Saturday night dinner

So you have a vegetarian meal you’re cooking (courgette soup with chickpea casserole) and you want a wine that goes well with both.  I wasn’t sure what to have, at first I thought a Viognier or an oaked Chardonnay – more from Australia than France but at dinner the hosts had already bought two wines I hadn’t thought of, a Chablis and a Californian Merlot that worked out ok.

Petit Chablis 2009, £7.49 or £7.99 (on offer at Waitrose – I can’t remember the price).  Light and crisp with hints of lemon and I can taste stones – dry stones – there’s almost a slight chalkyness there.  It was a bit unbalanced against the courgette soup but quite refreshing.

Bonterra Merlot 2008, Mendocino County (California), £7.69 or £7.99 (on offer at Waitrose but I can’t remember which price it was!)  On the nose, berries, oak and chocolate follow through on the palate with aromas of cherries, blackberries, plums, chocolate and hints of spice.  Good value at the £7 mark and it goes fine with the chickpea casserole although a Pinot Noir or a Nebbiolo would have been a better match!  But sometimes you just don’t have the time to go out and buy the “right” bottle so you just have to make do with what’s in the parents’ wine rack instead!  As long as you’re not snobby about it, everyone can still enjoy the evening!