Grapevine Archive for Muscat

Thu 17 Apr 2014

A surfeit of Hot Cross Buns

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Hot Cross Buns Bread & Butter pud…an oxymoron if ever there was one and a situation that rarely occurs in our house!  However, such is our appetite for hot cross buns that we do sometimes find we have over-purchased (I have tried making them once and the results didn’t really justify the efforts). Happily I have discovered that just-stale hot cross buns are equally delectable as the main constituent of a bread and butter pudding when I adapted a recipe by Kim Morphew that I came across in Sainsbury’s magazine.

But then the question arises, what wine should you serve with a dish like this, containing as it does such vinicidal ingredients as chocolate, eggs and oranges? Janet Wynne Evans’ series of articles entitled Tastebud Terrors provide a good steer, with a piece on wine and chocolate (Propping up the Bar), wine and oranges (Contemplating the Navel) and wine and eggs (Unscrambling the Egg). Luckily I had a half bottle of Samos Anthemis tucked away under the stairs and the caramelised orange flavours in the wine matched the dish perfectly.

The recipe for the seasonal bread and butter pudding is below; feel free to experiment and adapt according to the number of buns in need of saving!. There are more Easter recipes in the recipe pages of the Wine World & News section of the website including one to have on hand in the unlikely event that you are left with too much chocolate after the Easter weekend!

Hot Cross Bun Chocolate Chip and Orange Bread and Butter Pudding

Serves 4

1½ oranges
75g unsalted butter
4 hot cross buns, cut in half
2 tbsp orange marmalade
250ml tub double cream
100ml milk
2 large eggs
50g caster sugar
25g dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp Demerara sugar

1 litre oven-proof dish

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/gas 4 and grease the dish with a little butter. Zest the orange and mix with the rest of the butter, spread this mix on the one side of the hot cross bun and put marmalade on the other. Cut into thick slices then spread more of the mixture on the cut sides, alternating with marmalade. Sandwich together and arrange in the dish, spread over any remaining orange butter.

Cut the half orange into thin slices and then quarter. Put in a heatproof bowl cover with some water and heat on high for a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool.

Squeeze the juice from the whole orange into a bowl whisk in the cream, eggs, milk and caster sugar and add a little more milk if looks too thick. Pour over the buns and then leave for about half an hour for the liquid to seep into the buns. When ready to put in the oven, drain the orange quarters and scatter over the top of the pudding; scatter over chocolate chips to taste. Finally sprinkle over some Demerara sugar and bake for about half an hour or until just golden. Serve with more cream drizzled over and a glass of liqueur muscat.

Happy Easter!


Visit the Wine World & News pages for more tips on Easter entertaining, wine and food matching, recipes and an article written specially for us by Nina Caplan in which she reflects on similarities and differences between Jewish and Christian Easter festivities and rituals and how, when it comes to choice of wine, ‘France is still the Holy Land’.

Categories : Miscellaneous
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The Times’ Jane MacQuitty has listed her 50 best summer whites, and these include the following Society wines:

McHenry Hohnen Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc 2009 £8.50 (cf Tanners £10.05)

David Hohnen and his winemaker daughter Freya reckon that this is their best sem-sauv vintage yet, and so do I. From a cool, fruit-concentrating year and made from almost equal parts of each grape but grown in different areas of Margaret River for added complexity, it makes for this stylish juicy summer aperitif. Harvesting at night and fermenting cool in stainless steel enhances this white’s tangy, tingly, herby, green pepper-stacked fruit.

Stella Bella Chardonnay 2008 £12.50

Stella Bella is one of the shining lights of Western Australia, though you’d never know from the quirky labels. It is made from hand-picked, separately vinified chardonnay grapes collected from eight different vineyards in the southern Margaret River area, in order to capture complexity. This ’08 barrel-fermented and aged Aussie chardonnay truly does stand comparison with white Burgundy. I loved its elegant smoky, toasty, hazelnutty fruit and so will you.

Soave La Rocca, Pieropan, 2007 £22 (cf £25 at Majestic)

Soave from the Veneto region in northeast Italy is awash with watery, faintly lemony whites that are just not worth the money. The Pieropans have long bucked the trend with full-bodiedm flavoursome SOaves made from the traditional garganega grape grown on their 30ha of superior, lower yielding vineyards. The family’s single vineyard offerings, such as La Rocca from vineyards high on the Monte Rocchetta hill just below its medieval castle, are their greatest Soaves. These are picked late, often at the end of October. La Rocca’s fine, waxy, floral, apple and pear fruit is a real summer treat.

Samos Anthemis 2003 £11.50

A 15% fortified Greek vin doux, or vin de liqueur, as this Samos sticky proudlu bills itself, is a post-prandial bottle that most Top 100 drinkers would pass by either here or in Greece. What a pity. Within lies a gorgeous, fat, smoky, raisiny pudding wine, spiked with aniseed and made from the oldest and noblest member of the muscat family, the muscat blanc à petit grains. Fortified immediately after pressing and matured for five years in French oak casks, this spicy muscat has an ancient pedigree that makes it probably the world’s oldest-known grape variety. Served cool, Anthemis is perfect with bold summer desserts such as a fruit crème brulée or praline and honeycomb ice cream.

Las Medallas de Argüeso Manzanilla £6.95

My editor thinks this is one of the worst sherry labels ever and, alas, he has a point. But it would be a tragedy if you ignored this gilded, bemedalled bottle because within lies oneof the best manzanillas: a magnificent, yeasty, tangy, floral and iodine-charged, five year old explosion of flavour from one of the best Sanlùcar Sherry bodegas of all, Herederos de Argüeso, founded in 1822. Manzanilla comes from the seaside town of Sanlùcar de Barrameda; the spongy layer of flor yeast that gives the drier sherry styles of fino and manzanilla its flavour grows more vigorously here. Hence this magnificent fortified wine.

Tue 11 May 2010

1400 years of Australian winemaking

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Twelve of the longest-standing Australian wine families have come together under the banner of Australia’s First Families of Wine – between them they have 14 centuries of winemaking experience! We were delighted that representatives from all the families chose a tasting for members of The Society as their inaugural UK event, showing two wines each from their premium portfolio covering many growing regions and styles.

Members came face to face with a veritable Who’s Who of the Australian wine world: Ross & Katherine Brown (Brown Brothers); Col Campbell (Campbell’s Wine); d’Arry and Chester Osborn (d’Arenberg); Leanne De Bortoli & Steve Webber (De Bortoli); Stephen, Prue & Justine Henschke (Henschke); Jeff & Amy Burch (Howard Park); Peter, Sue & Tom Barry (Jim Barry); Doug & Julie McWilliam (McWilliam’s); ALister & Hayley Purbrick (Tahbilk); Bruce & Pauline Tyrrell (Tyrrell’s); Mitchell Taylor (Wakefield); Robert Hill-Smith (Yalumba).

Such is the quality of these wines (and such was the popularity of this tasting) that we are eager to share them with all members. This selection showcases Australia’s best, classic styles including Hunter Valley Semillon, Clare Valley Riesling, Margaret River Cabernet, Barossa Shiraz and Rutherglen Muscat. Click here for a full list of the wines available.

Were you there? What were your impressions? Do let us know.

Categories : Australia, Wine Tastings
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