Mardi Gras: Top 5 wines to feast with

Wine news

Tue 6 Feb 2018

By Adam Lechmere

IWSC General Manager Adam Lechmere shares his top 5 wines to enjoy with your pancakes this Shrove Tuesday

Dry January is hardly over, it seems, before Lent is upon us. Before the fast of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday comes the feast on Shrove Tuesday, the day when households would traditionally eat up all the leftover fat (Mardi Gras, of course, means Fat Tuesday) – in the west this happens in the form of crepes and pancakes.

And as no feast (or meal, in fact) is complete without wine, here are five suggestions – all IWSC winners – to go with your Shrove Tuesday pancakes.


Savoury fillings know no limits, but flavours and textures can be delicate. Anything with cheese (try goat’s cheese and herbs) demands something lean and fresh but with good fruit.

Pair: Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling 2015

Where to buy: WineStar, £14.12

Smoked salmon blinisTaittinger.jpg

They’re pancakes, of course, topped with soured cream, smoked salmon and herbs – and really the only choice is a very good Champagne.

Pair: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 2006

Where to buy: Amazon, £110


bcgbzdg.jpgAs with savoury pancakes, there are infinite sweet pancake fillings, from the simple sugar and lemon to the searing Cointreau sweetness of Crepes Suzette, plus gooey chocolate, banana, maple syrup… the list goes on. As a rule of thumb, the sweeter the filling, the sweeter the wine.

Pair: Blandy's 1980 Terrantez

Where to buy:, $209.99


Bolney.jpgIt’s practically impossible to list the varieties of cheese and the complexities of choice. Remember that cheese is one of the most difficult food groups to match with wine, so we’re going to suggest just two, a hard cheese and a soft. For the soft, like a camembert or chaourcé, you need a delicate, fresh white like the excellent Bolney Estate Bacchus; hard cheeses demand fresh, bright, fruited reds – so if you’re having Manchego, or Lincolnshire Poacher, to name just two fine, textured cheeses, try a Chianti or Rioja.

Pair: Bolney Wine Estate Bacchus 2015Beronia.jpg

Where to buy: Waitrose, £16.99

Beronia Reserva 2012

Where to buy: Exel Wines, £14.30

The IWSC 2018 is now OPEN - enter now to be in with a chance to win a gold medal this year. For more information or expert help, email