Bit of a lifestyle blog this one.
The Sunday lunch, what tradition! Especially in the colder winter months, and especially for catching up with friends that have kids as it allows for some decent time together without the requirement for a babysitter. In this case it involved catching up with some friends who are also the geniuses behind food/cooking blog ‘The Culinary Library‘, and who contributed some of the photography to this week’s post (easy to spot, as it’s far better than mine!).
So aside from the cross-blog referencing, how is this relevant? Well haven’t you ever had to bring wine to a friend’s house but not known what to take?
Now before I start – the reality of the situation is that it doesn’t matter what you bring. It’s truly the thought that counts in this situation, anything you contribute should be appreciated – and if it’s not then the hosts don’t deserve your friendship. But how about some tips to help you smack it out of the park?
Rather than go for the full dissertation, here are a few simple tips:
- Ask what you’ll be eating! That whopping great cabernet won’t go so well with oysters, and even less so with a spicy stir fry. A riesling on the other hand…
- If you don’t know what you’re eating – Lighter, or textural styles are generally better with food (unless you know that your guests have a penchant for big slabs of grilled red meat). Blends are a great way to hedge your bets and go with a wide range of foods.
- Some wines are both ubiquitous and excellent – Pewsey Vale riesling is a great example of this. You can find it in the most premium of premium stores but also at the dingy cash-only convenience shops. Learn these widely available wines and they can get you out of a tight spot (or remember to get your LTLT order in so you have a great selection at home to choose from!).
So how did this play out on the weekend? We had a little bit of ‘all of the above’ and it worked a treat.
The meal started off with some cheese, chicken liver parfait and a glass of (French wine-based aperitif) Lillet Blanc served with blood orange (if you’ve never tried Lillet, you’re missing out). One set of guests brought the 2010 Dr John’s Pinot Gris from Mclaren Vale; and we schemed a future blog collaboration while enjoying the wine, with its soft (but not too flabby or oily) texture and fresh kiwi/pineapple & lychee aromas.
Another set of guests had visited the exceptional Melbourne retailer Blackhearts & Sparrows to get help with their selection; and arrived with the excellent 2012 Thick as Thieves Sylvaner, a gently aromatic and steely wine that went well with the Spatchcock that we’d poached in asian red-stock and then fried off.
Our third group arrived with the aforementioned 2013 Pewsey Vale, which was looking super perfumed and aromatic, and the 2012 Scotchman’s Hill ‘Swan Bay’ Pinot, which I hadn’t tasted for ages and was punching well above its weight in terms of savoury deliciousness – and went a treat with the slow-cooked leg of lamb and chilli-lime sauce.
A few more glasses to enliven the conversation and we called it a day, settling into the couch to watch the end of the footy and calling time on the weekend.