How to Pick a Wine with Your Pie
The season of comfort eating is upon us, and what better way to cosy up than with a delicious, rib-sticking pie and a glass of perfectly matched wine?
Pies come in so many forms: meaty, saucy, full of vegetables and gravy, in crisp pastry or topped with creamy mashed potatoes. The wines you could drink with them are even more diverse, so how do you choose the perfect wine to match your pie?
Luckily we’ve been trying and testing some fabulous pies and wines for you (well, somebody had to do it!) and we’ve come up with the following winning combinations.
Steak and Ale Pie with French Cabernet Sauvignon
The melt-in-the-mouth chunks of beef in steak and ale pie require a fairly tannic red to match the strong flavours of the meat. Velvety and smooth, Chateau Gontier from Bordeaux is more than a match for steak and its fruitiness is a great match for the unctuous beer-tinged gravy.
Homity Pie with Peruvian Chardonnay
Meltingly soft leeks and potatoes in a rich cheese sauce make a delicious filling to this traditional vegetarian pie. You might automatically think of pairing cheese with a red wine, but the Intipalka Chardonnay from Peru has been aged in oak providing more than enough structure and body to stand up to even mature cheddar cheese. Using some smoked cheddar in the pie would complement the vanilla oak character of the wine even better. Think you don’t like oaked wines? This could be the one to change your mind.
Fish Pie with South African Sauvignon Blanc
Fish always benefits from a bit of zip and zing, whether it be from a squeeze of fresh lemon, or even better, a glass of crisp white wine. The Edgebaston Sauvignon from South Africa provides just the right hit of acidity as well as ripe tropical fruit flavours brought out by the South African sun that ripened the grapes (think fresh flavours of lime, pineapple and cape gooseberry).
Pork Pie with Cool Climate Pinot Noir
Pork is often paired with white wines, but a light-bodied red with good acidity can cut through the rich fattiness of a pork pie to provide ideal refreshment. Pinot Noir grapes have delicate, thin skins, resulting in a light to medium bodied wine. The Wire Walker Pinot Noir is made from grapes grown at high altitude in the hills of Orange, New South Wales by expert winemaker Philip Shaw. Here, in cooler hillside vineyards, grapes are ripened to perfection without losing any of the refreshing acidity that gives the final wine its freshness.
Apple Pie with Late-Harvest White Wine
The best apple pies have a certain degree of tartness which can be nicely balanced with a good dollop of custard or Chantilly. Late-harvest wines made from grapes that have been left on the vines well into autumn are also a balancing act of sweetness and acidity that is reminiscent of the sweet-sour flavours in a good apple pie. Our Magie d’Or Pacherenc du Vic Bilh from Gascony in the South West of France is made from the local Gros Manseng grape, and is sweet but has refreshing acidity. The locals also drink this with savoury foods such as goose liver pâté and blue cheese so why not try it with other sweet and savoury dishes like pear and stilton tart or goats cheese and red onion parcels.