Tue 04 Nov 2014

A Banger Of A Week: Wines For Sausages

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This week not only sees the arrival of bonfire night and the associated firework parties but also British Sausage Week, so bangers seem sure to feature in some form.

SausageMatching food with wine has long been a passion of mine, and when the food in question is one of my favourites I tend to go into overdrive. As such, here are my choices for sausage-and-wine matching:

These perfect parcels of pleasure offer a plethora of styles from around the world that reflect not only the culture but also the history of a region. This coupled with choice of meat, herbs and spices (and even fruit in some cases) all contributes to posing a problem I am only too happy to try and solve.

Any wine choice for sausages, I feel, must have a generosity of fruit but balanced with enough freshness and acidity to cut through the fat.

Lovers of good British bangers and mash or toad in the hole should look to the southern Rhône or just below, in the south of France. Jaboulet’s Ventoux Les Traverses (£7.95) from the former seems a natural choice, as well as Fitou Origines, Domaine Bertrand-Berge 2012 (£8.50) from the latter.

Theses wine can also handle spicier sausages, such as chorizo; for a more local match, however, a Spanish garnacha will work well. Malabarista (£6.25), which tempers the cherry-like fruit of the grape with Rioja’s tempranillo variety, is bold and toasty, and its sweet fruit works wonders at tempering spicy flavours. Argentine red and meat are of course natural bedfellows, and the robust but fresh Faldeos Nevados Malbec 2013 (£8.95) would also work well.

Lovers of lighter reds will also find some fine matches in the form of Beaujolais, whose fruity acidity is surprisingly adept at dealing with spice. For a case in point, try Beaujolais-Villages, Château de Lacarelle 2013 (£7.95).

It may be little surprise that a fennel-infused Italian sausage works well with many an Italian red. My personal choice, however, is a wine featuring an Italian grape but from Australia. Route du Van Victoria Dolcetto-Shiraz 2012 (£10.95) blends Italy’s dolcetto with spicy shiraz, and the combination works perfectly.

Venison sausages, my favourite, not only work with a good Northern Rhône (Nicolas Perrin’s Syrah-Viognier [£8.95] is a good bet), but also a richer pinot noir. Wither Hills’ durable and delicious example (£10.50) was a Society Wine Champion and offers a fine match.

Red wine need not be the only option, however. The affinity pork has with riesling makes for a superb match for frankfurters or bratwurst. Josef Schmidt’s Trittenheimer Apotheke Kabinett (£9.50) springs to mind, as does Ruppertsberger Hoheburg Riesling Kabinett 2013 (£6.95). Both offer a touch of sweetness to complement the pork, but not enough so as to overwhelm it.

To continue the touch of sweetness theme, I have also found Normandy Cidre (£4.95) to work very well with sausage casserole – especially when using sausages with a touch of fruit, such as apricots or apples.

I know I have only touched the tip of the sausage iceberg; but I hope these are enough to think about, and that your week goes with a bang.

Conrad Braganza
The Cellar Showroom

Categories : Miscellaneous

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