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Wine with Greens

I love cooked greens. And at this time of year they shine: Broccoli, Kale, Savoy, even Kalettes (rather good if you have not tried), broccolinni (love to eat, hate the name) and the ever dependable Bok choi & Choy sum. Maybe it’s the vit D & iron I crave after a long dark winter ? And in early spring we have Ramsons and Nettle tops.

Typically with a pork chop etc. - but the veg is the star. Cooked briefly, salted, and the brightest of green.

So what wine would the honourable members suggest? - forget the pork chop, sesame, lemon or whatever - this is all about the greens. Now THAT is a challenge.

Tonight I had a 2016 croze hermitage - a very light version - which went very well (Kalettes, Leak, broccoli, mash & pork shoulder). But I’m wondering what else?


Funnily enough I was in conversation on Monday evening with one of the managing directors of the Austrian winery Weingut Brundlmayer and he was saying that Grüner Veltliner is very good for pairing with greens, in particular asparagus which is famously hard to match wine to. Worth a shot perhaps!


What a good thread! I love a greens-dominated meal so the more ideas, the better.

My immediate thought is that it may be worth matching the wine to the way you cook the greens, as they are such good flavour carriers. For example, there’s an Anna Jones recipe I like where you cook some dark greens and then blitz them into a sauce for pasta - almost a rough, earthy pesto. Imagining the taste of it now, I feel sure a number of Italian reds - maybe even a spicy warm one from the South - would go well.

Or perhaps a Greek red such as Rapsani?

This is just guesswork, though, and I’ll watch what others say with interest.

Oh, and I’ll happily try some Gruner with asparagus!


Now there’s a fine suggestion! I like the idea of cavello nero…but by the time you have cooked out the fibres, all the flaovour has gone. So maybe blitzed into a pasta sauce is an answer? hmmm… I wonder if a young chianti will match the bitter notes ?

Not yet asparagus season, however I like where that is heading. Will get a bottle in and see…


OOh a man after my own heart… so much so if I can’t get enough in during any given day I also take Opti- greens daily… (Took them twice today).
I’m obsessed with leafy food, wine wise definitely a Gruner but also Mencia’s seem so go pretty well to.
I also like a crú beaujolais with greens :}!


Have you tried Locatelli’s way with Cav Nero? Pop in a pot with a bit of good olive oil, a whole clove of garlic, a tiny bit of water and season. Lid on. Cook very slowly for around an hour. Brings out a warm, sweet quality in it.


Having had a quick google, I need to acquire/grow some kalettes.

I think that light, high acid reds stand up to the irony-ness pretty well. This could of course just be that I like light, high acid reds though. I made a cavalo nero and feta pie on sunday which worked well with the end of the disappointing Portuguese wine I had.


I am having this tomorrow.


oooooh do you have a receipe??

1 bag of cavolo nero or kale
1 pack of feta
1 pack of puff pastry
Black pepper (and probably salt, but for my taste the salt in the feta is enough)

Optional extras include fresh mint, dried herbs, pine nuts, lemon zest, egg (for glazing the pastry) and sesame seeds.

Chop up and blanche the cavolo nero for a minute in already boiling water.
Drain it and run it under the cold tap for a short while to stop it cooking.
Squeeze out the water from cavolo nero and then mix with the crumbled block of feta, whatever dried herbs and black pepper (this is where you can add some chopped mint and/or pine nuts and/or lemon zest).
Roll out the pastry until it’s a few mm thick (not going to lie, I actually used ready rolled this weekend).
Make into a pie/pasty of some form of your choice with optional egg wash and covering in sesame seeds. I’d not done a pastry plait since I was doing GCSE catering so I decided to do that.
Bake at 200c for about half an hour.

Edit: This particular one was a little lighter on the cavolo nero than I’d have liked, I’d guess the bag was smaller than they usually are.


That looks amazing!

Wow!! That looks fantastic!! Thanks so much ! I’ll definitely try this :heart_eyes:

I knew I had another photo of one. I recommend not choosing this as your pie shape of choice, but it was fun (and cathartic, I was having a bad day!).


You have some pie skills.

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Wine with greens? Marcillac. Fight iron with iron! :muscle:


Sainsburys, Morrisons, Waitrose etc. Even have their own website ! https://www.kalettes.co.uk/

Seasonal so get them while you can. They cook very fast - 5 mins is too long. My father grows them & apparently are very easy providing your soil suits brassicas & no club root around.

High acid reds seems to be the consensus (Inbar = Marcillac / Leah = Beaujolais Cru) OR Gruner V. I shall do some research :slight_smile: :grinning:


Very good! I was thinking the opposite, but maybe surrender is the better way. On that line of thinking, there’s a definite sulfurous note in some greens, so perhaps a (slightly) stinky syrah/shiraz might do the business with those ones.

Great pies @strawpig - anything along the spanokopita line should work I guess.


I find that cavolo nero and kale work far better than the spinach we get in the UK for this type of thing. Most of our spinach is baby leaves and doesn’t have enough of anything to not just disappear when you cook with it rather than having it in a salad.

It might work well with frozen spinach though. I may give that a go.


I can confirm that frozen spinach works just as well, if not better than fresh.


I buy my spinach from the local Asian supermarket (think its called ‘palak’?) - bunched whole plants, about 250mm long? needs a good cleaning for grit. Flavour is superb, the stems add great texture & interest. MUCH better than those pillow bags of baby leafs.

around 3 of these bunches for £1 (I think)