The Best Food And Wine Pairings At Brasserie Forty 4 in Leeds

As someone who knows a lot about good food and very little about wine – I only drink for special occasions or celebrating with friends I haven’t seen in ages – I am left speechless when I do place an order. Surely, some of you out there relate…or your wine options may have grown stale. It’s time for a change.

“I have always thought that ordering wine to match food is not as daunting as some people think,” says Brasserie Forty 4 owner Steve Ridealgh. “There will be several wines on a restaurant’s list that would drink well with each dish, and it really comes down to personal taste.”

There is no one better to ask. Ridealgh’s restaurant is described as “the finest in British and Mediterranean dining with a fabulous wine list.”

Yes, despite how he disagrees slightly. “I do not consider myself an expert,” he tells me, “but having worked in the restaurant trade since 1975, I have been fortunate to taste wines on almost a daily basis. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost as my doctors keep telling me to drink less and lose weight!”

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Roast Chicken Breast

wild mushrooms, butternut squash and pine nuts ~ white wine sauce

“This would suit a white wine or light red. Personally, I would choose a gently oaken Chardonnay, such as ‘Chardonnay ‘Gran Reserva’ 2012 – Nostros, Casablanca, Chile.’ If a red was preferred then something from the Beaujolais region such as ‘Fleurie ‘La Madone’ 2012 – La Reine de l’Arenite.'”

Lamb Rump

pea and mint purée ~ roast cherry vine tomatoes ~ red wine sauce

“In my view, this usually cries out for Pinot Noir. We have several options from Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and of course, Burgundy (the French have a habit of confusing guests by naming wines after villages and not grapes as in the rest of the world). The styles can vary quite a bit, but you would not go far wrong with ‘Reserva Pinot Noir 2012 – Ventisquero, Casablanca, Chile.’”

Pork Tenderloin

wrapped in parma ham ~ saffron risotto and brandy cream

“Similar thoughts to chicken – a white or light red. My own preference with this dish would be ‘Chenin Blanc 2012 – False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa.’”

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Confit Leg of Duck

savoy cabbage, black pudding, caramelised onions and port sauce

10oz Yorkshire Sirloin Steak

peppercorn sauce

“With both these dishes, we can start looking at heavier reds such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel or Malbec. Personally, I love our ‘Malbec 2011 – Bodega Catena, Mendoza, Argentina’ – pop this into a decanter, and give it 10-15 minutes. You will then have a beautifully balanced, soft yet full flavoured wine that will pair well with most red meats.”

Venison Haunch

sticky red cabbage, pancetta and hazelnuts ~ Madeira sauce

“A very popular dish with the ladies and goes really well with Syrah/Shiraz – the same grape is under either name, depending on the country and style. If you like a big fruity red, then ‘Shiraz ‘Soldier’s Block’ 2011 – Boutinot, McLaren Vale, Australia,’ or for those who prefer something a little more refined, ‘Cotes du Rhone 2010 – Guigal, Rhone’. A third option, and the one I would choose, would be ‘Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Cousino-Macul, Chile.’”

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