Thursday January 12, 2012
Tell me about the best Burns
night you have ever been to?
January I was in Australia taking a wine tour. By chance we
happened to be in North East Victoria around Burns Night with the
charming Campbell family in Rutherglen. John Campbell left St
Andrews for Australia on The Merchant Prince in 1857; he made his
first wine in 1870 and named it after Robert Burns. Fourth and
fifth generation Campbells now make wonderful Liqueur Muscats and
some quaffable table wines - one of them is Bobbie Burns Durif
(£13.99 Waitrose), a huge, full-bodied, powerful red - ideal to
match a spicy haggis.
Do you drink whisky with your haggis?
People feel they should drink whisky with haggis, but I
think wine is a better match. Choose robust succulent reds with
sweet berried fruits like Australian Shiraz, French Cotes du Rhone
or Spanish Garnacha. Try El Chaparral de Vega Sindao Old Vine
Garnacha from Navarra (£9.99 for one bottle or £7.99 each for two
at Majestic), an up-and-coming wine region which borders Rioja.
Save the malt for afterwards for sipping by the fireside - my
current favourite whisky range is from Ardbeg.
Can you suggest alternative drinks to have with haggis?
One of the most bizarre haggis/wine experiences I have
had was in France. I was lunching with a friend of mine, Christian
Seely, who runs a chateau in Bordeaux: Pichon Longueville Baron.
Christian arranged, with his Fife-born assistant Ruth, to fly in
Macsween's haggis for our Scottish group. It sounds odd, but it
made a fascinating match with sweet dessert wine (a Sauternes made
from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc 'nobly rotted grapes). The
Sauternes in question was Chateau Suduiraut (another AXA-owned
estate run by Christian Seely). The key was the high level of
natural acidity in the wine which cut through the haggis fat.
What's your signature dish when you cook for
My current favourite is Thai-style fishcakes with a creamy/lemon
sauce - try with an Australian Clare Valley Riesling from Jeffrey
Grosset (one of my favourite winemakers).
Where is your favourite place to escape and relax in
The outer Hebrides - I love South Uist where we have had many
happy holidays; you get all weather in one day. I always feel
fantastic after a holiday there - and with the wind blowing
constantly, I always have amazing dreams. Describe the kitchen
gadget you can't live without. Two kitchen essentials: a decent
sized wine glass and a Screwpull corkscrew.
Desert Island drinks - what would feature in your top ten
I am a white wine drinker - so my desert island choices
would be German Riesling or white Burgundy. I also love Champagne -
my favourite would be Pol Roger; looking forward to the release of
their 2002 vintage this spring.
Rose Murray Brown is a qualified Master of Wine (one of only
300 worldwide). Rose runs regular wine tastings, wine courses,
dinners, food/charcuterie evenings in Edinburgh, Glasgow and St
Andrews. She organises regular escorted wine tours abroad and hosts
corporate entertainment events for clients across the UK.
Voted Scotland's best in the Top Ten Places to learn about wine in
the UK: The Telegraph.