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My Perfect Sausage

Confession: I love a sausage. Fact. Well who wouldn’t? From the ‘no-one will notice if I pinch another’ cocktail sausage at kids’ birthday parties, to pigs in blankets every Christmas with sherry-warmed, giggly grannies, through to the partially incinerated banger presented with beaming masculinity at a friend’s (usually wet) BBQ; the success of the sausage is in its unerring ability to create a story; a memory; a moment in time. Add in wine (in this instance I am rocking the Rioja) and you have an unrivalled party in the mouth*. And I am not alone. In the UK we eat enough sausages to wrap around the London Eye 129,000 times. Every year. That's a lot of oddly shaped minced meatage. So the sausage story is a long and complicated one. Read up and you'll probably squirm, but don't let that (ever) stop your quest for perfection. Please. The sausage (in all its guises) is a global phenomenon. Every country lays claim to the fact that their sausage is the original, the tastiest, the best … frankly I don’t care. The more there are, the more I can indulge my sausage passion. And that can’t be a bad thing. Take Chorizo. The Spanish meaty maestro. He'll wow you with his versatility and woo you with his ability to make everything more alluring. He's a bootie caller. A fixer. A magical mysterious ride to better-ness. He's good on his own but much prefers the company of others. And, my oh my, they are grateful for his salty, spicy irreverence. Pick me! And try him with a glass of Bodegas Perica 6cepas6. Aged in spicy oak with beautiful black fruits this incredible wine has the firm feistiness to tango triumphantly with chorizo based dishes. Or just chorizo. Or without chorizo. Just like the Spanish sausage; 6cepas6 is perfectly willing and able to delight you on its own. Or Bratwurst. Yeah take them. Our Germanic beast of a guy. He's a chomper and delights in oozing goodness (all over your lederhosen). Take this chap a bit further and slather him in curry (Currywurst) - now there is a champion to lift your moods. It's a time and place thing and I struggle to match with wine with this (although if you’re munching on a fat curry laden sausage, you've probably had too much at this stage...)- if all else fails reach for a crisp refreshing Pilsner. The Saucisson. Is it a sausage? Affirmative. A wonky French one yes, but totally a sausage. Comes from the Latin meaning 'salty' *educational interlude*. But also totally relevant. It is (salty) thus making one crave a drink (I suggest Bodegas Perica Rioja Crianza here. With just over a year oak aging the dark fruits remain bright and lively cutting through the delicious fattiness). Usually sliced and served with cornichons (chipolata-esque gherkins) the saucisson is an all dayer - there is really no time when this crinkly wonder will fail to please. Back to Britain. And here my allegiances are divided. As is that of the nation. Up north we like our sausages rough. Coarse and grainy. Southerners prefer smooth and silky varieties. No social commentary required. Me? I like a Cumberland. Ideally coiled. Herby and hearty, generous in size and willing to take latherings of rich onion gravy. A crowd pleaser. A keeper. And a wine lover. It’s the richness of the sauce and the warming, lightly spicy herbs that make this a heavenly duo with Bodegas Perica Rioja Reserva. Aged in European oak the black fruit flavours are lush and cherried; the oak offering nuances of sweet vanilla. Like the world of wine, there are cultural variances, geographical influences, varietal subtleties, meaning that my sausage adventure is likely to be an on-going one. But one that undoubtedly will continue to bring endless taste pleasures! *all innuendo in this blog is deliberate

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