Winter Pies and Their Perfect Wines
Buttery, crumbly, crunchy, golden and oh-so delicious – yes, it’s pastry season!
Some people love the crisp air of winter and getting all rugged up, but even if you don’t like much about our coldest months, how could you not warm to the comforting tastes of a home-made pie!?! The culinary version of a toasty blanket by the fire, these winter-inspired pies complete with sumptuous wine matches, will help you navigate the coldest of days and the darkest of winter nights in the most flavoursome of ways.
Whether the earthy flavours of Lyndey Milan’s Family Chicken Pie or the sweet and decadent Miguel Maestre’s Sweet and Savoury Chicken Pie, the marriage of chicken and pastry is one of the classics and is always a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Chicken pies are best enjoyed with fuller white styles or lighter reds.
Ideal match: Chardonnay
Or experiment with: Viognier, Fiano, Pinot Noir
Whilst not technically a pie, shepherd’s pies are a gently textured and comforting family favourite, worthy of inclusion on any pie-lover’s menu. But if you’re a traditionalist and insist on the pastry being on top, Lyndey Milan’s Lamb Pie is going to tick all of your boxes. Or if you prefer your vegetables inside the pie instead of fluffy and golden, the Veal and Winter Vegetable Pie is going to do the trick. Enjoy with a savoury red.
Ideal match: Tempranillo
Or experiment with: Barbera, GSM, Sangiovese
Spinach and ricotta filo
Considered a lighter, healthier pastry option, the combination of filo, cheese and spinach makes this a perfect partner to a crisp, aromatic white. It you’re willing to forego the light and flaky filo, a less traditional, but just as scrumptious take on this combination is the, Matthew Evan’s Spinach and Ricotta Pie.
Ideal match: Riesling
Or experiment with: Pinot G, Vermentino, Sauvignon Blanc
Creamy fish pie
Rich, decadent and velvety – a pie of such substance and texture is best matched with richer, more textural whites. Lyndey Milan’s Fish Pie with Leek and Fennel is a filo topped, sensational take on this creamy seafood favourite.
Ideal match: Aged Riesling
Or experiment with: Chardonnay, Roussanne, Fiano
Chunky beef, mushroom and red wine pie
Another firm favourite – but really, what pie isn’t – the combination of red meat, pepper, earthy mushrooms and red wine makes richer, spicier reds an ideal choice. Other pies in this category are the likes of Mark Olive’s Kangaroo Burgundy Pie and the classic Steak and Kidney Pie.
Ideal match: Shiraz
Or experiment with: Durif, Mourvèdre, Malbec
Spiced apple pie
The combination of soft apple, warming spices and savoury pastry means that this classic dessert pie is ideal with sweet or off-dry wines. Or for a slightly less conventional pie option, try the Austrian favourite, the good-old-fashioned Apple Strudel.
Ideal match: Botrytis Semillon
Or experiment with: Late Harvest Riesling, Moscato
Banoffee pie is an English dessert pie made from bananas, cream and toffee, making sweet Fortified wines the natural choice. If banana’s aren’t your thing, but you love a good Fortified with your dessert, maybe opt for an Individual Lindt Chocolate Tart, Lyndey Milan's Ricotta Torte, or the Lyndey Milan's Cheat’s Fig Tarte Tatin. Sure, none are technically a pie, but they’re round, include pastry and are going to absolutely satisfy your sweet winter cravings.
Ideal match: Topaque
Or experiment with: Tawny, Muscat
Expert tip: Don’t forget, when matching wines with your dessert pies, remember to ensure the wine is at least as sweet as the dish – otherwise it’s going to taste flat and the flavour will be knocked out.
Time to get baking!