There's something about the low sun and the cooler days that tempts me to get out the last of my 2017 green tomato chutney to dollop on a generous portion of game pate and crisp, warm buttered toast. I tried Wild and Game Grouse Brandy and Herb Pate and also their very nice Pheasant, Pistachio and Port Pate. A rather lovely late lunch. Pheasant season starts soon. Whoop!
The Bake Off'ers were on game pies this week and some of them (the pies) looked amazing. We don't eat enough game in this country even though you can see Muntjac deer, and dazed looking pheasants pre-shooting season, on nearly every corner here in Suffolk. Here's a young man who sells local venison and can even help you learn how to butcher a deer (in case you run one over...)
Suffolk-based wine educator Neil Courtier of Grape Sense gives us his Christmas and New Year favourites for the festive table below. Neil runs wine-tasting workshops and has one coming up on Saturday morning 26th January 2013 at the Active Business Centre in Bury, called 'An Introduction to Wine Tasting'. This would be a great birthday present for me but unfortunately I am going to be in the Caribbean (says suffolkfoodie in a sad voice...) Call him on 01359 270318 or contact him here through his website.
Domaine Vincent Dampt - Chablis 2011 Burgundy – France - £ 12.55 (here you will get a 10% discount if you mention Grapesense) Corney & Barrow – Newmarket – Vincent Dampt is a rising star in Burgundy, check out this classic, steely, mineral enhanced Chablis, that’s beautifully balanced, by a touch of buttery richness & pin-point acidity. Try with smoked trout, roast turkey (with a white wine gravy), or guinea fowl.
Jul. Ferd Kimich – Gewürztraminer – Spätlese 2010 Pfalz – Germany - £ 12.99 Peatling's - Bury St Edmunds - A fruit-inspired Gewürztraminer, that's beautifully focused. A degree of natural sweetness (only a tad) makes this a perfect companion with a smooth duck-based pâté.
Jim Barry - The Lodge Hill – Shiraz 2010 Clare Valley – Australia - £ 12.49 / buy 2 bottles £ 9.99 – Majestic – Should you decide to enjoy a prime-joint of British beef this Christmas, tuck into this blackberry-soaked Shiraz, with notes of eucalyptus & liquorice. Full-bodied, yet it has ‘sweet’ tannins & total integration.
Domaine Michel Lafarge - Bourgogne – Pinot Noir 2009 Burgundy – France - £ 13.99 (again with a 10% discount for Grapesense) Corney & Barrow – Newmarket – From a great Domaine in Volnay, a cherry-scented Pinot, ripe, rounded & accessible, with food-matching potential too – a great match with pheasant, or venison casserole.
Champagne – Les Pionniers – Vintage 2004 - £ 25.99 / £ 22.99 (until 1st January 2013 ) Co-Operative – Toasty, complex Champagne, with notes of maturity – baked lemon, a trace of honey & a nutty finish. Great vale & should accompany smoked salmon to a tee!
Vistamar - Late Harvest - Moscatel 2012 Limari Valley – Chile - £ 6.24 / buy 2 bottles = £ 4.99 per ½ bottle – Majestic – Snap-up this peach, honey, lemon & grapey Moscatel, which has attractive acidity to underpin the sweetness. Yummy!