Food and Wine Pairing with M&S
They say as you get older your palate changes. As I find myself rearing up to 30, I can concur. I’ve started enjoying Stilton rather than just Dairylea, scallops as well as fish-fingers and these days, I would choose a glass of wine over a pint of snakebite (cut to my student self goggling at me in disbelief). Though my taste in alcoholic beverages is maturing (more quickly than the rest of me HA WHAT IS BEING AN ADULT THO I DON’T GET IT?) I still haven’t got the foggiest about which wine is what and how to pair it with food.
Luckily, M&S came to my rescue recently. I went along to a food and wine pairing evening hosted by one of my fave high street stores. Literally, what is not to love about M&S? You’ve got bras, GREAT, sandwiches, GREAT and those highly quaffable pink gininatins GREEEAATTTT! Whilst M&S is my lingerie and lunch retailer of choice, I hadn’t paid much attention to their wine selection before.
And hot diggity, what a mistake because it’s wonderful. The dedicated wine team at M&S took us through their selections, covering everything from fizz, via hearty reds, through to dessert wine and explained how they locate and choose the vineyards they buy from, plus giving us handy hints on the food they’d recommend to compliment each glass.
I would always go for a red wine- probably due to the fact that when I was 17 our local pub sold £5 bottles of white wine which tasted like swarfega which ended in a few *ahem* less than dignified cadences to a few evenings. For this reason, over the years I’ve convinced myself I don’t like white wine. Well, spin me round and call me Margaret because I couldn’t have been more wrong! Every single white wine we tasted I absolutely loved- the 2015 Amalaya Torrontes Riesling being a particular highlight! (p.s don’t be put off by the word Riesling- Blue Nun this ain’t!)
Other standouts were the 2010 Marques del Romeral Reserva Rioja and the 2011 Marksman English Sparling Brut Blanc de Blancs. However, my absolute favourite of the evening was this beauty:
M&S very kindly sent me away with a bottle of this delicious Malbec, and asked me to try my hand at pairing some grub with it. So, whilst away on hols in Cornwall, me and Him decided to give it a go for dinner on our final evening. To start with, we opted for Scotch Eggs, reasoning that the spicy notes in the wine would work well with the meat and the creaminess of the egg yolks. And I’m not even yolking, look at those!
Given that the Malbec is a really full-bodied, hearty red we thought it would be perfect to go with a good old-fashioned steak. We were correct. As we were on holiday, we treated ourselves to fillet and it was the best bit of steak I can remember buying from the supermarket. DELISH.
However, even though the Malbec did go beautifully with the steak, the wine connoisseurs at the event were very keen to express that we should say pish, tosh and bah to the rules that state white wine goes with white meat and fish, and red with red meat, and we should feel free to pair wine just how we jolly well like. Whatever tastes good on your palette is a-okay by them. WIN.
To finish up, we found something that went perfectly with the chocolate and mint notes in the wine-this incredible melting chocolate brownie. Look at it go!
I was so impressed with all the M&S wines, and they’re now all saved in my phone so that I can knowledgeably go and select one when I’m feeling that ‘treat yoself’ thing. I’m excited about buying a few bottles ready for Christmas Day!
Have you ever tried any of the M&S wines?
Huge thanks to M&S for the food and wine education and for the delicious feast!