Pairing lockdown food with beer, wine and cocktails



27 March 2020

Struggling to find a wine for your Wotsits? Need a cocktail to accompany your Coco Pops? We asked sommeliers, bartenders and beer experts to pair stockpile foods with booze

Nicole Sykes, Satan's Whiskers: Chicken & Mushroom Pot Noodle 


Glass: Highball 
Garnish: Grapefruit twist (cut before you juice that fruit) 
Method: Blend with a small handful of ice in your Nutri-Bullet/Blender/Hand blender, pour into chilled highball glass.

50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca  
30ml Pink Grapefruit Juice (I was blessed to have fresh)
10ml Honey
10ml Simple Syrup  
7.5ml Creme de Peche
3 dash Orange Blossom Water 

Pot Noodles are pretty salty, so you'll need something to quench your thirst. Something tall, refreshing and lasting. They also take a while to 'brew' and cool down so your actually able to eat them, so a blended drink will last the whole duration of your Pot Noodle experience. I also have a LOT of honey, orange blossom and peche lying around my house and I was listening to Miley Cyrus (she is one of my guilty pleasures) when I came up with this. 

Pete Brown, beer writer: Jacket potato with tuna mayonnaise

I've been in quarantine for the past 14 days and have had that very meal delivered to my study door twice in the last week.

So, from recent experience I can say that a lager or light pale ale is great for refreshing the palate when eating a starchy potato. Something where the hops give the lightest touch of citrus without any overwhelming floral or tropical notes… I’m thinking Budweiser Budvar.

Alternatively, the gentle tartness of a Belgian wit – say Brugs Tarwe Wit – is going to round out that tune quite nicely, and slice through all the mayo if you’re one of those freaks who thinks there should be at least as much mayo as there is tuna in a tuna mayonnaise mix…

Lionel Periner, consultant, LP sommelier: Tinned ravioli

As soon as I saw ravioli, I thought Italian wine. Firstly, Langhe Pinot Nero from Musso 2016 is a great wine from Piemonte with good acidity and red fruit/berry characters. The beef filling and creamy tomato sauce of the ravioli pair well with the soft tannins. The refreshing acidity will clean your palate for another mouthful. I would serve it from the bottle (at 14 degrees) in a Zalto Burgundy wine glass.

Second is Barbaresco Monteforte Produttori del Barbaresco 2011, from one of the premium wineries in Piemonte. Everything about this wine is delightful, with a great balance between the tannin, acidity and alcohol. To add earthiness to my tinned ravioli a bit of mushroom will be thrown in. It will balance with the dark fruit and the gentle oak ageing characters. And what a long finish, it will take your cupboard food to another level. I would decant 30 minutes before and serve in a Richard Brendon + Jancis Robinson wine glass.

Pajtim Tani Hasa, Lab 22: Coco Pops

Smooth Poperator Old Fashioned 

Glassware: Rocks (personal consumption), Sports Direct mug (anyone else)
Garnish: Tupperware block ice and a segment of Terry's chocolate orange. There are 20 segments per chocolate orange (I’ve counted) and there should be 20 old fashioneds in your kilners. 
Method: Cold-steep black tea in water for an hour. Combine all ingredients and separate into twom two-litre kilners. Serve whilst futilely scrolling for something worthwhile on Netflix over a bowl of Coco Pops preferably, in your underwear. Ponder who you have become. 

1400ml El Dorado 12 (one of my favourite rums) 
380ml black tea
200ml brown sugar syrup
20ml Angostura orange bitters 
(Alternative option for a whiskey base I would recommend Eagle Rare 10 year old Bourbon or Glenmorangie Signet but between you and I prefer the Signet neat)

The old fashioned is most certainly one of my favourite cocktails and if you ever catch me behind our bar or any bar that I visit then it is always my go to drink. 

Coco Pops don’t have anywhere near the alcohol content required to get through these mornings that we are all going through so to balance the cereal out I thought a perfect pairing would be a rather booze heavy and easy to make cuppa, certainly quicker than tea. May I add a song suggestion to go with the breakfast too: Black Eyed Peas' My Humps ('Let's spend time not money/And mix your milk with my coco pops/Milky milky coco/Mix your milk with my coco pops /Milky milky right’)

Jane Peyton, School of Booze: Heinz Tomato Soup

For tomato soup think about the acidity, so a Brown Ale would go really well, as the sweetness of the beer is a foil.

For a cider pairing, I would choose a keeved oak aged cider (sweetish with some wood notes) and Perry is already sweetish and floral so as long as it is a real Perry (from Perry pears), rather than a sugary diluted alcopop from eating pears, then there will be a good contrast of acidic and sweet and therefore a beautiful balance of flavours.

Charles Carron Brown, head sommelier, Henrock: Egg sandwich

After thinking for the grand total of about 30 seconds about what my favourite drink would be with this, and then being told that I could spend whatever I wanted on said bottle, I have to say that it would be the ultimate 'cult-wine'; a bottle of Clos Rougeard, Le Bourg, Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, France, 2002.

Apart from being possibly one of the rarest wines in the world (a 1ha single plot of old vine, which are near 95 years old), 100% biodynamic, with minimal intervention, this is Cabernet Franc at its absolute finest. From a family that has been growing vines and making wine here since 1664; this truly is one of the greatest wines of the world. Earthy, rustic, with dried herbs (dried thyme, rosemary and other wild herbs) plenty of dried red & subtle black fruits (damsons, wild strawberries & dried cranberries) – aromas of wild mushrooms, truffle and a crunch texture alongside a freshness that sours like a bird after first flight.

I would drink this with my egg sandwich because, well if money was no object, then why the hell not?

P.S for all those doubters out there I have actually tasted this wine – and it was awesome!

Gabe Cook, Ciderologist: Baked beans on toast

Given the earthy, nutty characters contained with baked beans, try the Russet from the Nightingale Cider Company. Based in Kent, this cider is made from a single variety – like many wines, new world and old - and this hazel nutty, bone dry, still russet will work a treat. 

Alternatively, look to complement and cut through some of the sweetness in the beans at the same time with an earthy, tannic cider that also has enough acidity and freshness.  Something like Kingston Black - another single variety - from Sheppy's in Somerset, should do just the job.

Andres Sossa, head sommelier, Balthazar: Wotsits

For this delicious, cheesy, puffy snack I would first choose something like Cristal 1997 Vinotech reserve. This magnificent wine was crafted by the greatest Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon in a dream vintage for the house; a part has been realised in 2003 and a part of the production went into further maturation on it lees and disgorged in 2008 (10 years on the lees and further 10 years bottle ageing in their cellar).

Today this wine has reached complete maturity and to help to express itself we need to serve it in a ‘Tulip’ glass slightly open those concentrate aromas. On the nose the wine its just incredible, notes of ripe pear and apple, apricot, zesty notes of candied lemon, yuzu and orange peel. After aeration the aromas evolve to hot stone, chalk, smoke, mocha, hazelnut and fresh pastries. This fine Champagne will delicately wash out the richness of your puffy snack leaving just with these amazing flavours that integrate superbly with the cheesy character of the Wotsits.

Another choice would be Abissi Metodo Classico 2014. This ‘unusual’ wine it is produced in the region of Liguria in the north of Italy from local varieties such as Vermentino, Bianchetta Genovese and Pigato. The method that is used is the Classic Method and it is aged on its lees for 36 months and further eight months after disgorgement, until here nothing extraordinary but the curiosity about it is that it is aged 60 metres under water in the bay of Portofino.

This method gives to the wine an incredible minerality, a very bright and vibrant freshness and a much deeper intensity of secondary aromas due the remuage made by the waves of the sea. On the nose we can get some citrus and white flower followed by a tasty brioche, hazelnuts, almond, beurre noisette and flint. In the mouth is gentle and creamy with a very good persistence, the bright acidity helps with the richness of the snack making your mouth ready for another handful.

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