With Burn’s Night fast approaching (it’s on Friday 25th January) and the Scottish poet’s love of a tipple well known, it’s time to think about what you’ll be drinking to toast the haggis. We’ve put together a handy guide to the best drinks to go with some of the Scottish recipes you may be eating.
Your menu may include Scottish smoked salmon for a starter. A white Burgundy would be a good match for this, with the oaked character of the wine matching nicely with the oak smokiness of the salmon. We love Albert Bichot Montagny 1er Cru (on offer at £19.95).
If you’ve got Cullen Skink on the menu, a rich soup made with smoked haddock and potatoes, you may want something fruity such as a New World Chenin. Try Zevenwacht Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc (£9.99). The touch of sweetness on the finish counteracts the saltiness of the fish nicely.
To match a Scotch Broth with its lamb stock and hearty vegetables, an earthy Sangiovese would be perfect. The Fattoria Selvapiana Bucerchiale Chianti Rufina Reserva at £22.50 has enough stature suit the occasion.
Next the all-important haggis, along with its neeps and tatties. Many people toast the haggis with a wee dram of scotch whisky and this is a good option if you’re serving the haggis with a whisky-cream sauce.
If your constitution’s not up to it or you’re more of a wine fan you’ll need an earthy red to match the flavours of the offal and one that’s fruity enough to stand up to the spicy pepper in the Haggis. Again the Sangiovese grape really fits the bill and The Hedonist 2015, McLaren Vale (£16.49) has the right balance of rustic, earthy, forest floor flavours and cherry fruits.
If you want something to simply toast the haggis that isn’t whisky, try a sparkling wine like Val D’Oca Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene (£12.99).
For the perfect match to your Highland Beef, a red with good body and structure is called for. Paul Jaboulet Evidence Par Caroline 2010 Bordeaux & Rhône (£19.95) is an unusual wine in that it’s a blend of grapes from two wine regions, usually a big no-no in French winemaking etiquette. The resulting wine has a lovely balance of chewy tannins and dark fruit that will really complement the texture and flavour of the beef.
When matching wines with pudding, remember to choose something sweeter than the pudding itself otherwise the flavour of the wine will be lost.
Cranachan, a type of layered trifle made with fresh raspberries, honey, oats and yet more whisky cream needs a wine with a touch of sweetness. Try with Sandeman Unfiltered LBV (£18.95) which has plenty of crunchy red fruit flavours and a smooth finish.
The sweetness of Hot Marmalade Pudding with Drambuie Cream requires a Stanton and Killlen Rutherglen Muscat NV Australia (£17.99) whose hints of spice and citrus peel echo the flavours in the orange marmalade and will give the whisky a run for its money.
Clootie Dumplings, a type of steamed pudding with dried fruit and spices taste great washed down with a late harvest white such as Magie d’Or Pacherenc du Vic Bilh (£9.99) from the Gascony Region of France. The perfect balance of sweetness and acidity sing in harmony with the spice in the pudding.
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