When Julian Alubaidy (now @curiousjulian) left Bubble Brothers, I felt they had lost their soul, their online one at least. Julian wrote what I think was the first (and finest) wine blog in Ireland and after his departure, it fell silent.

I’m sure they were getting on fine offline, but there was certainly a void for wine drinking digital natives. So, I was delighted to see them take on Paul Kiernan, one of the most entertaining wine writers of the new generation. Where others assume tacit knowledge, Paul manages to inform while being entertaining. Thus, a terroirible beauty was born.

But what of the wines of Bubble Brothers?

Paul kindly sent me what they refer in “the trade” as samples. A Pinot Blanc from Alsace and a red from Ribera del Duero. I had these over the weekend with some friends and tried to match them with food.

1. Domaine Eugène Meyer Pinot Blanc 2009

The Pinot Blanc went with a lobster thermidor. Before you cry rich wine snob, lobsters are €5.99 in Lidl at the moment so the only rich thing was the sauce  (see the recipe here). I’d normally go for a rich buttery Chardonnay or perhaps a Viognier with this kind of dish, but the mustard and lemon juice give it that little bit of bite so I felt okay going with the Pinot Blanc.

It’s an organic wine. Sorry, a wine made from organic grapes. Tastewise, it was all about green crunchy apples. Not much florals going on as you’d get with many from Alsace. There was also a nice minerality and a very decent length – so not at all unlike many unoaked Chardonnays.

Currently down to €13 (from €16) and available online here.

2. Bodegas Pingón Carramimbre Roble, Ribera del Duero 2010

Next up was the wine with the “noughts and crosses”. Made from Tempranillo, known locally in Ribera del Duero as Tinta del País.

Roble is Spanish to oak, but not much – it spends only 4 months in barrels (Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva will spend incrementally more). And it’s all the better for it. Concentrated fruit, great freshness too and a nice long length.

This went with a cassoulet I made, or “meat n’ beans” as my two year old daughter called it (the meat n’ beans recipe is from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey).

Nice match too.

Yours for €15, available online here.

Food & wine matching: a sport not a science

Now, while I did make an effort to match the food and wine, it’s not a science, it’s more of a sport.

Ernie Whalley put it better, “Wine & food matching is like marriages, 5% made in heaven, 5% made in hell and the rest can be made work”.