Let's Eat

Wine with Shepherds Pie…or any other supper dish!

Husband and wife team Jeff and Jodie Morgan, of Covenant Wines, share some of their traditional family recipes – and the wines to go with them!


Wine isn’t only for Shabbat and simchas. The right wine can turn everyday dishes like shepherd’s pie and pasta into memorable meals. When it comes to pairing wine with food, though, many of us don’t have a clue. We’ve all heard the ‘white wine with fish and red wine with meat’ rule, but how to put that into action when you’re standing in front of a gazillion bottles in the local off-licence?

Husband and wife team, Jeff and Jodie Morgan, of Covenant Wines believe wine should be at the table for every meal. As well as producing top class kosher wines, they’ve written several cookery books. When it comes to pairing wine and food, Jeff keeps it simple: “What’s in your glass should match the wine description.”

His tip is to start by working out the styles of the food and of the wine. “Is the wine in your glass bright, fresh and lively or is it full-bodied and lush? Light dishes often go better with lighter fresher wines, typically whites. Richly textured cholent and juicy steaks requires full-bodied wines to stand up to them. A dry rosé wine — not quite white and not quite red — will go with everything; And when in doubt — drink pink” he smiles.

Jeff explains that the richness is key. A beef stew like cholent is rich, as is chocolate cake, so both stand up well to a full-bodied red wine.  A tossed green salad is light textured. The same concept applies to wine. “If you can describe what’s on your plate as well as what’s inside a wine bottle in simple terms like these, you can eliminate the guesswork about matching food and wine” he explains.

He explains that pairing similar styled wines and food is known as complementary pairing but opposites can also attract. “Sometimes very different kinds of food and wine do work together. Consider a bright, tangy Sauvignon Blanc enjoyed with salmon and aioli (garlic mayonnaise). The salmon is rich and oily and the aioli is a very rich mayonnaise sauce. The natural acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc balances the richness of the food.”

Morgan ends by sharing that you need not worry about finding the ‘perfect match’. “It doesn’t exist” he laughs. “Personal wine preferences and distinctions among wine varietals offer multiple taste perspectives. That's why one person may prefer a Pinot Noir — red wine — with grilled salmon, while another may favour a Chardonnay (white) with the salmon dish. Both wines can be equally enjoyable with that grilled salmon.”

Here are a few of Jeff and Jodie's recipe ideas to get you started…

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Gefilte Quenelles with Braised Leeks and Lemon Zest

Lemon-Rosemary Pasta

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