Tom Cannavan's   

In the soup

This article accompanied a food feature on some exotic and eclectic soup recipes.

Drinking wine with soup doesn't always spring to mind, but in fact all the usual reasons and principles of wine and food matching still apply. The acidity in white wines can act as a wonderful counterfoil to creamy or spicy soups, cleansing the palate and perking up the taste-buds ready for the next spoonful. For richer, more robust soups - especially those based on a meat-stock or tomato base - red wines can really complement flavours in the soup and again, the acids and tannins do that vital job of refreshing the palate and therefore adding interest to every mouthful of the food. One interesting tip is to match a good dry Sherry - a Fino or Manzinilla - with gazpacho or bouillabaisse: it works beautifully.

UK stockist are given, with prices in pounds sterling (approx £5=$8US)


Peter Lehmann Barrossa Valley Riesling 1999
This Australian Riesling displays delicate peach, passion-fruit and juicy lime aromas. On the palate it nicely fruited with a dry, crisp savouriness that it is clean and distinctive with a tangy aftertaste. This is a good introduction to the style, though more expensive Ozzie Rieslings have a little more luscious fruitiness. Safeway £3.99

Cono Sur Gewürztraminer 1999
From the relatively new region of Bio-Bio in southern Chile, this is a cracking wine showing all the aromatic, exotic spiciness of the grape. The crisp, delightfully perfumed nose of lychee, Turkish delight and grapefruit leads to limpid pear and guava fruitiness and fine acidity giving lovely length and purity. Perfect with Oriental food - or this month's asparagus and Mushroom soup. Majestic £4.99

Burgans Albariño 1999
Another aromatic wine, the Albariño (Al-bar-een-yoh) grape is at its best here in the far northwest corner of Spain. This has a lovely yeastiness about the nose with delicate pear, acid-drop and watermelon aromas. On the palate it is elegant and fruity with a rounded mouthfeel and a long, pure, fruity finish that should match the coconut and sweet potato soup admirably. Oddbins £6.99


Les Hauts de Montluzy Fitou 1998
Once again I'm recommending a red wine from the south of France. Their red wines tend to display such a wonderfully rich, ripe core of fruit and this Fitou is a perfect introduction to the style. There's a bittersweet edge like black cherry skins that adds chewiness and real food-friendly appeal. Majestic £3.69

Hardy's Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot 1998
Bold black fruit aromas in this Australian wine with a little herbal leafiness and suggestions of mint, beneath some plummy, darker aromas. On the palate there is spicy oak, but the main impression is of juicy, ripe, soft mulberry and chocolate with moderate, ripe tannins and good acidity. Easy to drink and ideal with the roasted red pepper soup. Peckhams/Sainsbury £6.49

Zuccardi "Q" Tempranillo 1998
An Argentinean wine that reeks of quality, this has gorgeous aromas of custardy oak and layers of bursting berry fruits, cinnamon, tobacco and fudge. On the palate it is dry and dusty, with jammy fruit that just suggests sweetness, but then ripe, silky tannins kick-in and the infusion of aromatic spice and herbs evident on the nose reappears in a long finish. Tesco/Bottoms Up £7.99