Rumbledethumps (?!)… with White Hungarian Wine

Pairing:  Rumbledethumps Paired with 2011 Patricius Tokaj Hárslevelü

Food:  Rumbledethumps … sounds like something used on roads to slow cars down! But, no … it’s an old Scottish dish similar to Irish “Colcannon” or English “Bubble and Squeak”.  Indeed there are many, many variations of this dish that originated among the peasantry of northern Europe. The potato is the star here … mashed … with steamed cabbage, broccoli, and leeks mixed into the potatoes in a casserole dish, topped with melted cheddar cheese. Our recipe is from the cookbook, Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, a renowned  vegetarian eatery in Ithaca, New York. The recipe can be found here. According to legend, after taking your first bite together as a family, everyone shouts “Death to the Red Hag!” driving away the specter of starvation.


Wine:  This wine is made up of 100%  Hárslevelü, the grape used in making the famed Hungarian sweet wine, Tokaj. It is been grown in this part of the world for many hundreds of years. This dry white wine is made by the Patricius Winery located in the wine region of Tokaj-Hegyalja in northeastern Hungary and parts of Slovakia. Tokaj was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002 because it is the locale where the first botrytized wine (Noble Rot) was ever made in the early 1700’s. The dry version of this wine made by Patricius is a most enjoyable sipping and pairing wine.


Tasting:  A pale greenish yellow color. A gentle, delicate wine with a light fragrance of lemon and melon. On the palate one gets green melon, diluted lemon, and hints of green apple. The cabbage and broccoli in this dish make it a somewhat difficult food to pair with wine. But this relatively unknown wine (at least to those of us who live outside the countries of Eastern Europe) does a very nice job as an accompaniment to the Rumbledethumps.

Other Food That Pairs Well with This Wine:  Assorted Soft Cheeses, White Fish, Grilled Trout, Assorted Vegetables

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Food:  Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, Dry Riesling

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Croatian Wine with Fish Cakes

Pairing:  Homemade Fish Cakes with 2009 Coronica Gran Malvasia Istria Croatia

Food: These fish cakes are from a recipe in The Legal Sea Foods Cookbook. Here is a link to the recipe. For those readers who may not know, Legal Seafoods is a highly regarded Boston institution that started as a fish market in the early 1050’s, then a restaurant in the mid 60’s. There are now dozens of branches all over the Boston area and elsewhere. We encourage you to eat there if you are in the area. They also have a terrific wine list. One of our favorite things to have with the fish cakes (or indeed with any white fish) is pickled beets. My wife puts up several jars of them every summer. Relishes of most any sort are also wonderful with the fish cakes.


Wine: The Istrian Peninsula is located due east across the Mediterranean Sea from Venice. The peninsula is actually part of three countries — Italy (just south of the city of Trieste), Slovenia, and Croatia. The Coronica winery is located in the sparsely populated, beautiful hilly countryside of the Croatian part of Istria near Umag. Many different varieties of the Malvasia grape are grown throughout the Mediterranean from Greece to Portugal. The local clone of Malvasia grown by Coronica is Malvazija Istarska.


Tasting: This is a very special wine. A lovely golden color. Apple blossoms and honeysuckle on the nose. A very delicate sweetness is present, but is still very much a dry white wine. Tastes on the palate are mostly ripe melon notably cantaloupe, with blended tropical fruits on the flavor landscape. And, a touch of pepper and allspice on the finish. A delightful wine from a beautiful part of the world.

Other Wines that Pair Well with This Food: Albarino (Spain), Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner (Austria), Vouvray (Loire, France), Soave (Italy)

Other Food that Pairs Well with this Wine: White Fish, Shellfish, Pasta with Light Cream Sauce

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