The odd couple 2.0

You asked for more wine and crisp pairings, so that’s what you’re getting. Rachel Hendry tears open a few more bags, in her quest to find the ultimate marriage of grape and potato.


Roast Chicken & Cassis White 

Summer is here and all I can think about is roasting a chicken. 

There’s just something about the comfort it’s leftovers bring as I move through my day, ready for salads, for butter slathered cheese-thick on bread, for mindless snacking after a long shift at work. This epitomises long, hot, summer days to me.

When the gap between wanting roast chicken and making roast chicken is too long to bridge, as it so often is, there are always crispsfor that I am grateful.

Whilst Cassis is renowned for it’s sweet fruited liqueurs, it is also home to white wines that are delicate in their salinity, all preserved lemons and young herbs and sunrise slowly warming a beach. Mostly blends of Marsanne and Clairette, these wines make a fantastic alternative to the well known Rosés of Provence, and with only twelve winemakers to the AOC they’re worth speaking to your local wine merchant for assistance in tracking down a bottle. 

This is all to say, that this is a wine perfect for the soft, soothing sage and slowly roasted garlic that a roast chicken crisp radiates. Bonus points if consumed al fresco.    

Cheese and Onion & Gavi

I’m going to level with you here. Not only do I not like cheese and onion flavoured crisps (they taste sweaty!), one of the (many) hills I am willing to die on is that cheese and wine is not the perfect pairing some may think.

Having said that, it would be amiss of me—the divine creator of this masterful crisp and wine pairing series—to exclude cheese and onion and not provide it the faultlessly compatible partner I have given all other flavours. 

Cheese-flavoured things are a very unami savoury experience—and unami can be a pretty tricky taste to balance when drink pairing. So we’re gonna need a wine as amiable as they can get here. I’m thinking Gavi.

Made with the Cortese grape in the Piedmonte region of Italy, a good Gavi sings with lemon and lime acidity, the crisp crunch of biting into a green apple or a good pear and, if you’re lucky, the whole experience ends on a pillowy almond croissant floating through the air. What’s not to love? Cheese and onion crisps certainly think it works, and who am I to say otherwise?

Black Truffle & Pomerol 

I will know I have made it in life when I have the following three items: a kitchen island, a freestanding bath, and enough disposable income that I can drop a fiver on a singular packet of crisps without inducing some form of panic attack.

Let’s pretend that I have this aforementioned triptych in my possession for a moment. 

I am perched at my kitchen island debating whether or not to have a bath this evening. I look past my fridge (which can make crushed ice on command) and my gaze settles on the fifteen storey wine rack to it’s right. I glide across the room and pull out a bottle of Pomerol, pausing briefly to grab a packet of black truffle crisps from my dedicated crisp cupboard as I make my way back to the kitchen island.

Pomerol is sourced on the right bank of the famous Bordeaux region in France, which means it’s heavier on the Merlot than it is on the Cabernet Sauvignon. A good Pomerol has the potential to taste like the smooth, taut, skin of a plum caressing your lips, the snap of dark chocolate and gives off a well spiced perfume that causes heads to turn.

Drunk alongside the salt and the earth of a black truffle crisp only works to accentuate Pomerol’s sensual nature. I take a sip and I follow it with a crunch. I have made it. I am at peace.

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