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Laura was one of many intrepid diners to try food matched with Ara’s Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris at a clutch of London restaurants including Bibigo Bar & Dining, Cork & Bottle, The Modern Pantry, Notes, Ozone Coffee Roasters, Pied à Terre and The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe. The competition offered a chance to get your teeth stuck into wine matching – literally! And with prizes up for grabs, plenty of you were keen to submit your reviews...
‘Pinot Noir and duck is a classic match, so I was pleased to see it on the menu at Cork & Bottle,’ said one reader. ‘The Ara Pinot Noir 2011 was right up my street: really fruity with nice flavours of cherries and raspberries. This fruit complemented the savoury meat of the roast duck breast – like having pork with apple sauce.’
At Clerkenwell’s Modern Pantry, Ara Pinot Gris 2013 was matched with pan-fried pollock and couscous. ‘Anna Hansen is known for her wildly eclectic style of cooking so I was interested to see how the Ara pairing would work,’ noted one keen foodie. ‘The wine was more deliciously savoury than I expected, with stone fruits on the nose. It went very well with the sweet currants in the couscous, while not overpowering the delicate pollock.’
Back at Cork & Bottle, the same wine was served with ginger and garlic prawns, spiced slaw and avocado. ‘I liked the sweetness from ripe fruit and also noticed some honey and floral notes,’ commented a taster. ‘The sweetness is good because it balances the spiciness of the slaw and matches the juicy sweetness of the prawns too.’
It was clear that readers had enjoyed trying new food and wine combos, but one lucky reviewer also won a meal for two at Pied à Terre. Laura visited Bibigo and wrote: ‘The sweet and smoky bulgogi was a surprise suggestion, as I thought the barbecue sauce flavour may overpower the wine. But the Ara Pinot Noir stood up to the dish and the earthy flavours from mushrooms and beansprouts actually allowed the fruity notes of the wine to shine.’
Congratulations to Laura – and if you’d like to try pairing Ara Wines with food at home, here's where to buy the wines.
You can find Ara Wines in your local wine supplier:
Ara Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013; £10.99, Waitrose
Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011; £11.99, Waitrose
Ara Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2012; £11.99, Majestic
Ara Select Blocks Pinot Noir 2012, £14.99; Majestic