These days you can’t go anywhere without seeing a bit of Scandivian influence, and I’m not talking a Billi book shelf from Ikea, I’m talking our new love affair with Scandinavian cuisine; whether it’s meatballs, pickled herring or just an open sandwich on rye. Fresh and clean flavours combine with a healthier set of ingredients and an unrivalled chichiness.Call it TheKillingofTheGirlwithadragontattoomeetsNoma-itis, well maybe not, but it seems to be fitting.
It’s not a new thing to Edinburgh, Peter’s Yard does the most amazing Cardamon Buns and the Canny Man has had Smogersbords on their menu forever. So when Aoife sent me the menu for our first collaboration on a Supper club i.e. a supper where one gets to do some supping too, I was intrigued and delighted to see its Scandi influence. Momentarily anyway… As I read through the (what turned into a 7 course) menu alarm bells went off left right and centre because accommodating as wine can be, it doesn’t always play that nicely with pickles, beetroot and creamy things – the basis for much of the menu!
Being one of those people who gets more stubborn the harder the challenge gets I got stuck in, and got tasting to check some of the basic principles (mostly with gherkins, which is a staple food in my life) and an endless selection of wines… Very quickly I realised that whilst you need the wine to have the acidity to match the pickle without overdosing on it and the key to that is some sweetness and a hint of floral/botanics.
To mix it up a bit we did pairs of wines with the small bite courses (left hand and right hand for those who came!) followed by the three blind wines, not mice. The blind wines proved a real talking point with an outright winner that no-one could guess! The cheese and sweet courses all had one wine matched with them, all sweeties but all really different.
Absolute favourites came from either side of the French/German borders – The Mosel Riesling was a winner with the pickled herring and the Alsace Pinot Blanc was the star of the mains. Oh and the Elysium, a red sweetie was perfect to wash down Gemma’s birthday cake!
All wines are available from Vino Wine Shops