Tag Archives: Match

Wine and Food Match test – Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine & a Shiraz

This week I’ve decided to road test a food and wine match suggestion I recently read about.


I came across this suggestion through Foxtel’s Lifestyle Food newsletter, featuring their wine expert Angus Hughson. His motto – ‘Life is too short to drink bad wine’. I couldn’t agree more.

Foxtel Lifestyle Food newsletter

The wine suggestion was the 2012 Angove Long Row Shiraz; an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz, described as being medium bodied, peppery, fruity with dark cherry notes.


The food suggestion was Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine. For those of you who don’t know me, I must let you know I am a massive Jamie Oliver fan, so this match suggestion had intrigued me from the get-go; yep, that’s me with Jamie Oliver.

Me Jamie Oliver

Armed with the wine suggestion and recipe in hand, off I trundled to my local supermarket to source the ingredients. Unfortunately my local wine seller did not stock this particular wine, however, Angus did suggest a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Grenache as the best wines to pair with Beef Tagine.

Putting my reading glasses on, I scoured the wine racks to find something that would be of similar style to the Angove Long Row Shiraz. What I came out with was a Partisan Trench Coat Vintage 2010 from McLaren Vale – a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (or commonly known as a GSM wine).


Partisan Trench Coat

The label stated the style of the wine to be ‘spicy, complex and brightly fruity’, which I figured aligned well with Angus’ first suggestion of pairing it with an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz – A man in a trench coat is elegant right?







After a long 3 hours waiting for the beef tagine to cook, I could not wait to sink my teeth in to the food and wine.


The verdict? Angus you are a star. This was a match made in heaven. The melt in your mouth meat paired perfectly with the spicy and fruity Shiraz – or in my case the GSM.


The Partisan was a dream to sip on – peppery on the nose, and spicy on the palate. I could easily drink this wine without the beef, however drinking it with the tagine really did balance out the 100+ spices that went in to the dish.

Jamie oliver beef tagine partisan

If you have a few hours to spare, I highly recommend you to whip up this dish and have your Shiraz on hand to serve up at a dinner party. I can guarantee you will have your friends coming back with their wine glass asking ‘Please sir, I want some more?’


Until next time wino’s,





Here’s the recipe! Credit to Lifestyle Food channel.



  • 600g stewing beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 800ml vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • 1 small squash (approximately 800g), deseeded and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted

For the spice rub

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix*
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika


*Ras el hanout (Arabic for ‘top of the shop’) is a blend of the best spices a vendor has in his shop. The mixture varies depending on who is selling it, but can be a combination of anywhere from 10 to 100 spices. It usually includes nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, aniseed, turmeric, cayenne, peppercorns, dried galangal, ginger, cloves, cardamom, chilli, allspice and orris root.



1 Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavour the meat.


2. When you’re ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.


3. At this point add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.


4. Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.




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Matching wine with chocolate. Who said it couldn’t be done?

Easter. A day that chocoholics can bask in by eating limitless chocolate, and not be judged. Seeing as though every day is a vino day, what does one do when trying to pair them together at Easter? 5576479777_5ef4e85fa9_zAccording to some people, apparently it’s quite hard to do. ‘Apparently’. When you read the descriptions of wines, there are a lot that state that they have a dark chocolate tasting note. So why can’t a wine with a chocolate tasting note not be matched with a chocolate? I’m not sure of the science behind this, as to why this is the case, but what I can tell you are three little words that will prove these ‘people’ wrong; Nigella Lawson and Port. Okay so technically that’s four words. But who’s counting. You’re currently nursing a sugar overdose.

So let’s start with the first part, getting the chocolate right. I’m sure any chocolate would do, but to ramp it up a bit, I decided to match my wine with a Nigella Lawson dish. I first saw her make this dish on a Christmas special, and was in love with the idea. A chocolate salame. That’s right. It looks like salami, it sounds like salami, but as the name suggests, it’s a chocolate salame. Filled with a selection of nuts, chocolate and biscuit, it’s the perfect combination for an after dinner treat.

IMG_4309To go with this delicious dish, the drink of choice I decided to go with it was a port of course. A port, in my eyes, is a perfect accompaniment to chocolate. While it’s close to red, the sweetness and intensity of a port really does bode well with desserts. I sometimes even skip the dessert and have a glass of port as my dessert. Okay, getting back to the port and dessert matching…my pick is the L.B.V.P from Tahbilk winery. This winery is located close to where I grew up in Nagambie, and is one of Victoria’s oldest wineries, established in 1860. The L.B.V.P is described as “complex nutty, spicy aromas of dark berries & violets and a palate rich with harmonious flavours of chocolate, coffee & walnut finishing with luscious lingering dried fruit sweetness.”

Wow. Even from reading that, it sounds like a chocolate salame in a bottle.

Sure enough, serving the salame along side the L.B.V.P proved to be a hit all around. With a small bite of the chocolate salame, followed by a sip of the port, it really brought out the sweetness and berriness of the port.

Whoever said matching wine with chocolate is hard to do, must not be a chocolate lover. For all you chocolate lovers out there, I can tell you, it can be done. It can be done with a little help from Nigella Lawson and a tasty port.


Nigella’s chocolate salame recipe

Tahbilk’s L.B.V.P


Until next time winos,

Happy Easter


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