This article features in the December 2019 Edition of Welsh Border Life Magazine.

To see the recipe this article refers to please click here.

Photo & Recipe: www.riverford.co.uk

This decadent gratin is brimming with ingredients making it a tricky customer to pair with wine! We need something full bodied with high acidity and luckily I have just the ticket…

Despite this being a modern twist of a dish, I propose a more traditional Christmas wine will work wonders here; Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Marcel et Blanche Fèvre oozes a wonderful honeyed character entwined with ripe green apples and pears before a mineral-laden, long finish. This wine comes from one of the oldest family wine estates, Fèvre in Chablis, with grapes selected only from the higher quality vineyard areas of Fourchaume. Better still, this delicious Chablis is on offer over the festive period!

Alternatively, opt for a gorgeous English Sparkling such as Gusbourne Rosé which is a rich and expressive fizz that boasts flavours of wild strawberries and raspberries partnered with crisp citrus fruit and a toasty note to round it off. The racy acidity of this fizz combines well with the gratin’s ingredients but will also serve as a fab apéritif too. I appreciate this Kent sparkling is a little pricey but certainly worth every penny especially as it is made in small quantities from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meurnier (the classic Champagne grape varieties).

Finally, a more unusual contender is Mitchell Sparkling Peppertree Shiraz, Clare Valley, Australia. Yes, you read that correctly- a sparkling Shiraz! Made from a blend of several top Shiraz vintages, often up to twenty years of age, this sparkler truly does pack a punch with its flavours of spiced mulberries, black plums and blackberries complemented by dark chocolate and floral aromas. This is super fruity yet refreshing and works particularly well with the beetroot and cabbage elements of the dish.