The thought of tipping a half bottle of wine down the sink a few days after opening seems such a shame and a waste.  Why even contemplate it when there are so many dishes demanding a drop or more of wine?


Here are some ideas and recipes using wine you may have left over, including Champagne (does that really ever happen?) and on through white, red and sweet dessert wine. The recipes progress from entrée through to dessert, so that you can create a whole dinner party should you wish to – drinking wine matches included … oh life is tough!

Champagne – Scallops and Pancetta with Champagne Sauce

Serves 4 as an entrée

20 scallops

75g of pancetta in a whole piece

20g of butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup of leftover champagne

¼ cup of pure cream – organic if possible

A few sprigs of chervil to serve – cut or tear roughly

Handful of rocket or baby spinach leaves

Squeeze of lemon

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

TO PREPARE

Prepare the serving greens first: In a bowl, place the rocket or spinach. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss until lightly coated. Divide onto the 4 serving plates – just a small amount in the centre of each to make a bed for the scallops.

Cut the pancetta into thick matchsticks or chunks. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Melt butter gently in a frying pan. Add the pancetta and fry until crispy and golden.  Add the scallops and cook just briefly and gently until they only just lose their translucency but don’t become overcooked and shrunken.

Remove scallops and pancetta from the pan and keep warm while the sauce is finished.

Heat the same pan with the fat still in it up higher and add the champagne. Bubble and boil it to reduce down and scrape all the cooking scraps from the bottom of the pan to combine and create succulent flavour. When it has reduced down by half, remove from the heat. Stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 5 scallops on each plate and divide up the pancetta between them.  Carefully spoon some sauce over each plate, sprinkle over some chervil and serve immediately.

Wine Match – More Champagne!

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White Wine – Lemon and Asparagus Risotto Bianco

Serves 4 as a first course or as a lunch when served with a salad

This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver’s fantastic basic risotto recipe, which really lends itself to many adaptations that you can make according to taste and season.

Here at Cellar Maison, we’ve voted for asparagus this time but you could use sliced zucchini, peas or green beans too.

1 litre of organic chicken stock

Walnut sized lump of butter

1 large brown onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, finely chopped

Rind of 1 large lemon – use a zesting knife to remove and then chop roughly (or peel with a potato peeler)

400 g risotto rice of your choice – vialone nano, carnaroli or aborio all work

1½ cups of leftover white wine

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

70 g butter extra

100 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 bunch of green asparagus, tough ends removed, then sliced diagonally

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs – choose what you prefer – perhaps flat leaf parsley, mint or oregano

TO PREPARE

Heat the stock until just under a simmer and keep warm.

In a heavy based pan, gently melt the butter and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook very slowly and gently for about 15 minutes without colouring.

Add the rice and turn up the heat so that the rice begins to lightly fry – keep stirring it for about a minute.   Add ½ the lemon zest and stir in. Add the white wine and keep stirring.

As soon as the wine has been absorbed, add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring and massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. Taste the rice after around 15 minutes of adding ladles of stock. Make sure that it still has a slight bit too it and isn’t soggy.  Add more salt and some pepper to taste.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, the other half of the lemon rind and the sliced asparagus and the Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes to allow it to settle and let the creaminess come through.

Serve on pre-warmed serving plates with a little more Parmesan grated overtop and a sprinkle of chopped flat leaf parsley, mint or oregano.

Wine Match – NZ Sauvignon Blanc

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Red Wine – Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Serves 4

25g butter

4 lamb shanks, trimmed

5 tablespoons flour

2 medium onions finely chopped

1 leek sliced

2 stalks celery finely chopped

2 carrots finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic – crushed and sliced

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

350ml red wine

600ml chicken stock or water

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mashed potatoes and steamed, buttered greens to serve

TO PREPARE

Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees.

Gently melt the butter in a heavy metal casserole dish.  Dust the shanks with flour to coat well. Place them in the pan and brown well on all sides – don’t let the butter burn.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Put the onion, celery, carrot, leek and garlic, salt and pepper into the casserole dish with all the meat fat and ‘brownings’. Cook very gently until soft but not browned.

Put the herbs into the casserole dish. Arrange the shanks in again and pour over the red wine and stock until the shanks are covered. Bring gently up to a simmer. Remove from heat and put into the oven.

Cook for 2½-3 hours or even longer and slower! The meat should be very tender. When cooked beautifully, remove the shanks carefully from the casserole. Set aside and keep warm. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce down until the sauce is thickened for serving.

Serve on warmed plates with creamy mashed potatoes and a dish of steamed, buttered greens beside.

Wine match – To your taste – we’ve enjoyed it with a number of matches including an Australian shiraz, or a Bordeaux

The shanks ready to begin the long, slow cooking

The shanks ready to begin the long, slow cooking

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Dessert Wine – Peaches and Raspberries Poached in Sweet Wine

Serves 4-6

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of sweet wine – can be any sticky, port, marsala etc.

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean

Zest of one lemon – peel with a peeler or zesting knife

6 peaches

200g of raspberries

Good quality vanilla bean ice cream to serve

Biscotti or other sweet biscuits to serve (optional)

TO PREPARE

Halve the peaches and remove the stones, set aside. Put all of the ingredients except the peaches and raspberries into a large pot and bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and place the peach halves cut side down in the liquid. The liquid should just cover the tops.

Let the peaches cool down in the poaching liquid. Remove with a slotted spoon. They should be tender but not falling apart. Place into a large, white serving dish, cut side up.

Bring the liquid back to the boil and reduce until syrupy but not too thick. Let it cool to room temperature.

Scatter the raspberries over the peaches, make sure they fill the stone holes in particular and scatter more around the dish. Gently pour over the poaching syrup.

Serve either at room temperature with vanilla ice cream (or thick organic cream).

You may wish to offer some biscotti or other sweet biscuits to have alongside and to dip into the syrup.

Note – The left overs, if there are any, are delicious at breakfast with some thick yoghurt.

Wine match – Moscato d’Asti or a Sauternes

Bon appetit!