Saturday, 15 October 2011

Dugois Arbois Savagnin '05 & Chateau Batailley '94

Over the last couple of months I have been wallowing with the eagles at night a fair amount more than is probably good for me. So the rare occurance of making it to bed before 7am on Saturday meant that I was up in time to accompany Sister, through the blazing October sunshine to Borough market in search of pork.

'Nduja is one of the many ingredients available in London at the moment that are as trendy and delicious as they are unpronouncable. It is a raw pork sausage from Cantabria made mostly with head and neck cuts and then laced with shed-loads of hot peperoncino chilli. The porcine equivalent of speedballing.

Some people like to cook with it; frying it up or adding to sauces for pasta or fish. And whilst I'm sure this is great, it's also a bit of a cop-out. It's really just a pimped up Sobressade and hence better eaten on it's own, spread thickly on crusty bread.

It's also fantastically difficult to pair. The rich porkiness that you get from cheap cuts and raw fat shot through with untamed chilli seems specifically designed to obliterate almost any wine you care to mention.

We tried a couple of leftfield juices with supper: Dugois Arbois Savagnin '05 and Chateau Batailley '94.

The Batailley was the better wine: all sour blackberry and sweet raspberry, cracking woodiness, length and balance. No angles, and right in its prime.

The Savagnin is definitely an oxidative style, with a distinct, nutty vin jaune-y nose. But the palate's dancin', with a keen acidity and buckets of apples, cut by a lemon-pith finish. This was the wine for 'Nduja- the apple played nicely with the pork, and the citrus cut through the fattiness. There's not really an answer for that amount of chilli, but it was close enough.

Soaring with the pigs in the morning.


  1. Ah, for dinner tonight, my relatively hotsy-totsy home made chili con carne and a hearty Napa Zinfandel...yum!

  2. Classic stuff VG. Chili's got no finer pairing than a good Zin, 'though a decent Sangiovese (proper oaked DOCg stuff) works well too I find.

  3. You mean Calabria, not Cantabria. Incidentally given the silly prices suddenly asked for 'nduja, it's the easiest of all dried sausages to make at home.

  4. Touche anon- my mistake. Silly money I know, but addiction's addiction. Hit me with a recipe.