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S.Pellegrino waterAnd you thought it was just water! Getting the most out of your wine
The missing ingredient that could take your wine appreciation to a new level

It goes without saying that when we're out for dinner most of us spend a considerable amount of time pouring over the wine list.

Some of us have become so wine obsessed that it even takes precedence over the food menu when we're at a restaurant.

But even if you know your claret from your Beaujolais and your wine knowledge is the envy of all your friends, you still may not be getting the most out of your bottle, and surprisingly it could all be down to what you are drinking alongside your wine.

How many times have you carefully picked out water when out for dinner? None? Well you wouldn't be alone. But the practice of 'water and wine harmonisation' is growing around the world, with even one of the world's top sommeliers Andreas Larsson now advising wine lovers on the best water and wine matches to bring out the flavour of your food.

And just as picking the perfect wine can make or break a dish, Andreas believes sipping the right water can enhance even further the food we are eating.

Andreas, who was crowned 'Best Sommelier of the World' in 2007, will be conducting water and wine harmonisation sessions on behalf of S. Pellegrino at the Taste of London Festival, which takes place in Regents Park from 17th to the 20th of June.

Now in its seventh year, Taste of London brings together the capital's finest chefs and restaurants with an extraordinary range of quality food and drink from Britain and around the world.

In the following video Andreas runs through some of his top tips for making sure you're getting the most out of your wine by selecting the perfect water accompaniment.




100 ml olive oil
1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion sliced
2 garlic, crushed
½ cinnamon stick
2 tbsp each chopped coriander and parsley
1 rounded tsp turmeric
1 tsp g ras el hanout
a pinch of saffron
125ml chicken stock
50g ground almonds
25g flaked almonds toasted
3 tbsp honey
½ tsp ground cinnamon
a few drops of orange blossom water
1 packet of spring roll pastry 25cm squared

How to make

  • Heat the oil in a pan, and then add the chicken, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices ( reserve the ground cinnamon for later).
  • Cook for 5 minutes and then gradually add the chicken bouillon.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer until chicken is tender.
  • Remove the chicken then add the almonds, honey and ground cinnamon and reduce by half.
  • Meanwhile break the chicken into small pieces and then return the meat to the reduced stock and add with the orange water. Reduce further until the mixture is moist but not sloppy.
  • Cool the mixture down and store in the refrigerator until needed.
  • To assemble the take a packet of spring roll pastry and cut in two.
  • Place 25g of the chicken mixture in a cigar shape 1 cm from one end of the pastry leaving a space of 1cm at either edge.
  • Brush the edges with the beaten egg white and fold over.
  • Then roll the pastry over the chicken mixture, tucking in the folded edges as you roll and continue until a cigar shape is formed. Brush the end again with the egg white to seal.
  • Place the cigars on greaseproof paper and repeat until all the mixture is used. You can do 4 - 6 sheets at a time once you are comfortable with the rolling technique but the pastry does dry out and becomes difficult to roll in a matter of minutes.
  • To serve deep fry at 190°C for 5 minutes, drain and dust with icing sugar and cinnamon, then serve with immediately.

Makes approximately 30 cigars



2.5kg piece of beef
Few sprigs rosmary
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 stick celery
2 carrots chopped

500ml beef/veal stock
1 glass red wine
1 tsbp flour

How to make

  • Slice garlic and pick rosemary.
  • Stud the beef by making small incisions with a knife just enough to squeeze in a slice of garlic and a sprig of rosemary.
  • Do this over the surface of the beef, rub in olive oil and leave for 4 - 6 hours
  • In a large roasting tray heat some lard or oil an.
  • Season the beef and toss in the pan until browned on all sides.
  • Preheat oven to Gas 9 / 240°C
  • Place the roast on some coarsely chopped vegetables (onion, carrot and celery) and thyme, then place in the oven for 20 minsutes.
  • Turn the oven down to Gas 5 ? 190°C and allow 15 minsutes per 500g for rare. For medium rare allow another 15 minutes and a further 20 minsutes for well done.
  • Remove the beef from the oven. Take from the pan retaining the vegetables and juices.
  • Place the beef in a warm place (such as next to the cooker) cover with some foil and leave for at least 30 minutes. This allows the beef to rest (the muscle fibres relax and all the juices redistribute in the joint).
  • Strain the juices into a pan,
  • Add the flour to the roasting tray, then add the wine and deglaze (scrape off any caramelised juices).
  • Add this to the saucepan with the strained juices and stock. Reduce and season until desired consistency.
  • Slice beef and serve with seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes and pour over gravy.

Serves 6



For the pastry:
250g plain flour
125g butter
100g icing sugar
1tsp salt
1grated lemon rind
1 egg and 1 egg yolk beaten together
2 -3 tsp water if necessary

For the filling:
400ml double cream
Juice of 4 lemons with zest of 2
8 whole eggs
125g sugar

How to make

For the pastry:

  • Place the flour, butter, sugar and lemon rind in a food processor. Blend for a few seconds, then add half the beaten egg, and continue whizzing. You might need to add a little water, but don't add too much - it should just come together in a ball. Alternatively, if making by hand, rub the butter into the flour, add the sugar then bring it together with the egg and water.
  • With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 3 cm thick. Wrap or cover it, and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (it will keep well for a couple of days).
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C / Gas 4.
  • To roll, take the pastry out of the fridge and place between 2 sheets of cling film. Using a rolling pin, roll it out until no thicker than 1/4 cm thick, and preferably even thinner. Make sure to keep it round, if the tin is round, and large enough to line the base and sides of the tin.
  • Removing just the top layer of cling film, place the pastry upside down (cling-film side facing up) in the clean tart tin. Press the pastry into the edges, cling film still attached, and, using your thumb, 'cut' the pastry on the edge of the tin. At this stage, it should look quite neat. Remove the cling film and pop the pastry in the freezer for at least 10 minutes (it would keep for weeks like this in the freezer).
  • Bake blind by lining the pastry with greaseproof / parchment paper when cold. Fill with baking beans, or dried pulses (you can use these over and over), and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the pastry feels dry to the touch.

For the filling:

  • Whisk eggs and sugar, add the lemons and zest then whisk in the cream.
  • Preheat the oven to Gas 2 / 150°C
  • Add the filling to the pastry case. It is easier to pour the filling from a jug while the tart is in the oven to prevent spillage.
  • Bake until set - about 30 - 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • To serve slice and if you want to caramelise the top, dust lightly with icing sugar and using a blowtorch heat until the sugar caramelises.
  • Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Serves 6


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