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Jamie's Seasonal Picks from Naked Wines  Add/Read Comments



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Jamie's winter wine picks

The first 'proper' mixed case of wines, linked in with Jamie Oliver recipes, arrived from Naked Wines shortly before Christmas. As I hoped for after receiving the initial launch case the box contains eight recipe cards and a folder to keep them in.

Ranging from Jool's Favourite Beef Stew through to Meatballs and Pasta each recipe is lifted from an existing Jamie Oliver book - sadly no original recipes (at least in this batch). Each recipe is linked to one of the wines in the mix, a couple of which I've tried since the case arrived:

Jool's Favourite Beef Stew* matched with La Croix du Chêne, Costières de Nîmes, 2007 [Adegga / Snooth]
With an aversion to parsnips (evil little blighters that they are) the Scribblers version of this hearty stew also lacked fresh sage. Waitrose let me down on that score! But after two hours in the oven, considerably less time than the stated 3-4 hours cooking, the dish emerged in all its bubbling glory. Cold weather needs such substantial dishes and the wine, in typical Naked Wines soft, drinkable-ness went fine with it. It didn't really 'shine' though. Would a lack of sage really make much of a difference or is the wine simply 'ok' rather than a value-packed stunner I was hoping for?

English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar*** with Nomada Rustica Sauvignon Blanc

Oysters With Chilli, Ginger and Rice Wine**** with Arabella Viognier 2009 [Adegga / Snooth]

Scrummy Warm Rocket Salad**** matched with Raats Parrot Valley Chenin Blanc, 2009, Stellenbosch, South Africa [Adgga / Snooth]
A very versatile food wine; not sampled with this pinenut/bacon/rocket based salad but was near perfect with roast pork complete with excellent crackling (if I say so myself, a triumph) and a homemade apple sauce served in freshly baked rolls for a boxing day lunch. The wines hint of sweetness and inherent lemon-apple-pear flavours and a streak of cleansing acidity made for a superb match. Got to try it with this salad next!

Hamilton Squash **** with Canepa Novisimo Chardonnay 2008, Chile [Adegga / Snooth]
The wine is in the fridge as I type, for this vegetarian dish is planned for tonight. "This warming veggie dish will develop lovely smoky flavours in the oven, so a lightly oaked Chardonnay will match perfectly"

Wild Mushroom and Venison Stroganoff** matched with Foley's Corner Reserve Shiraz, 2008, Australia

Spicy Pork and Chilli-Pepper Goulash** with Mistral Merlot 2008, Chile

Meatballs and Pasta** recommended with Milani Nero d'Avola Sicily 2008, Italy
Was maximum fun making the meatballs, getting your hands deep and dirty squishing the ingredients together and rolling the mix into balls is really what 'cooking' is all about. The simple tomato sauce matches nicely with the soft tartness of the wine. There's a kick of tannin and acidity to meld all the juicy, rich fruit together into a rustic-edged wine.

* Recipe from Jamie's Dinners

** Recipe From Jamie's Ministry of Food: Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours

*** Recipe From Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life

**** Recipe from Happy Days with the Naked Chef



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Sounds like making the meatballs was the most fun part of this post! ;-)

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