Food and Wine Pairing at the Wine Club

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Upton’s Wine Appreciation Club enjoyed an evening of Food and Wine Pairing in April, allowing us to consider what pairings worked well, what worked less well, and why that might be.

To start the evening, a wonderful sherry (Hidalgo’s Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada) was paired with olives and salted almonds. It must be said that not everyone expresses delight at the prospect of a glass of chilled manzanilla (a sad fact which helps to ensure that this fabulous fine wine remains available and affordable), but everyone agreed that the light bone-dry sherry worked admirably with the salty nibbles. Following on, we looked at pairing fresh goat cheese with sauvignon blanc and how the acidity of the wine worked with the tangy cheese. Continuing to consider pairings of cheese and white wines, a Macon coped with strong cheddar. Of interest though, the chardonnay didn’t match the goat cheese and the sauvignon blanc didn’t complement the cheddar. After a classic Cava paired with baked camembert, we turned to a Provencal rose accompanied by prawns warm from the oven. Then on to red wine, with Argentinian Malbec benefitting from its accompaniment of roast beef. Maury (from a solera dating back to 1928!) tamed dark chocolate, and a fortified Tawny from South Africa’s KWV cooperative rounded the evening off with blue cheese. But, for those still keen to experiment, while the Maury coped with the strong cheese, it was felt that the Tawny couldn’t cope with the chocolate.

If you would like to enjoy a glass of wine in convivial surroundings, perhaps learning a bit along the way, then why not join us? We meet in the Village Hall between 8.00pm and 10.00pm, and welcome everyone with an interest in wine. We usually taste four white and four red wines per meeting – small tasting measures, so as to avoid any deleterious effects! We try to cater for all tastes and the evening is also enjoyed as a village social to meet with other village residents. With a membership of around 60 villagers, we regularly welcome more than 30 to each meeting and make a special effort to welcome new members from the village. If you’re interested, you are very welcome to come along to your first meeting as a guest. The more the merrier! The club’s regular meetings continue on the third Wednesday of each month. Our next meeting is on Wednesday 17th May and is the last before this season’s BBQ – it offers a chance for members of the club to share their favourite wines and related anecdotes. Do join us if you can.

William Betts