Own Selection wines and festive vegetarian pairings
Author: Issariya Morgan
Festive food and wine pairings have traditionally been dominated by meaty matches. But there are so many wonderful vegetarian dishes worth considering, and they pair beautifully with our Own Selection wines. Below, you’ll find three of our favourite bottles, alongside a few ideas on how to enjoy them – whether you’re hosting friends or looking for something flavourful to savour in the weeks ahead.
The 2016 Own Selection Barolo is usually my wine of choice when I have friends around for dinner. With its soft red fruits, floral perfume and good grip, such an elegant wine – poured in good quantities all round – is always a treat by itself.
But in the classic Italian fashion, it also pairs wonderfully with food. And beyond the well-trodden pairings of red meats, I can think of plenty of excellent vegetarian dishes that are instant crowd-pleasers.
An aubergine parmigiana (melanzane alla parmigiana if you want to be fancy) is one of my favourites – simple, generous and infinitely delicious. Baked layers of soft, tender aubergine, topped with a rich tomato sauce and oozing with mozzarella – it’s sure to please even the most carnivorous of guests. For a touch of festive spice, sprinkle a little cinnamon in the tomato sauce while it simmers. Any leftovers make a divine sandwich filler the next day (or a gleefully decadent breakfast with fried eggs and toast).
Alternatively, a large glass with a board game and some good company will more than suffice.
Buy the 2016 Own Selection Barolo here
Selected by Sarah Adwalpalkar, Marketing Executive
Our Own Selection Pouilly-Fuissé has become a mainstay in my wine rack and it’s a failsafe option whenever I’m hosting. Amongst my friends there is a dichotomy between those who favour a rich, buttery white wine and those who crave something zippier and more energetic. I’ve found that this Mâconnais Chardonnay, made by superstar producer Olivier Merlin, bridges the gap perfectly – a complex, well-balanced choice for cosy dinner parties throughout the festive season.
The wine has a crisp, fresh green apple aroma, mellowed out with notes of ripe peach and a hint of warm spice coming from its time spent in oak. I like to pair it with Savoy cabbage parcels, filled with roasted butternut squash, and mild goat’s cheese. The earthy sweet character of the squash complements the ripe stone fruit and subtle toasted spice characteristics of the wine, while its refreshing acidity harmonises with the smooth creaminess of the cheese.
On a Friday night catching up with an old friend and curled up on the sofa, I would also serve the Pouilly-Fuissé as an apéritif paired with that old favourite, burrata, on a bed of roasted beetroot with a smattering of salty roasted hazelnuts to garnish.
Buy the 2020 Own Selection Pouilly-Fuissé here
Selected by Joshua Friend, Account Manager
Being a veggie at Christmas really isn’t that much of a big deal. As a host, all you need to do is make a separate gravy, dish out the roasties from the goose fat ones, cook a nut roast from scratch (or buy a pre-made one if you’re feeling lazy) and banish all thought of adding lardons to the sprouts. Easy. I always feel guilty enough as it is at Christmas with relatives over-accommodating, but is it too much to ask for a mushroom en croute instead of a roast dinner?
All jokes aside, the only thing that I really need at Christmas is delicious wine. And family, friends, good food and merriment, of course. It’s probably easier to just give up and eat meat for 72 hours – but I hold my ground. At least I have the cheese board at the end to make up for it.
I don’t take food and wine pairing too seriously – I believe that you should be allowed to drink whatever you like with whatever you want. It’s handy, then, that my top pick for Christmas is so versatile: Berry Bros. & Rudd’s very own White Burgundy by Collovray and Terrier. It ticks every single box and can be paired with, quite literally, anything. It’s rich and ripe, with a subtle hazelnut character from a little time in oak – delicious. Pop a bottle of this beauty open as an apéritif; while you’re cooking; with your dinner and with cheese – you’ll never get bored of it. It’s an absolute must for me – and it goes down a treat with Quorn sausage rolls.
Buy the 2021 Own Selection White Burgundy here