Gastro spirits

Matching food with the right drink should be a matter of taste,

not habit. It's wrong to assume that wine is the inevitable solution. In many cultures and civilisations, spirits are the mealtime drink of choice - if not throughout the meal, then at certain points.
27 August, 2008
Page 73 
There is an extraordinary affinity between smoky island malt whisky and well-aged, powerful blue cheeses, such as roquefort, gorgonzola and Lanark  blue. These cheeses can overwhelm some red wines and a sweet Sauternes may be too cloying for many palates.

Smoky malt whisky is a great match with the strength of blue cheese. Diageo's classic malt The Lagavulin 16 Year Old for example has an intense palate of peat smoke and sweet barley-malt flavours, with a long warming peppery finish, that helps cut through the fat content of the cheese.

The ideal serve? A large dram in a red wine glass, possibly diluted by about 20 per cent, no more, with still, cold water. Who needs port and Stilton?

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Nick Strangeway

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