English Sparkling Wine with Pie & Mash
6th January 2020
Coming from East London myself I am very familiar with pie and mash, I have visited many times varied shops selling this quite basic yet globally famous dish.
History of Pie & Mash
The east end of London was generally seen as the working class and cheaper area of the capital mostly down to the way the wind blew the factory pollution ridden air from West to East – West London being and continues as the more expensive side of the City. Working class people preferred foods that were of course cheaper and in a more plentiful supply of which during the Victorian period saw many street traders offer the easy to prepare and handle pies (meats, fruits and also eel).
Though it can be traced back to the 18th century with eel pie and mash houses recorded, the ability to enjoy pie (meat or eel) along with mash and liquor was from the Victorian period onwards to supply easy to prepare on the premises food for the workers. Today there is a somewhat fading community of pie and mash shops mostly based within the east side of London and Essex.
“Pie and mash grew up in and around London with its roots stuck firmly in the East End of London. The River Thames was a big influence on how food traditions were formed as it provided freshwater and saltwater fish in good supply. London also had a great variety of meat, vegetable and fruit brought up the Thames from all over the world.” Ref: pieandmash.org.uk
English Sparkling Wine – Poulton Hill
The beautiful region of the Cotswold of England a real must visit for many reasons including wine! I have great memories of visiting Poulton Hill who are located in the village of Poulton in Cirencester.
“Poulton Hill Estate is a small family-run vineyard in the Cotswolds producing limited batches of wine from grapes harvested by hand.” Visit the Poulton Hill website here.
You can visit the young winery, enjoy a tasting and even enjoy a stay within their accommodation that includes three interior-designed bedrooms and a large open-plan sitting/dining room.
Eel & Pie House, Clacton-on-Sea in Essex
We decided to take with us crisp and refreshing English sparkling wine, Poulton Hill Bulari 2016, which won a Silver Medal in the category of ‘Zesty & Zingy’ at the 2019 The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards. Any greasy texture and flavours from the dish would evaporate thanks to the zesty flavours from the wine and hopefully leave a citrus / yellow fruit flavour from the wine along with the savoury tasting experience from the dish.
Now normally you’d get yourself a cup of tea, can of cola or some even a pint of beer / stout, but we wanted to give this well loved dish some bubbles to partner with – An English dish with an English fizz as such!
From previous visits, I knew the Eel & Pie House was a reliable venue to experience real traditional pie, mash and liquor in a character environment – Thanks for hosting us!
How did they pair?
The wine is very zesty and zingy and so very relevant to the category it won the silver medal in. The flavours of the wine are initially dry lemon juice and green apples that are then followed by grapefruit. The dish is a real hunger quencher as such, easy to eat and enjoy with the balance between the pie, mash and liquor working so well together. The pairing takes away the small amount of greasy flavours and textures from the dish leaving a vibrant dry citrus flavour from the wine and the savoury beef flavours from the dish.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.