Susie on Saturday Kitchen

(by susie)

Question: how to follow a royal wedding that had attracted one of the biggest television audiences in history, on the morning that featured a virtually global hangover?

Answer: talk wine and fine cuisine on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen – and visit Legoland while you’re at it.

Yes, that’s right, I was bravely talking food and wine this past Saturday morning – tying in with the royal theme, a sunny Windsor was my hunting ground as I sought out wines to go with dishes by Marcus Wareing and Francesco Mazzei.

Marcus was cooking quail mulligatawny, a dish with creamy, curried and lightly gamey notes. When we cooked the dish beforehand, it went well with a number of fruity, fresh reds – Beaujolais included – but it was a creamy, succulent Chilean Pinot Noir that stole the show: the Cono Sur Pinot Noir Reserva 2009 (widely available but currently reduced to £6 from £8.99 in Tesco).

It went down very well in studio, with Marcus proclaiming it ‘good, really nice and light, with a touch of spice’.

James commented that ‘Chile is producing some amazing wines, reds in particular, and this is great’. Francesco praised the match, as did studio guest Dom Joly, who quipped: ‘food’s great, wine’s great, I’m not paying, it’s fantastic…’

Francesco had thrown me a bit of a curve-ball with his ‘artichokes romana style’ dish, featuring as it did the notoriously wine-averse ingredients of artichokes and anchovies. The trick here is to go with something that won’t clash. Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc is a great option – there are lots discounted at the moment, too, so some great value out there – but I went instead for a restrained Italian option, the Sistina Pecorino 2010 (from £6.99, Majestic)

Francesco, who apparently loves Pecorino (an indigenous grape variety rather than the cheese…) said, ‘It’s always difficult to match wines to artichoke but [this wine] works very well’.

Dom Joly said the wine was ‘brilliant: would be great on its own too’.

To see all this, plus an eerily accurate Lego Queen, you can catch the show on BBC iplayer for the next week (ie until Sat 7th May 2011) by clicking on this link. The same page also has links to all the recipes. Wine bits are at 15:55 and 53:05 minutes.