Scottish Haggis and a Glass of Fizz
5th May 2020
At the Glass of Bubbly awards we have set our trophy categories to be consumer friendly and also to help people when it comes to what sparkling wine to pair with which dish / food. With our awards in mind and a suggestion that we look at one of our next food pairings to be the famous Scottish tradition of Haggis, we felt that one of our ‘Hint of Spice’ sparkling wine winners should take to centre stage.
“Although the name “hagws” or “hagese” was first recorded in England c. 1430, the dish is considered traditionally of Scottish origin. It is even the national dish, as a result of Scots poet Robert Burns’ poem Address to a Haggis of 1787.” Source Wikipedia.
The Scottish dish, as many will know it, a ‘savoury pudding’ style meal, will contain a mixture of primarily sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs) along with potato, onions, cabbage, suet, spices, salts and more.
The dish is known to be a touch spicy and quite particular in flavours – It is a kind of ‘Marmite’ situation in that you either love it or hate it. There are many variations of Haggis supplied by many producers from your local butchers to supermarket brands – From boiling to microwaving along with oven baking to pan frying, it can be prepared in many different ways.
“In 1971 it became illegal to import haggis into the US from the UK due to a ban on food containing sheep lung, which constitutes 10–15% of the traditional recipe. The ban encompasses all lungs, as fluids such as stomach acid and phlegm may enter the lung during slaughter.”
Simon Howie ‘The UK’s No.1 Haggis’ – The Scottish Butcher
Haggis tasting notes: “The meats are both lamb and beef with plenty of other starchy ingredients and a dose of spices. It’s wholesome, savoury, not overly greasy and certainly filling. A mouthwatering spicy savoury tasting experience.”
Steyer – Vaneja Dišeča Penina ‘Brut Nature’
The Steyer won a Silver Medal in the category of ‘Hint of Spice’ at the 2019 Glass of Bubbly Champagne and Sparkling Wine Awards in Westminster, London.
Wine tasting notes: “Soft yellow fruits, tropical (and even banana) with dry citrus on the nose. Quite tempting indeed! Flavours are a touch dry initially then bursts into a fruity, rounded expression with peach, sweet citrus, cooking apples and a touch of ginger / spice at the close.”
Slovenia is a somewhat little known country when it comes to wines. Though holding a long history (2,400-years) including boasting the world’s oldest grape producing vine Žametovka, you will seldomly see their wines at major UK outlets such as supermarkets or bars / restaurants.
“From my recent experiences of both visiting their wineries and being sent many, many sparkling wine samples, for me Slovenia is a ‘treasure chest of flavours and aromas’ awaiting to be explored. Exceptional qualities, very fair pricing and undoubtedly a firm contender for fine dining tables across the world. Some of my favourite sparkling wines originate from the terroir and winemaking skills of Slovenia.” Christopher Walkey
Haggis and Slovenian Sparkling Wine – Silver Medal ‘Hint of Spice’
Food pairing tasting notes: “A dry oily and zesty citrus burst sensation initially which slowly calms down into spicy meat flavours. Both the dish and wine holds a soft spicy edge and compliment each other perfectly. The wine is certainly bold enough yet gentle also to both compete with the Haggis and yet its full savoury flavours to delight the palate. A most excellent pairing.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.