This article features in the January 2020 Edition of Welsh Border Life Magazine

To see the recipe this article refers to please click here

Recipe and image courtesy of Abel & Cole

Keep it dry this January!

If you must put yourself through Dry January this year, why not opt for dry white or dry red (!!)? There are plenty to choose from…

Firstly, the simple yet delicious Golden Squash and Gruyere Rarebit is the perfect partner to a dry sherry such as Viña AB Amontillado Seco Sherry, Gonzalez Byass. This is a wonderfully nutty Amontillado with hints of wood spice and a saltiness that all combines to pair particularly well with aged Gruyere cheese. Sherries are created through fractional blending in a solera system, whereby barrels of different aged wines are stacked upon each other and drip fed down into one final barrel making the sherry ready for bottling. This technique gives tremendous complexity and a yeasty character synonymous with sherries.

Or, an oaky Chardonnay like Juniper Estate Chardonnay, Margaret River which has citrus fruit combined with a dab of butter and spiced vanilla pod. It’s nothing like the sucking-on-sawdust style of yesteryear!

Smoked Haddock Chowder, meanwhile, is perfect with an aged Muscadet from the Loire Valley. Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Goulaine, Vieilles Vignes, Bonnet- Huteau has a floral scent that leads into a voluptuous palate bursting with citrus fruits and dried apricots. Bone dry and age-worthy, it showcases what the Muscadet grape (called ‘Melon de Bourgogne’) and excellent winemaking can give you! Or opt for Bruno Sorg Pinot Gris, Alsace, which is super-perfumed and rich with juicy pears, candied fruits and ginger.

Finally, the Welsh cawl cries out for a sumptuous red. Domaine de la Cendrillon, Classique, Corbières gives us juicy black fruits entwined with liquorice and a subtle herby character. Rich yet smooth, this is made from the classic ‘GSM’ blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grape varieties. Alternatively, Margan ‘Breaking Ground’ Barbera, Hunter Valley is brimming with black cherry and blackberry jam, combined with star anise, allspice and a touch of chocolate. Barbera is an Italian grape variety, so it’s unusual to see it across the world in Australia!