What wine should you pair with red meat?
I’ve recently been writing about how to pair wine with different foods. In previous blogs, I’ve looked at:
One of our guests recently scolded me for this. He had chosen the fillet steak from our Menu de Luxe, and couldn’t decide which wine to accompany it. “Of course, if you wrote a blog about wines and red meats instead of wines and fish, which I never eat, I wouldn’t have this trouble!” he told me.
So here it is. A blog to describe which types of red wine you should select to go with your red meat when you dine out in Torrevieja.
Steaks and beef
If you are eating leaner cuts of steak or beef – for example, sirloin or roast beef – you should opt for lighter or medium-bodied reds.
Match the intensity of the beef with the intensity of the wine. For example, if you are eating a beef bourguignon or stew prepared with top sirloin, treat yourself to a bolder medium like Sangiovese.
Fattier cuts work better with bolder reds with higher tannin levels. The tannin ‘scrapes’ the fat from the inside of your mouth, helping that taste explosion with every forkful. If you are eating filet mignon, skirt steak, or ribeye, pair it with a Barolo or Cabernet.
The more delicate flavour of lamb deserves a lighter red.
If you are accompanying your lamb with a sauce, you should also consider this in your wine choice. Follow the sauce with the wine in this case, and perhaps select a medium-bodied red with a smoother tannin. Examples might include Malbec, Syrah, and Verdot.
Fancy a white wine or rosé with a red meat? Veal is perfect for this combination. The meat’s delicate flavour is enhanced by the method of cooking, so also ask about this and, as with lamb, think about the sauce, too. Great pairings with veal include Pinot Noir, Valpolicella, and Zinfandel.
Venison is always popular when our chef prepares it. It’s not a constant on our menu because we must be sure that when it is available it is of exceptional quality.
From time to time we may offer a venison steak or a homemade venison pie.
Complement the rich, gamey flavour of venison with a more rustic, medium-bodied red wine. This provides a fruity backdrop to the meat, and reduces that gaminess. Think Côtes du Rhône, Chianti, and Valpolicella.
If you aren’t sure about which wine pairs best with your choice of red meat, never be afraid to ask the maître d’ for their recommendation – you may be surprised to discover the difference it makes to your dining experience. To book your table at Christopher’s, call us on (+34) 600 01 28 24
Yours in fine dining,
How do you find a great Sunday lunch in Torrevieja?
Sunday: the time to rest with a great roast on the Orihuela Costa
Sunday. Traditionally the day of rest. The last thing you want to do, whether you’re an expat living on the Orihuela Costa or a holidaymaker here, is slave over a hot oven to prepare your Sunday lunch. Why put that apron on to peel potatoes and baste the bird? And all that washing up after? Surely your Sunday shouldn’t be such a bore and a chore?
You deserve to be happy on a Sunday. If you want to know what that sounds like, take a stroll past Christopher’s Restaurant in Mar Azul during Sunday lunch hours. Between the assorted accents, chinking of glasses, and clinking of cutlery, you’ll hear what Brits love doing best – enjoying their beloved Sunday lunch. (далее…)
Where can you find magical music and delectable dinner in Torrevieja?
8 reasons why you’ll feel great after our next live music event
It can be difficult to find a single venue where you can enjoy live music and fine dining together in Torrevieja. Often, this means you must rush your dinner, and then travel on to another venue to sate your appetite for a spot of music and dancing.
Here at Christopher’s Restaurant, we’re known for the quality of the food we serve and our award-winning front of house service (Costa Blanca People Culinary Awards 2016). By popular demand, once a month this year, we’re extending our menu to include live music, allowing our guests to enjoy memorable music in the relaxed atmosphere of their favourite restaurant.
Here are eight reasons why you’ll feel great after joining us for this month’s evening of magical music and delectable dining on Wednesday 25th April. (далее…)
How do you find a great place to eat in Torrevieja?
Hundreds of 5-star reviews are your clue to a quality restaurant experience
Wherever you decide to dine out, you should expect a delicious meal and enjoy it in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. But there’s more to it than this. So, what makes Christopher’s Restaurant one of Torrevieja’s best (TripAdvisor)?
In this article, I might be giving away a few of our secrets. Then again, it’s what our guests tell TripAdvisor makes Christopher’s their number one restaurant for dining out in Torrevieja, whether it’s an evening meal or a Sunday lunch. (далее…)
What do those allergen symbols mean on restaurant menus?
How to find your food intolerance and enjoy eating out every time
On our new Restaurante Christopher’s menu, you’ll notice that we’ve included new allergy symbols. Most are straightforward to understand – a picture of a nut, or a milk bottle, an ear of wheat, a fish… and so on. If you aren’t sure which applies to you, we’ve included descriptions in our menu.
If you have an allergy or an intolerance to certain foods, the allergy symbols should help you decide on a delicious dish that won’t bring you out in a rash or cause stomach cramps. In this post, I’ll tell you what each symbol means, and you’ll learn the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. (далее…)
The choice of where to eat in Torrevieja just got easier
A new menu at Christopher’s is set to be a diner’s delight
We’ve got a fantastic new menu for diners at Christopher’s for spring and summer 2018, and we’re showcasing it on Wednesday 28th March, when we also welcome back Rees to entertain guests as we provide another evening of fine dining and magical music.
Making your menu choice easier
We’ve listened to people who dine with us and switched things up a bit. Our new menu retains many of the dishes that have become favourites with our guests, and includes some new additions. We’ll still add in the occasional special, when we can source premium quality meat, poultry, game, and fish. The big change we’ve made is in how you choose your menu. Gone is the individual pricing, per course and per dish. Now you choose between three menus, each offering superb value.
How to choose your wine for dinner: choose the sauce first!
Pair wonderful wines with sauce selections for a taste explosion
As we’re in the second week of National Sauce Month, I thought I’d write about how to choose your wine for the sauce accompanying your meal. You see, most people select the wine based upon the type of meat or fish they are eating. Considering the sauce first puts a refreshing spin on making your wine selection.
Why do chefs add sauces to restaurant dishes?
4 reasons we chefs love our sauces
Why sauces are added to food is a question that I get asked regularly. Of course, there are those who have their favourite sauce with everything. It’s not uncommon for kids to smother both meat and vegetables with tomato sauce – even their baked beans! Then there are those who prefer their food without the sauce. I wouldn’t want to tell you how to take your food, but those at either end of the spectrum may be missing out on a taste sensation. But it’s not only to complement flavours that we add sauces.
National Sauce Month comes to Torrevieja
Five mother sauces give birth to hundreds of offspring
March is National Sauce Month in the United States, which got me thinking – just how many sauces are there? The answer is hundreds, if not thousands. A great sauce takes any food to another level. Think about it, and you’ll realise that you know at least one person who has a certain sauce with practically every food they eat.
Yep, a sauce is often the key that unlocks the real flavour of our food. Yet, most people don’t make their own sauces. It’s so easy to buy a ready-made sauce from the supermarket, or a packet to which you simply add water, that we’re losing the art of making sauces at home.
In this post, I’ll take a quick look at what are called the five mother sauces – from which most hot sauces are derived.
What is a sauce?
First, let’s define what a sauce is.
Well, a sauce is a liquid or semi-solid foodstuff. To be a sauce, it must be added to other food. Why do we do this? To:
- Add moisture
- Give a better visual experience (we eat with our eyes first)
- Enhance the flavour of the food that the sauce accompanies
Sauces can either be hot or cold, and served with savoury or sweet dishes. It could quite reasonably be argued that sauces include salsas, dressings, coulis, salad dressings, chutneys, and so on.
Thank the French for their sauciness
Three are five basic sauces, each of which are now created using French culinary methods. The French do like a bit of sauce. Most other sauces are created using one of these five mother sauces as a base. So, what are they?
- Béchamel, a creamy, milk-based sauce which is thickened with a white roux
- Hollandaise, which is what we call an emulsion, made with egg yolk, butter, and lemon (or vinegar)
- Velouté, which is made thicker using either a roux or a liaison (a combination of egg yolk and cream)
- Espagnole, which is a fortified brown veal velouté, and is thickened with a brown roux
- Tomato, which is what it says – a tomato-based sauce
Mother sauces are a chef’s building blocks
Each of these sauces can be used on its own as an accompanying sauce. However, by adding other ingredients, you can create any number of other sauces to suit different foods and individual tastes. These mother sauces are extremely versatile, and are used as pseudo-ingredients themselves.
For example, let’s take béchamel, a sauce that is a key ingredient in lasagne and macaroni cheese. Also, it’s a sauce that is the foundation of cream sauces, such as Alfredo sauce.
And if you take hollandaise sauce and add vinegar, herbs, and shallots… Voila! Béarnaise sauce.
Unfortunately, in many restaurants you no longer hear the classic sauce names. Perhaps this is a symptom of losing the ability to create sauces at home. Instead of béchamel, you’ll find that menus offer a white or cream sauce; espagnole has become demi-glace; hollandaise is a butter sauce; velouté is a blonde sauce; and, perhaps the worst of all, tomato has become red sauce.
Next time you’re in the kitchen, why not make your own sauce? Have a little fun and eat more healthily in the process.
For a great dinner in one of the top ten restaurants in Torrevieja (as reviewed on TripAdvisor), call us on (+34) 600 01 28 24.
What wine should you pair with fish when dining in a Torrevieja restaurant?
Look beyond Chardonnay for exciting fish/wine combinations
If you’re eating healthily when you dine out, you may choose to have one of our flavourful fish dishes rather than meat. Just because you are eating fish, you don’t have to stick to the standby of Chardonnay as the accompanying wine. These wine and fish pairings may take you out of your comfort zone and away from your regular choice of wine. They will also enhance your experience, delighting your taste buds as the flavours of the wine and fish explode in your mouth.
10 rules to eat healthily when you dine out
How to treat yourself without feeling guilty
We all love eating out. No preparation. No washing up. A relaxed, happy atmosphere with good company and good wine. Whether you are dining as a couple, with family, or as a group of friends or club members, an evening out being served with your favourite food is a treat.
Here on the South of Costa Blanca, we’re blessed more than most. There are many great restaurants in Torrevieja to choose from, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to dine out. But dining out also comes with a warning. It’s easy to go off track with your diet. Food prepared by a top chef is hard to resist.
To help you enjoy your eating out experience, here are ten tips for healthy eating when you dine out.
One of the best restaurants in Torrevieja is 1 year old!
Reserve a table for treats at our 1st anniversary event
Christopher’s Restaurant is one year old on March 1st 2018. “One year old?” I hear you ask. “But hasn’t it got a reputation as one of Torrevieja’s best restaurants that stretches back more than 10 years?” you ponder.
How to make Valentine’s Day 2018 one to remember
Valentine’s Day is upon us. How are you going to show your Valentine how much you care? How about a romantic stroll on a moonlit beach? In February. In Torrevieja. Best put your gloves, thermals, and scarf on. And don’t forget that extra-thick turtleneck jumper. Mmm… doesn’t sound like the romantic evening you’d planned.
Here’s a better idea. A romantic meal for two in one of Torrevieja’s best restaurants. Celebrate with a bottle of fine wine, or treat yourselves to a bottle of bubbly. We’re adding a couple of very special dishes to our à la carte menu for the evening. You won’t be disappointed. But before I tell you about them, do you know how Valentine’s Day got its name?
7 ways to cook potatoes for National Potato Lover’s Month
Transform a simple spud to a stunning side
The humble potato. It’s a staple ingredient of most main courses, but one that is underrated by many. The average Brit eats three each day. And in the United States, they celebrate their versatility with a whole month dedicated to potato lovers. Yes, February is National Potato Lover’s Month. This discovery got me thinking about potatoes, and how you can turn them from bland to brilliant.
So here are seven ways you can cook your potatoes and make them the main attraction of any main course.
And what better way to celebrate than at a top fine dining restaurant in Torrevieja?
Oh boy, do we have a special day coming up on Wednesday 24th January. Not only do we have an evening of fine dining and magical music for our guests here at Christopher’s Restaurant, but it’s also National Lobster Thermidor Day in the United States! So, I thought, to mark the occasion, I’d let you in on a few ‘Thermidor facts’ you may not know.
Is there a better way to round off a terrific winter evening out (or in) than with a warm and comforting liquor coffee? If there is, I’ve yet to find it. If it’s the weather to start a fine three-course treat with a wholesome, homemade soup, it’s the weather for a cracking Irish coffee to end.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to make the perfect Irish coffee.
January Fine Dining in Torrevieja – The Weather for Soups!
7 Tips to create ‘More, sir’ soups
It’s that time of year again. Christmas and New Year have been and gone, and here on the Costa Blanca we know the weather is about to turn positively chilly. Hopefully we won’t have a repeat of last year’s snow (the first in around 90 years).
In the restaurant kitchen, it’s time to turn our attention to the traditional winter warmer – hearty homemade soups are on the menu big style. Here are a few of our secrets of how to make soup, and why they are rated so highly by reviewers of Torrevieja’s best restaurants.
Fancy an evening of fine dining and magical music?
Our first special event of 2018 promises to be a memorable evening
Have you ever been out for the evening, expecting the best in dining and entertainment and been disappointed? Me too. Either the food lacks flavour or the vocalist lacks a voice. It can be difficult to find a restaurant in Torrevieja that delivers on the promise of a special night out.
In 2018, Restaurante Christopher is changing this. We’re going to bring you special events evenings. Exceptional menus that live up to our billing as one of the best restaurants in Torrevieja, with entertainment that complements our reputation perfectly.
Our first evening of song and sustenance is set for Wednesday 24th January.
Romantic walks, empty beaches, fantastic fine dining, late night shopping… and more
Christmas and the weeks leading up to it can be magical anywhere, especially if you get to experience wonderful things to do. In Torrevieja, you’ll find plenty to suit all tastes. Whether you want to spend an afternoon on the beach, take evening walks with a sensational sunset as a backdrop, do a little shopping ahead of the big day, or take the kids out for the day, this part of Spain offers it all. And to top it off, you can eat in style at a more than reasonable cost in one of many fantastic restaurants in Torrevieja.
New Year’s Eve. The night when we say goodbye to the old, and welcome in the new. Yet so often a disappointment.
In days gone by, before children and grandchildren, you may have been the life and soul of the party. Dancing the night away to loud music, on crowded floors. Bumping and barging were all part and parcel of the fun. The odd spilt beer and best suit ruined by red wine were no more than war wounds of a great night, half of which needed to be pieced together over the next six months.
What you really crave is a more civilised passage from one year to the next. You want to enjoy good food accompanied by a good bottle of wine. Perhaps a glass or two of bubbly. And definitely in the company of family and good friends.
Celebrate in style, with the service you expect and deserve
The Christmas and New Year period is a great time for families. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to spend time with friends. What better way than to enjoy a pre-Christmas dinner at a fine dining restaurant?
The couple of hours you spend together as a group is better than any present under the tree. Recall your best memories from the last 12 months. Reminisce about those who are no longer with us. Chat about your big plans for next year.
In a nutshell, eat, drink, and be merry!
Unfortunately, group dinners (or lunches) can also run into roadblocks. The restaurant doesn’t have space for those two additional guests you invited a couple of days ago. There’s a problem when splitting the bill. The service wasn’t quite what you expected.
Here’s a few restaurant etiquette tips to help you avoid such problems when you dine with a big group.
As the holiday season approaches, Orihuela Costa’s best companies are treating their staff (and best customers) to a Christmas lunch or dinner. It’s the perfect way to say thanks for their dedication, service, and loyalty during the last 12 months. And it doesn’t have to break the bank, either.
Here’s how to make this Christmas extra special for your employees and customers…
Now the clocks have gone back, even here in Spain the nights are drawing in. Dark evenings with a chill in the air make me think back to the best of family times. All of us sitting around the dining table, chatting and enjoying each other’s company, while feasting on proper ‘comfort food’. Thick soups and broths made with the freshest seasonal vegetables, straight from the garden. Creamy casseroles. Homecooked stew and dumplings. Meals that only your mum can make.
My favourite was always the pies. A tasty filling of slow cooked meat, encased in a crumbly pastry. Steak and Kidney. Chicken and mushroom. Beef and Ale. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
As a tribute to everyone’s mother’s home cooking – the incredible food we all grew up with – this autumn and winter we’ll be serving homecooked pies, made with the finest ingredients. In this blog, I’m going to let you in on a couple of my secrets for making the perfect pie.