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Some help with some pairings for a menu


A group of friends and I are of for a weekend away soon. Due to the number of small children a restaurant trip is off the cards, so we’re having a caterer come to us. As the person in the group who “knows about wine” (i don’t really, I’m just the only one who is a TWS member) I have be nominated to do some wine pairings for each course.

I wouldn’t say they are the most adventurous group, I’m hoping horizons can be broadened with this. The wine of choice at any gathering is usually some supermarket New Zealand Sauv blanc. As such I probably need to try to keep most bottle prices south of £10.

Any suggestions welcome. I’ve had a couple of ideas helped a little by the food and wine matcher on the website, but interested to hear any advice from wiser people.



I’ll kick this off for you…

Bread course (going left-field here!):





My options…….:wink:
With the bread/ Za’atar butter

Like @NickFoster, I would also either go with a red or even a spatlese reisling with the duck as its so fatty. For the red I’d suggest something quite balanced and a bit spicy like a Shiraz or balanced Rhone:

For the chicken…

And to finish and because that dessert is sooo sweet, this off dry sparkling should work pretty well:


Well that is a challenging menu wine matching wise! Haven’t a clue what charcoal bread. If in doubt a sparkler!

Duck and related flavours would maybe do well with a white Alsace.

Chicken dish has thrown me because it features celeriac. I hate anything that tastes of celery which to me, celeriac does. Assuming you don’t think it’s a dominant flavour then with the other ingredients maybe the Pinot Noir that Nick has suggested above for the duck?

White choc and Pedro Ximenez sherry, a match made in heaven.


I wondered whether left field options for the chicken might be the thymiopoulos xinomavro or a very exuberant young bojo? I worry the salt in the bacon will kill off any white.

Seconded for the Syrah with the duck


Good call, :+1:


Agree if there is a lot of bacon “saltiness” Much easier to match wine to food that you have actually tasted.


Thank you all for the suggestions! Very helpful.

Aperitif/bread: like @JayKay I thought if in doubt fizz! I was thinking The Society’s Cava too! To find anything to compete with it you seem to need to spend a lot more.

I am very drawn to the orange wine @NickFoster suggested. I think the interest and intrigue of it is too much for me to resist! Certainly a good talking point too.

Duck: because of the mention of cucumber and scallop I was leaning towards a white over red. My initial thoughts were a grape varieties i associate with Alsace. There seems to be a dogma that off dry rather than bone dry examples work better with duck, is this the case or is it me misinterpreting things?

Chicken: I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy some of that Xinomavro! The mention of bacon and beetroot might sway the balance towards a red, although I’ve seen @Leah recommend that Limari Chardonnay before, so it must be good!

Dessert: thanks you’ve saved me from almost picking a sweet wine at random! I hadn’t considered other options like the PX or Blanquette.


Victoria Moore’s wine and dine dictionary (a must for any food loving wine drinker) suggests ,2 ways to go with dukkah. Either an oaky Chardonnay to bring out the the toastiness of the spice. I’d go for the Adelaide hills option.

Or a more neutral white refreshes, eg Trebbiano or Pecorino. I’d suggest similar Italian white

For the duck, I’d be concerned about the impact of the miso. So might consider a Gewurztraminer. Alsace is the obvious choice and this is superb

But slightly cheaper I tried this Chilean at the south america tasting and enjoyed it.

Celeriac is a strong flavour says reds with acidity and suggests marcillac the society’s version Is very good

But maybe with chicken a Gruner might be better, the Exhibition version has always been a good choice.

Dessert very tricky. The PX might work. I think I:d prefer something lighter, maybe a moscato D’asti


You might have ordered by now, but here’s my tuppence worth…

Is charcoal bread burnt toast? :wink:

I agree with getting a sparkler for that. At that price range, some decent suggestions above, mine would be:

That duck has got lots of things going on, with some oriental influences too and scallops…maybe an Alsace white and in that price bracket I would probably go for the WS own Alsace blend

Alternatively, a Chenin Blanc from Loire or SA.

or if a blend based on Chenin is preferred maybe this

For the chicken I’m thinking Pinot Noir or Gamay. I would go with the Martin Wassmer PN with this rather than the duck as suggested above. Great wine and would probably go with both. the Thymiopoulos Ximomavro would be good shout too. Both a little above your £10 per bottle, but not stupidly so…

The petit manseng or Moscato already mentioned above would be as good as any at that budget I think for dessert.


Don’t encourage TWS by buying their Alsace blend. They have too many Alsace blends on the list. Get the Turckheim Gewurztraminer, only 45 p more.


Sorry? Each to their own! Not everyone likes single varietal Gewurz. I happen to, but I also happen to like the WS Alsace blend. There are two other Alsace blends on the list, out of about 35 wines.


But, for example, for Rolly Gassmann TWS only has the blend. This is not adequate.


Here’s my take on the problem. Offer a white and a red that would go with any of the first three courses. If you want to stay south of £10 then I would recommend:

which I tasted at the Press Tasting on Thursday. The viognier grape has a fruitiness relodent of apricots which would not be overwhelmed by the spice or miso.

For the red, I was also impressed by

For the pudding you might have to spend a bit more but I would recommend


Not an argument against blends though. They have a number of different producers both on the main list and in periodic offers.


Excellent advice @DavidTheChemist, given the strong flavours in the menu. Allow a little room to experiment and for personal preference.


All this makes very interesting reading, but one thing seems to have escaped everyone - you say you’re the only member of TWS, including the chap who ‘really knows his wine’…sounds like a few new memberships are in order!


I read it as being @Thinbo who is both the TWS member and the one “who know about wine.”


Me too. I think he’s trying to widen horizons a bit…


Thank you all. All cracking looking suggestions and good advice

@Kent_wino I will be asking Father Christmas for Victoria Moore’s book!

@DavidTheChemist your suggestion is definitely the pragmatic one, just maybe less fun

I am trying to widen others’ horizons a bit, I’m always trying to widen mine. @GuyReynolds will be pleased to know i have just given one of these friends society membership for their birthday.