Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 5 October 2015

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 5 October 2015

Less wine and more vinegar has been sampled this week as I’ve been sipping samples of hot home-made chutney straight from the boiling pan. After picking several tonnes, (well it seemed like it) of wild damsons and, its near neighbour, wild bullace from the Shropshire hedgerows I needed to find a recipe that would do justice to their flavours. After perusing many recipe books and websites, while finishing off the dregs of a bottle of South African red opened the night before, I finally came across just the recipe I was looking for.

A combination of the usual chutney preserving ingredients of vinegar and sugar, along with onions, garlic (lots), raisins and apples (windfalls with the manky bits cut out) and the de-stoned remains of 9lb of bullace results in a fruity but somewhat bland chutney. Add spices to the mix and the chutney reaches a different stratum of flavour.

Ground chilli, ground ginger, black peppercorns, mustard seed and Juniper berry (the recipe called for allspice but the substituted peppery flavoured berry meant I could finally get to justify their purchase) all added to the simmering mass and finally spooned into jars 4 hours later resulted in a dark purple splodge that tasted very similar to HP Brown Sauce.

I know you’re meant to leave chutneys to mature for 6 weeks or so but I couldn’t resist opening a jar and adding a spoonful to the necessary post clear-up bacon sarnie. Delicious. And a couple of glasses of fruity red matched the meals hearty flavours.

PG Wine Reviews

Castillo Albai Spanish Crianza Rioja 2012

£6.98 Asda

Being made from 100% Tempranillo grape makes this Rioja taste neither too light nor too heavy – so expect cherry and blackberry with milk choc and nutmeg for added creaminess.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference French Languedoc Red 2014

£8 Sainsbury’s

Versatile red blend that tastes of cocoa and plums.

Angove Australian Long Row Merlot 2013

£8 Sainsbury’s

A nice fruity mix of flavours – cherry, raspberry and plum. Creamy.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference South African Fairtrade Pinotage 2014

£8 Sainsbury’s

Despite the Bovril aroma this Pinotage tastes lighter than your nose would have you believe with a mix of cherry, mocha and spicy aftertaste.

Château Joucanin 2012, French Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

£9.49 Co-op

Blackcurrant, damson and cocoa dryness make this a nice red.


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© Paula Goddard 2015