dish is not as simple as it sounds, especially when the dish has so many different ingredients, textures and flavours. My cheat match is go with a wine from where the dish originates from and from there find one you enjoy drinking. In the case of the White wine for this dish I have gone for something completely different, a South African Chardonnay from the Rondebosch Vineyard in the Western Cape £8.25. This is a wooded Chardonnay but is full of peach and melon fruit notes. Its slightly nutty finish, pairs great with soft cheese, where as texture goes, the lasagne is quite creamy and soft.
As for the Red I have gone for a medium bodied Italian from the Pisa area, Casanova Della Spinetta £14.50. A lovely smooth wine with warm dark fruit notes and slight acidity that will match the tomato sauce and veggies but will also give a nice contrast to the creamy texture.
Lentejas. I like to have the lentejas a day after they have been cooked, this way the lentils have soaked up all the flavours of the chorizo and morcilla, “que bueno!” I know there are a good few vegetarians that wouldn’t like this but Lentejas is such a versatile dish that you can also make it completely vegan and still match this wines to it. Now with such a dish originating from Spain, I think, it has to be Spanish wines, the white wine I’ve chosen is dry, aged but still a fresh Albariño from Rias Baixas called Siete Pulgadas £9.00, Lovely floral and apricot notes with light wood and almond notes in the background, it won’t over power the dish and will not hide behind it either.
For the red, rather than going for the typical Tempranillo from Rioja or Ribera del Duero, I’ve gone for the Marco Real Reserva de la Familia 2014 £12.55 from Navarra, with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Graciano grape varieties and aged for 36 months in French oak barrels. Complex array of aromas and flavours of dark fruit, wood, cocoa, coffee, leather, vanilla and licorice each flowing nicely on a full but smooth body. If ever a wine made for traditional lentejas, Marco Real is it.
If you want to give the dishes a go, follow the links to Mama Lotties recipes, and let me know how it goes.