Friday, 18 May 2018


"Dear Curmudgeon's Agony Aunt, I am a keen appreciator of wine and consider myself a bit of a connoisseur but have a terrible confession to make.
Last week I cooked a delicious chilli con carne meal and accompanied this with a light chardonnay which I enjoyed immensely.
The trouble is though that on checking  Alexis Lichine's Encyclopaedia of Wines and Spirits (1967 edition) it is said that a chilli meal must never be accompanied by a white wine and, if a red wine is used then that must be a spicy Rhone wine or a robust Bulgarian red like Egri Bikaver.
What am I to do?"

                               - Concerned Oenophile

Dear Concerned Oenophile, 'Man up'. I see no reason to take any notice of an old and long dead Frenchman who probably never washed his socks. Drink whatever you bloody well like with whatever you want to eat. I find that the best accompaniment for a white wine is another white wine or a red wine. With regards to chardonnay, this is the 'queen' of varieties and can go with anything (except fellow drinkers in RSAs). A word of warning though, be sure to only drink chardonnay that has a label on it. I don't trust those winemakers and supermarket retailers who make and sell 'cleanskins'.

p.s. Where did you get that Alexis Lichine book from?

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