It’s that time again, when anyone with even the merest link to Scotland celebrates Burns’ Night with the traditional Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, piped in with great ceremony by kilt-clad Scotsmen and addressed with a recital of Robert Burns’ famous poem, ‘To a Haggis’. As any self-respecting Haggis fan knows, this rarely seen, four-legged animal comes in two varieties. One has a longer set of right legs, the other a longer set of left legs. This allows them to run around the mountains of the Scottish Highlands without tumbling down the slopes, but clearly only in one direction, depending on which set of legs is longer.
When it comes to the question of what to drink when this ‘beastie’ finally makes it to the dining table the traditionalists opt for Whisky and it would clearly have to be a Scottish one at that. But I’ve been having a go at wine with haggis and there is plenty there that can work well. Youthful whites provide a refreshing balance to what is an earthy dish. I’ve had Australian Pinot Noir Rosé where gorgeous ripe red fruit characters and a little toastiness work beautifully with the richness of the dish. This makes me think that a Champagne could work well here too. Or is that just too decadent? Spanish and Italian reds made from Garnacha or Sangiovese seem to be some of the most popular matches. The earthiness combined with plenty of fruitiness in the wine means they combine well with the meatiness of the dish, but the slightly higher levels of acidity and juicy, ripe fruit give it plenty of freshness to add a lighter touch to it all.
I suppose what it comes down to is personal taste. Doesn’t it always? But it also shows that this ‘great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!’ is actually very versatile and easy to match with your favourite wine or whisky. If you feel like a little experimentation yourself then the Food, Fun & Fizz evening – ‘Burns in Love’ is a great opportunity. We’ll be doing some food & wine matching (and it’s not all haggis!) with wines from all over the world, yet firmly rooted in Scotland. Intrigued? Come and join us on February 6th. Slainte!