While smoked cheddar cheese was a delicious match, I found that the ultimate food pairing involved a kick of spice. Sweet and spicy is a great combo in wine pairing, however, too much heat with a high alcohol content can be potent; both amplify each other. At 12%, the alcohol content of the mead is similar to an average white wine, which for really spicy food such as a hot curry could be too high.
With this in mind, my perfect pairing includes a subtle heat, along with flavours to compliment the honey and citrus notes of the mead. My recipe for Harissa & Honey Hot Chicken Wings is a harmonious match, incorporating warm harissa spices and hot pepper sauce with honey and lime juice in the sticky glaze. I enjoyed these with griddled halloumi and flatbreads.
Harissa & Honey Hot Wings Recipe
Makes 8 chicken wings. For a vegan option substitute the chicken for cauliflower florets.
– 30g Cornflour
– 30g Plain flour
– 2 tsp Cumin
– 2 tsp Smoked paprika
– 500g Chicken wings
– Spray oil
– 1 tbsp Harissa paste
– 2 tsp Hot pepper sauce
– 1 tbsp honey
– ½ Lime juiced
– Pre-heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
– In a bowl, mix together the flours, cumin, paprika plus season, then tip in the chicken wings and toss until fully coated. Put the wings onto a large rack above a large baking tray, with a little space around each. Spray the wings with oil then cook for 45 minutes or until crispy.
– When the chicken is almost cooked, add the harissa paste, hot sauce, honey and lime juice into a small pan and simmer, then take off the heat.
– Once the wings are crispy, coat them with the harissa hot sauce and toss until covered, then serve.
Blog post, recipe and imagery from @wattersons_wine_club