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Bordeaux Wines and Christmas Recipes

About this time of year I start to get itchy feet and begin preparing for Christmas. I thought it would be useful if I gathered together some recipes that you can prepare in advance which are wonderful comfort food at Christmas. They are easy to make and you can use them for snacks or starters – and they freeze well so you can make them when you have time on your hands rather than in a last minute rush before Christmas Eve. I’ve also chosen wines which will pair well with them.

Smoked Mackerel and Horseradish Pâté

You can add lemon juice or fennel to this recipe if you want to but I prefer to keep it plain and simple. It’s delicious!

4 smoked mackerel fillets
300ml single cream
4 tbsp horseradish sauce
1 tsp black peppercorns
¼ tsp paprika

Remove the skin from the backs of the smoked mackerel fillets and cut out the spine in the centre of each fillet. Discard these. Break the fillet up into small pieces with your fingers and add to a blender/liquidiser. Add the single cream, horseradish and black peppercorns and pulse till you get a smooth paste. Refrigerate or freeze.

Right – as for a good wine to wash this pâté down with then you won’t go wrong with a good fruity Rosé. As there is a lot of cream in the dish there are a lot of people who would like a fairly dry Rosé to cut through the fattiness of the dish – but – I think you should go for a fruity wine – the natural acidity of the fruits will combat the creaminess anyway. Mackerel is a sweet fish and therefore I’d go for the sweeter/fruitier wine – it combines into a taste explosion in the mouth. Domaine de Ricaud Bordeaux Clairet (£5.75)would be perfect. It’s mouth wateringly rich and smooth with round flavours of strawberries and redcurrants – tart enough to cut through the creaminess of the pate and rich enough to roll those smoked flavours round on your tongue and leave you wanting more.

Chicken Liver Pâté

This pâté is scrumptious and once you have tasted it you will never want to buy a shop bought version of it again! It’s so quick to make and the chicken livers are really cheap to buy – you can find them in frozen tubs in supermarkets or ask your local Butcher for some. You can add a splash of whiskey or brandy to the recipe for an extra zing.

2 tubs of chicken livers
300ml single cream
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp black peppercorns
knob of butter

Fry the chicken livers in a pan. When thoroughly cooked take them out and chop them up into small pieces (it’s easier to cut them up when they are cooked and also less messy!). Fry the onions in the same pan. Pour in a little of the cream and scrape out all the juices into a blender/liquidiser. Add the chicken livers with the half of the cream, all of the garlic and black peppercorns to the blender. Pulse and add the rest of the cream bit by bit until you have a smooth paste. Refrigerate or freeze.

Liver is a gamely dish and has a unique strong flavour so I would go for a really good claret with this pâté. Château Toumalin is one of the more expensive wines at £9.49 – and rightly so – it’s a classic wine with that earthy quality that is the signature of a good claret but it also has that gorgeous blueberry flavour which pairs so well with game.

Mushroom and Almond Pâté

3 tbsp butter
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1lb mushrooms
½ tsp thyme
1 cup of almonds, toasted
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
½ tsp ground black pepper

Fry the onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme and almonds in pan. Add to a blender/liquidiser with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Pulse till a smooth paste. Refrigerate or freeze.

I love almonds and their flavour permeates through the mushrooms in this pâté. I’d choose a white wine to go with this – Château Laures (£6.75) – it’s an exceptional wine and undervalued in its price. It has a wonderful fragrance and leaves you with an intense fruit and honey sensation in the mouth. It’s big and bold enough to cope with the mushrooms (a notoriously difficult food to pair with wine) and elegant enough to enhance the delicate flavour of the almonds.

Images Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/

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6 Responses to Bordeaux Wines and Christmas Recipes

  1. Blue says:

    I really don’t like it when you put recipes on…

    Here I sit, with a lowly baked patato & salad, salivating…
    Mmmm – it’s not far!!!

    TY for personal wine order confirmation! Will confirm reciept.


  2. Blue says:

    Congrats on media success!
    Don’t take the papers but, soooo glad your wines got the recognition they deserve…


    Have thought – would you like me to post my wine critiques on your site???

  3. Blue says:

    And, I’m so sorry about your toothy problems – you have my sympathy. Hate dentists! Had a brace as a child. My dentist was called Mr Savage – need I say more1


  4. Blue says:

    Gosh! I’m obviously taking over your ‘Comments’

    Am wondering how to do wine posts..
    Will try copy & paste, and then you can edit..

    Didn’t realise you were such a young company… you started after me.. this year.

    I wish my blog posts had generated some business for you – but – dogs don’t drink, & owners that do are mainly in the States… I still live in hope !


  5. Blue says:

    Hi again Nick!

    I’m obviously taking over your ‘Comments’!!!

    What shall we do?
    You can go to my blog wine posts & take them or do you want me to personally send them? You can play with them as you want because I love your wines!

    Didn’t realise you were such a young company…
    I started blogging just before you!
    I’m sorry to-date, I haven’t generated any new business… but dogs don’t drink & lots of my followers are in the States!!!

    Talk soon


  6. Blue says:

    Do I get a company Christmas card out of this???????????????????