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Life Of Pie (And What To Drink with It)

You may not know this (we didn’t), but apparently it’s British Pie Week. So we thought what a great opportunity to have some fun with a bit of food matching.

As the whole Park+Bridge team loves to support our neighbours, I’ve been along to see Tim English, our butcher on Churchfield Road, who stocks locally-sourced, homemade pies from Sussex Farms.

Pie week - 03Obviously we’re talking about meat pies here, and Tim offers a select range of pies with fillings that are either steak or chicken-based.

For many, the traditional match is ale, but wine can work just as well. Here are a few suggestions of what drink to pair with which pie.

For the simple steak pie, a medium-bodied, fruity Syrah will always work.

Either the Domaine La Bastide Syrah or if you want to splash out, the Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels, are a perfect match as they both have a distinctive peppery kick and decent but not overpowering tannins.

Pie week - 01

However, if you’re going for the classic steak and kidney, then you’ll want something a little bit plusher. Here the Torre De Falasco Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore would suit, as the freshness will complement the kidneys.  Tim also has a more complex steak pie, with added stout and mushroom. This combination calls out for a richer wine to stand up to the stronger flavours, such as the Raoul’s Old Basket Press with its long smoky finish.

For the traditionalists out there who want to stick to ale, then try something deep and dark like the Two Cocks Puritan Stout, Five Point Railway Porter or Beavertown’s Black Betty.

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With the chicken fillings there are two options  – mushroom, or bacon and leek.

With either you could choose a red or a white or even a dry cider like the Craigie’s Ballyhook Flyer. But back to the wine…

First – chicken and mushroom is going to be creamy, so you’ll need something to cut through that but also complements the earthiness of the mushrooms. A classic Burgundy, such as the Vincent Girardin “Terroir Noble”, will deliver all that is needed. Or if you’d prefer a white, I’d go for the Vincent Paris Granit Blanc, as it has a bit of weight and is gently oaked.

Second – with the chicken, bacon and leek, the smoked bacon is going to be the strongest flavour here.

My top pick for a red is the Couily-Dutheil Chinon Rouge Gravieres, as this Cabernet Franc is mid-weight and has a distinctly savoury kick. However, a full-bodied white like the Allende Blanco Rioja would also work.  Its oaking ades and smokey quality which will work well with the bacon.

All Tim’s pies come in two sizes: small for £2.80 and large for £7.60 – and are available from English Butchers at 39 Churchfield Road.

So don’t worry – it’s easy as pie!

Pie week - 02


Lucy Chip is a wine advisor at Park+Bridge and ate all the pies. 

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