WINES TO PAIR WITH HAGGIS

WINES TO PAIR WITH HAGGIS image

By Rose Murray Brown MW   Published in The Scotsman 21 January 2023

 

The talk is always about matching whisky and haggis at this time of year, but for wine lovers there are plenty of wine options to pair with this peppery meaty dish.  For whites choose spicy rich textural wines like Gewurztraminer, Fiano or Viognier – and pick reds with bright juicy fruits, soft tannins and peppery notes like Syrah, Primitivo, Agiorgitiko, Zweigelt and Gamay.

Here are my top choices under £20 for serving with your Burns Night haggis, neeps & tatties on Wednesday:

 

WHITES:

Sicily, Italy: ‘CIACA BIANCA’ FIANO 2022 Mandrarossa
£10.99-£12 Aitken Wines; Luvians; Vida Wines; Fine Wine Musselburgh
Upfront juicy apricot fruit with peachy flavours, light spice and herby notes would more than stand up to haggis’ coarse oatmeal texture and spicy offal and onion – with enough fresh minerality and acidity to cleanse the palate.


Alsace, France:  THE SOCIETY’S EXHIBITION ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER 2019
£16 The Wine Society
I think both Alsace Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris work well with haggis – but my preference is for the former.  The Gewurztraminer grape has such intense texture and spicy undertones, - particularly good value own label example here is from Hugel’s Grand Cru Sporen vineyard with enough richness to combat the king of puddings.


McLaren Vale, Australia: SPECIALLY SELECTED KOOLIBURRA VIOGNIER MARSANNE 2021
£6.49 Aldi
White Rhone lookalike from down-under with exotic perfumed notes of Viognier and honeyed depth of Marsanne with savoury saline notes – plenty of rich ripe fruit to match with the weight and spice of the dish.


ROSE:

Larrosa Rioja Rosado 2021 Bodegas IzadiRioja, Spain:  LARROSA RIOJA ROSADO 2021 Bodegas Izadi ***STAR BUY***
£12.50-£13 Fine Wine Musselburgh; The Beerhive; Aitken Wines; Cornelius Wine
Loved this 100% Grenache from 50 year old vines in Rioja Alavesa, its highest subzone.  This has rich raspberry and cherry tones – with enough fruit and weight to match the mouthfeel of the haggis.


REDS:

Languedoc, France: ST CHINIAN 2019 Chateau La Dournie
£10.95 The Wine Society
If you are looking for a Rhone lookalike at a cracking price, this fruity spice-laden Grenache, Syrah and Carignan unoaked blend is a great buy.  A core of succulent lush fruits on the palate with vibrant natural acidity, a touch of minerality and peppery length.


Veneto, Italy: VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2020 Viviani
£11.68 Justerini & Brooks
One of the best Valpolicellas I have tasted recently – so juicy, smooth, cherry-fruited with fresh vibrant palate and bitter almond twist to finish.  Made by the Claudio Viviani who grows Corvina and Rondinella in their Mazzano vineyards in historic classics heartland of Valpolicella.  Its freshness and juicy fruit would match well with the meaty spice of haggis.


Barossa, Australia: LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2019 Dandelion Vineyards
£14.49 Fine Wine Musselburgh; Lockett Bros; Kirkness & Gorie; The Beerhive; Fountainhall Wines; Aitken Wines
Nothing subtle about this big boned Barossa Shiraz from Zar and Elena Brooks, which makes it ideal for matching with haggis.  Made partly from 100 year old vines, it has depth, intensity alongside fine tannins, sweet fruits and peppery undertones.


Bekaa Valley, Lebanon: B-Qa DE MARSYAS ROUGE 2017 Chateau Marsyas
£17.25 Corney & Barrow
Saade family’s second wine from their 55 hectare high-altitude estate in the famous Bekaa Valley.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, Merlot and Petit Verdot – it tastes like a cross between Bordeaux right bank and the Rhone with soft tannins and spicy length.


Nemea, Greece: SAINT GEORGE AGIORGITIKO 2020 Skouras ***GOOD VALUE***
£11.95 The Wine Society
Robust Greek reds often match well with spicy food – and Agiorgitiko made by George Skouras is always beautifully made.  Richness, spiciness, sweet fruit notes, soft textured with gentle oak notes – superb value too.


Crozes Hermitage Rouge Esquisse 2021 Corney & BarrowPuglia, Italy: I MURI PRIMITIVO 2021 Vigneto del Salento
£11.50 Aitken Wines; Luvians; Cornelius Wine; Margiotta; The Beerhive; Woodwinters
Inky black, jammy, juicy wild berry fruits with a bitter almond twist to the finish – this is a ‘proper’ Primitivo with great robust weight, light spicy undertones and soft velvety mouthfeel – delicious matched with anything savoury and spicy.


Rhone, France: CROZES HERMITAGE ROUGE ESQUISSE 2021 Domaine des Hauts Chassis  ***STAR BUY***
£19.50 Corney & Barrow
Favourite wine with our tasters – a sleek succulent Syrah from the southern end of Crozes Hermitage in northern Rhone.  Fabulous depth of blackberry fruit, light floral hints, elegant silky tannins and notes of pepper and spice.  A fresh vibrant Rhone to match with haggis.

 

 

Join Rose’s Up & Coming Wine Producers around the World tasting on Thursday 2 March in Edinburgh www.rosemurraybrown.com