Being an avid Saturday Kitchen fan, we had to tune in to watch Shaun Rankin (Head Chef of Michelin Starred Jersey Restaurant 'Bohemia') feature one of his recipes on last Saturday morning's show - Potato Soup with Scallops, Chorizo and Spinach. This was Shaun's first appearance on Saturday Kitchen and I have to say that he really did Jersey proud! Click here to watch the show!
Susie Barrie (Winchester Wine School) was given the task of matching a wine with the dish and she chose the Marquesa de la Cruz Old Vines Tempranillo (Waitrose) with its ripe black cherries and lifted, refreshing palate. She mentioned that because of it's freshness and not being over oaked it wouldn't overpower the delicate scallops but the bags of fruit would hold up to the chorizo, starchy potato and chicken skin. However, when the panel tasted the wine with the food, Patrick Williams, Head Chef of Terrace of the Fields, London, thought that it 'killed' the scallops. This got me thinking and I immediately wondered why she had chosen a red wine with the dish, thinking that maybe a Gruner Veltliner or similar would work better with the scallops. The only way to find out why she had chosen it was to get hold of the recipe and try it out ourselves and see if we can match the dish with one of our wines. I love a challenge. After the recipe went round on Twitter yesterday (here's the link), I went and bought the ingredients and asked Neil to bring home the wines he thought would work (we had discussed the choices beforehand).
Firstly, I will have to apologise and say that I didn't buy the always stunning Jersey scallops from The Fresh Fish Company since we only decided to cook the recipe at 5pm last night but I was able to get hold of some wild scallops from M&S along with the Marfona potatoes that Shaun says are a must for the dish. We cooked the recipe to the letter and have concluded that the recipe asks for too much liquid (potato water, chicken stock and milk) and we will cook it again next time with 1/2 the amount of water to give a thicker creamier finish. The soup was a bit watery and the scallops didn't float the way it was supposed to. However, the flavours were great and we really enjoyed the dish.
Wine wise, we now realise why Susie had chosen a Spanish Tempranillo to showcase as this grape variety really did do the dish some justice. We found 2 reds and 2 whites that worked well (including a Gruner) but Neil and I were very split on our actual favourite. However, if we really had to pin it down, the 'La Montesa' Rioja Crianza was the best match with its juicy cherry fruit and medium body. We now realise that this dish is actually quite tricky to match due to the complexities of the different flavours. Scallops have such a delicate flavour and are easily overpowered by spicy chorizo and crispy chicken skin. We really recommend that you give the recipe a try and maybe try it with one of our recommendations or let us know if you find another great match!
We chose 6 wines to try with it and these are the results:
Wines that worked well the dish (click on the links to read more information and to purchase):
WEINGUT HIEDLER Gruner Veltliner Speigal Langenlois/Kamptal 2007 @ £9.95 per bottle - A good match, fresh and zingy with great acidity that cut through the starchy potatoes and oily Chorizo. (Currently only available in-store)
HERENCIA REMONDO Rioja Crianza 'La Montesa' 2005/06 @ £12.95 per bottle - A elegant Crianza, offering sweet, herb-tinged, smoky black cherry and currant fruit, lovely freshness, medium body, silky tannin, and a long, persistent finish. Was Neil's favourite with the dish.
TRENTHAM ESTATE Albarino 2008 @ £8.95 per bottle - fresh, attractive fruit driven wine displaying subtle peach and pear aromas. The palate is soft and long consisting of stone fruit characters balanced with subtle citrus flavours. Neil's white favourite.
ALCORTA Rioja Crianza 2006 @ £6.95 per bottle - A perfumed bouquet of red berry fruits, with hints of toasted wood & spices, smooth & full bodied with a long finish. Excellent with the Chorizo. Jane's red favourite.
Wines that did not work:
MT. DIFFICULTY Pinot Gris 'Roaring Meg' 2008 @ £9.95 per bottle - beautiful Pinot Grigio but seemed a little sweet with the dish and didn't enhance any flavours.
BRUNO SORG Gewurztraminer 2007 @ £12.95 - Off-dry to medium on the palate, it seemed too sweet for the dish.