and TV matching
The great cultural tradition of the classical wine
producing nations of Europe is to consume wine at table, with food.
Consequently, no respectable wine magazine would be complete without a
section on wine and food matching,
a subject that enables journalists to eat and drink very well for free
as long as theyíre prepared to waffle a bit about how the different
flavours complemented each other or clashed horribly. In fact, more
nonsense has probably been written about wine and food matching than
almost any other topic in wineóand thatís saying something.
But I digress. These days Iíd hazard a guess that most
wine isnít consumed at table. Itís drunk in front of the telly. So
I figured a thoughtful piece on wine and TV matching would probably be
more relevant to most readers than yet more wine and food matching
guidance. I hope you find the following guide of some use. Your own
suggestions are welcomed!
BBC2ís Newsnight is a fairly serious, thought-provoking
dissection of the days leading news stories. Itís often an absorbing
program; itís a shame no one watches it.
Wine match: something fairly high-brow and relatively obscure,
which doesnít get as much attention as it deserves. A precisely
focused Riesling from the Mosel Saar Ruwer would do: Maximin GrŁnhaus
Abtsberg Kabinett Riesling 2002
I really enjoyed this classy, clever, stylish series that was
recently shown by the BBC. Letís hope it gets a second airing.
Wine match: Something sophisticated, but just a little flash
and ostentatious, demonstrating assured elegance. A good, slightly
flashy Champagne Ė perhaps the Bollinger NV?
Some people like this stuff. Despite the fact that Midsomer must
have a higher per capita murder rate than downtown Detroit (and
consequently a rapidly dwindling population), this is a saccharin
sweet, utterly harmless program that wonít tax your brain cells.
Wine match: If you fancy something stronger than a cup of weak
tea (the ideal match), it would have to be an inoffensive, edge-free
branded wine, such as Jacobs Creek Chardonnay.
If you concentrate hard enough, you might just be able to follow
the plot as the nationís best-loved bad-tempered, opera-loving,
vintage-Jaguar-driving bachelor solves complicated, drawn out murder
Wine match: something sophisticated, intellectual and above
all, solidly traditional. 1982 Leoville Barton, St Julien
C4ís offbeat comedy marries three unique comic talents to great
effect. Itís also very wine focused Ė they drink a fantastic
quantity of the stuff.
Wine match: quantity is the key here, so Iíd suggest two
bottles of St Hallett Gamekeepers Reserve Red 2003.
One of TVís legion of appalling reality shows. Iíd be
devastated if the Groundforce team decided to come round and renovate
my garden. It used to be fronted by the suavely annoying Alan
Titchmarsh; now heís left and itís even worse Ė weíre left
with the dreadful Charlie Dimmock (who looks uncomfortable in front of
the camera) and her monosyllabic building mate Tommy. At least
Titchmarsh had the common touch and was a professional
Wine match: this has to be the one for Blue Nun 2002. There are
lots of Blue Nun moments in Groundforce, folks.
OK, some of you wonít remember it, but this classic multipart
adaptation of Evelyn Waughís novel remains one of the great all-time
pieces of television. Thereís a wine link, too: in one episode
Sebastian and Charles set about the ancestral Brideshead wine cellar.
They donít make them like that any more.
Wine match: something aristocratic, old and worthy of a place
in a country house cellar. Ch‚teau Latour 1961, anyone?
It may not be as well written as it used to be, but Sunhillís finest
are an enduring fixture of ITVís weeknight programming. The favoured
tipple at Sunhill isnít wine, but instead the bottle of scotch that
every officer above the rank of sergeant seems to keep in their desk
drawer, a slosh of which is usually drunk out of plastic cups or mugs
when times are tough or a difficult case has been cracked.
Wine match: with the Billís fast-paced story line youíll
want something immediate, full throttle and a bit rough at the edges
Ė like Fairviewís Goats du Roam Red 2002.
Back to top