My Food and Wine Challenge

Over the last month or so I’ve been asking my good friend Alison Taffs at the Hop Inn Micro Pub in my hometown of Hornchurch for her expertise in pairing wine with food. To which I am also pleased to say that her results have been an absolute delight. So when we popped in last saturday I was in for a surprise as Alison had set a challenge for me. I was given a bottle of red wine and was told that my challenge would be to find a dish that would pair perfectly with the wine. As you would expect I gladly excepted the challenge.


So now onto the wine itself which was a fantastic La Segreta Nero Davola 2017 from the Planeta Winery in Sicilia. On the nose there were aromas of plum & cocoa while on the palate a fabulous fruitiness with a hint of spice which then finished with delightful rich tannins that lingered in the mouth.

La Segreta 2017 Nero Davola


We thought long and hard about what dish would work the best and I think it’s safe to say that we came up with an absolute winner. The dish was a Stuffed Pasta Bake Bolognese. The large pasta shells were filled with Mascarpone , Mozzarella , Basil , Garlic & Parmesan these sat on top of the Beef mince before being placed in the oven. The result I’m glad to say that the dish not only looked but also tasted amazing.

Stuffed Pasta Bake Bolognese

Together the food & wine worked perfectly as the beef , cheese , pasta & basil really did enhance the fruity flavours in the wine and therefore they complimented each other perfectly. I would highly recommend trying this wine and I also believe we found the perfect dish to match with. If this dish is not for you then I would suggest either a Lamb Shank , Tomato Based Pasta Dishes or a medium Steak with a rich creamy or tomato based sauce.

Thank You Alison for the challenge I think we’ve done you proud.

Below is the recipe and cooking instructions if you would like to try this dish and I would be grateful of any feedback if you do.


By Lloyd Stevens

I'm a big Foodie and love Fine Dining in AA Rosette and Michelin Star restaurants also enjoy good Pub Food especially Desserts . I been living in Hornchurch for 20yrs now and this year celebrate my 25th Wedding Anniversary to my wife Jane . We do enjoy our holidays with Italy & San Diego as our favourite destinations I've decided to focus more on my Foodie life due to over 3 years ago being struck down with nerve damage and recently spondylosis I do enjoy my sport and follow Chelsea , Juventus & San Diego Padres


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