Christmas is a special time of year, and at Crannog Restaurant in Fort William we love everything about it – from our Head Chef preparing another spectacular Christmas Dinner and Lunch Menu, to our Restaurant Manager making sure we have just the right wines to complement each dish.
Our wines are supplied by a wine merchant based in Edinburgh that focuses on wines made with passion, integrity and uniqueness. In this blog post Philippe Larue, Managing Director of l’Art du Vin, recommends some wine and food pairings for some of the dishes from our Christmas Menu.
Christmas Menu Starters
Islay King Scallops
“Wines made from Chardonnay, whether crisply dry or rich and buttery, are nearly always good with scallops, so either the Unoaked Chardonnay 7 Day Road or a classic Chablis, or push the boat out with a Meursault.
“Smoked food has a strong flavour, but often works well with aromatic wines. I suggest the Pinot Grigio ‘Le Rosse’ or Dry Riesling from Villa Wolf.
Roast Parsnip & Apple Soup
“I would recommend either a rich chardonnay or a fruity Chenin Blanc!
Crannog Fish Cakes
“These require wines with good acidity particularly if served with strong flavours like celeriac purée. Classic pairings include Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé, Rioja Blanco or a Sauvignon from New Zealand.
“Duck is very flavoursome and can cope with a powerfully-flavoured wine. The Spanish red Baltana Negra should match the gameyness of the duck.”
Christmas Menu Main Courses
“I would recommend a Tempranillo to complement turkey, so Rioja Capitoso would be the ideal partner.
Salmon En Croûte
“Wines that complement oily fish such as mackerel and salmon tend to be citrusy, crisp and fresh. Go for an ultra-dry white if you can such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet. Rioja Blanco would be ideal.
“When picking wine to drink with roasted fish, you have the added complexity of smoke and the crisp charred edges of the fish – there are lots of flavours to play with. Rich, fuller whites will be a particularly tasty pairing with roasted monkfish and baked cod. Burgundy offers some delightfully balanced Chardonnays with zippy lemon-bright acidity and hints of round buttery flavours. Chablis or Meursault are excellent for these dishes.
Seared Scottish Sirloin or Rib-Eye Steak
“For me, a good Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Malbec with some well-chosen and exquisitely cooked beef is a joy, so for this dish I would recommend the Cabernet Sauvignon Cannonberg or Malbec Organic Santa Julia.
Lightly Spiced Butternut Squash Tart
“This dish has subtle aromas as well as delicacy of flavour and texture, so I would recommend the Pinot Noir from Bulgaria.
“And for dessert, the Monbazillac should match all of them!”