The Combinations challenge is a little exercise to match a wine with a specific dish. This month it is with a Baked Egg dish; eggs being a particularly tricky ingredient for a wine to cope with. A yolk of an egg has the effect of coating the mouth but with this dish, dominated by the rich, spicy tomato sauce, the effect was diminished. The footnote for the recipe suggested ‘a light, smooth Pinot Noir’ but I felt the spices would overpower something too light. The choice of wine was also dictated by the forthcoming Great Grape Day on Wine Sediments; Zinfandel/Primitivo.
Wine Tasting Note:Dorio Primitivo Del Salento, 2001, Salento, Italy. Listed by Oddbins for £6.99.
Intense in colour and restrained in that typical Italian way on the nose – although hints of leather and a floral, light note came through. Superbly delicious on the palate. An array of complex flavours – orange, chocolate, spice and so much more. A sweetness of fruit, a depth and juiciness that bowled us over. Excellent.
The distinctive nose is down to the 15% Aglianico included with the Primitivo. Alcohol 13.5%. Scribblings Rating – 94/100
The wine stood up well to the spice-laced dish. The palate-ruining qualities of the eggs were washed away with by the acidity and, while perhaps the hot chili deadened the complexity of flavours just a touch, it worked rather well.
To me this dish was spicy enough – the Chorizo itself was enough without ‘damaging’ the wine. Benito disagrees and “made some additional seasoning changes to pump up the heat. ½ teaspoon of Tabasco for four people? I’ve splashed more than that in my eye while punching up a bowl of soup”.
An interesting wine selected for his take on the recipe, a South African Pinotage (Serengeti Pinotage 2003), a brand I’ve not come across before or perhaps ignored due to the naff label! Benito concludes “the Pinotage and sausage matched exceptionally well. Everything together is perhaps better suited to late-night bachelor cravings, but the dish on its own would be ideal for breakfast or brunch. Just a word of caution: if you make it like I did, it will be quite hot.”