Wine, food and craic, whatever the weather

Oh, I’m being optimistic I know, but I can’t stop thinking about a special dish...

By An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 7:00 am

Baked cod, lemon and dill - toast a few mustard, cumin and coriander seeds on a dry pan and then add a tiny splash of precious oil.

Fry half an onion with garlic, ginger and chilli, add plenty of peas and a generous sprinkling of turmeric.

Stir through some parboiled rice and fry for a few minutes, then add a cup of chicken stock and a handful of coriander leaves before leaving to gently simmer.

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Pop it on a plate and top with your cod.

And eat, eat, eat...delicious!

Yes, perhaps there’ll be enough sunshine this weekend to enjoy a simple fish dish out on the patio of my lovely home, Rose Cottage, in the late evening with my darling wife, the enigmatic Madame G.

If, so, I’ll definitely need a splash of pink.

Something zesty, lively and light.

The lipsmackingly crisp, reassuringly elegant and satisfyingly savoury 2020 Le Point de Jour Rose d’Anjou (£8, Centra/SuperValu) greets me with captivating floral aromas before a richly textured palate that teems with tangy red berry and slightly sharper citrus flavours.

This superbly balanced rose should be well able to withstand the strong spices in my rice and peas.

Then again, it might rain in which case I’m well and truly bejiggered.

So, like every good ‘boy scout, there is always a Plan B.

This will therefore be shtake and shpuds indoors alongside today’s Wine of the Week, the big, bold and intensely fruity 2019 Cigar Box Cabernet Sauvignon (£7.99, Lidl).

A smooth, juicy palate with pronounced notes of plum and black cherry leads to a satisfyingly lengthy finish with luxurious strands of vanilla and a hint of dark, bitter chocolate in this muscular Chilean red.

Or you could go Italian and try the opulent, mellow and delightfully complex 2020 Puglia Rossa (£8, M&S) with linguine and meatballs in a tomato, basil and chilli sauce.

There’s definitely plenty of blackberry and raspberry flavours on a judiciously spiced palate.

Of course, the most likely outcome is more of the usual i.e. 20 minutes of glorious sunshine, then dodge the shower, then the wind and possibly see another glimpse of sun, if we’re lucky!

A wonderful halfway house is the light-bodied, easy-drinking and exuberantly fruity 2021 M&S Found Zweigelt (£8.50).

This excellently-priced, versatile Austrian red is brimful of ripe summer berry flavours before a smooth, lingering finish.

It will benefit from being served very slightly chilled. Enjoy it with a warm chicken and coriander salad or with fish, rice and peas if you can find a decent recipe.

So, tipplers, should we turn left? Or stick to the right?

Shake it all up or keep it down?

Stay in tonight or go out dancing?

Is it going to rain or might it shine? You know, I just can’t seem to make up my poor mind.

Let’s play it by the ear and listen carefully to what Barra has to say for himself...maybe that cod will be dished up..?

As long as there’s wine and food, the craic will, as they say, be ninety. Whatever the weather. Till next week, tipplers, sante!