May Subscription 2022

Marcobarba Garganega Frizzante ‘Barbabolla’

Type - Fizzy Bubbly/Pet Nat

Country - Italy

Region - Veneto/Gambellara

Varietal - 90% Gargenega, Glera, Trebbiano, Moscato, Riesling Italico

Vintage - 2020

ABV - 11%

Size - 750ml

Colour - Deep Lemon

Taste - Green apple, Pear, Tropical Vibes, bit of kiwi, Refreshing beauty.

Marco “Barba”, grown up in Madonna di Lonigo, near Vicenza, is the heart (and the face, if you check the label closely) of the Marcobarba project.

Since his youth, as soon as he finished the mandatory studies, he began working as a carpenter, but he soon discovered a deep interest for biodynamic agriculture and Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy. He’s thus moved in the Jura canton of Switzerland, to work as a shepherd and  agricultural farmer.

In 2015, returned to Veneto, he began working with his friend Stefano Menti in the latter’s family winery. Thanks to the enologic experiences accumulated in the Menti Wiery, he started, in his free time, to produce some wine from the grapes of several vineyards he managed on behalf of a few elderly widows in his native town.

In the following years, with the help of a few friends he met during the years working at Menti, Marco improved the agronomic aspects of his wine production, and since 2018, driven by their passion for biodynamic agriculture and their respect for nature, Marco and his close knit team of  “Barbaboyz” have launched the adventure of the Marcobarba brand, with the goal to produce pure grapes from which they derive straightforward, genuine wines. Or, just like Marco, to make them coarse and irreverent, with a big heart.

Marco and the Barbaboyz’ winemaking and bottling is done in the Menti Giovanni Winery.

They produce only a sparkling white and a red, both vinified as simply as possible, because, as they say, “enjoying a glass of wine is like working in the vineyard: a moment of happiness.”

A cracking bottle to pair with so many different style dishes. We have paired this with wild mushroom risotto and had a delicious time. Seafood is where this really can shine however. It is super fresh, clean and lively with the tropical and citrus tones being a beautiful combination for the creamy rich herbaceous mussel sauce.

Watch old school mussels recipe

Maison Crochet, Patator

Type - Red

Country - France

Region - Lorraine/Vin de France

Varietal - Gamay

Vintage - 2020

ABV - 12%

Size - 750ml

Colour - Bright Ruby

Taste - Electric, juicy, red cherry, raspberry, violet. Drink this sucker slightly chilled.

Located in Bulligny, a small village in Lorraine, about 30 kilometers southwest of Nancy, Maison Crochet is a family winery running an organic conversion vineyard of 5 hectares.

Wilfried Crochet, their oldest child, takes the succession of the winery in 2016. Wilfried passed his oenology grade from the Bordeaux institute and his internship at Paul Jaboulet Ainé. After some experiences in Russia, Greece and Australia and five years in Champagne, Wilfried felt it was time to go back home.

The wines are produced under “Vin de France” appellation which allows him more freedom. Low intervention, the wines are made under a natural winemaking process.

Gamay is a super versatility grape for food pairing. I struggled to choose what to actually cook for you guys with this one. 

I was thinking of a roast chicken dish, then thought cajun shrimp but I already had mussels so didn’t want to overload the seafood!

Steak and chips it is!

There are tart fruit flavours on the palate with this wine with a high acidity and low tannin. That is what makes it work with so much food! 

These factors make it match perfectly with the beefier cut of meat we chose in the hangar steak and the punchy chimichurri sauce poured over the top!

The chimichurri here will make lots but I like to make lots when I do it. It would probably serve like 8 people but it can be kept to use for later and lasts for up to a week later if refrigerated. 

Also this recipe cooks the steak to be medium rare.

Watch Steak & Chips recipe

Saladini Pilastri Pecorino Offida Docg

Type - White

Country - Italy

Region - Spinetoli/Ascoli Piceno

Varietal - 100% Pecorino

Vintage - 2018

Colour - Deep intense straw colouring

Alcohol - 13.5%

Size - 750ml

Natural - Organic

Taste - Medium Acidity with flavours of golden apple, pear, raw almonds.

Pecorino wine funnily pairs massively with pecorino cheese so before you make this recipe honestly just grab some pecorino and maybe taste both while you cook.

It also has something to do with where the name came from.

Contrary to the popular belief that the name Pecorino originated during the period of “Transumanza” when the sheep would eat this grape as they scaled the Apennine mountains, there are actually two different hypotheses on its true origin. The first one has to do with the fact that the grapes used in making Pecorino wine were not considered very good and only humble people such as the  “pecorari” (a derogatory term used for sheep herders) would eat them. Secondly, there’s a much more credible naming story that has to do with Pecorino having a second fermentation during the spring.  This second fermentation of Pecorino wine gives it a vivacious taste accompanied by bubbles (Pecorino wine is now a firm white). The nature of the wine makes it pair perfectly with the pecorino cheese so beloved in the central mountains of Le Marche, Italy, that winemakers called it Pecorino. 

Again another versatile grape it can be paired with loads.

I decided to finish this months pairing with a dish that can be cooked at home or ordered on just eat! In case anyone is feeling lazy! 

Pecorino has the acidity and flavour profile of apple and pear to cut through the fried dish and goes beautifully with the crunchy exterior and vegetable inside!

Watch Spring Rolls Recipe

Old School Mussels - Serves 4

1.75kg mussels

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 spring onions, finely chopped

30g butter

A bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves

100ml white wine

120ml double cream 

handful of parsley leaves, coarsley chopped

Crushed red chili flakes (optional)

1 tbsp lemon juice

crusty bread to serve on the side

Ok first of all what the hell is a bouquet garni you might ask.

Simply grab 5 fresh parsley leaf stems, 1 bay leaf and 3 fresh thyme sprigs.

Grab a piece of twine and lay it on the counter.

Lay the herbs, bunched together, atop the twine.

Tie the twine around the herbs nice and tightly to form a knot.

Some then like to use peppercorns and wrap the whole thing in some muslin cheesecloth but we don’t bother.

Set this aside. 

Wash your mussels well under cold water.

Discard any open shells that do not close when pressed lightly.

Scrub and debeard the mussels.

Grab a large wide bottomed pot with a lid. Like a dutch oven.

Chuck in your butter and heat over medium heat.

Lob in the spring onions, garlic and bouquet garni and cook while stirring gently for 4 minutes.

Garlic should be nice and fragrant and we add our white wine.

Bring it to the boil.

Lob in the mussels now.

Cover the pot and let the mussels steam for 4-6 minutes.

Give the pot a good shake every 2 minutes.

After 4 minutes give them a peek.

All of the mussels need to be open but some can open faster than others.

Remove the bouquet garni.

Add your cream, lemon juice and chopped parsley (and chili flakes if desired) and remove from the heat.

Keep covered and again give the pot a good shake to mix the cream and parsley in with the rest.

Spoon the dish into 4 warmed bowls with lemon wedges and crusty bread on the side.

Discard any mussels that did not open!

Hangar steak with Chimichurri and twice fried chippies

2 Hangar steaks about 250g each

4 tbsp  olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp butter


120ml olive oil

4 tbsp red wine vinegar

30g flat leaf parsley

15g coriander

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper


1 kg Maris piper potatoes (Peeled or unpeeled your the boss but just wash them)

Full deep fat fryer or else 2 litres sunflower oil for frying

First thing to do is mix the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Use this to marinate your steaks and rub it all over them.

Set aside on a plate covered for at least 2 hours in the fridge. 

Use a zip lock bag if you like to put the steaks in.

Make the chimichurri next.

Combine all ingredients apart from the red wine vinegar and oil in a food processor and blend well. 

Add the oil now and blend again.

Then add the vinegar after and mix well with a spoon, not the blender.

Allow to sit in the fridge for 2 hours ideally.

I am going to imagine most of you don’t have a deep fat fryer so I will go down the pan route first.

Cut the potatoes into chunky style chips about 1.5cm across.

Pour your oil into a wide, deep pan.

Oil needs to be about 4cm deep.

Heat to 140 celsius. If you don’t have a thermometer then use the bread trick.

Take the white centre of a piece of bread (no crust) and drop it in the pan.

Drop it in the oil. If it takes 8-10 seconds to crisp its about 140. 

3-4 seconds its about 180 so turn it down.

Deep fat fryer folk, simply heat your oil to 140.

Add the chips in batches and cook for 8 minutes.

Have a tray lined with kitchen roll or just roll it out on the counter.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chips and place them on the kitchen roll.

Keep doing this until you’ve cooked them all. 

Keep the oil as we need it to get to 180 for the next step.

Steak time. 

In a medium skillet or pan over medium high heat heat 2 tbsp olive oil.

When oil is just about to smoke add your steak.

Cook for about 5 minutes then flip and add butter.

Baste with the butter while cooking for a further 4 minutes.

Internal temp needs to be 52 celsius if you have a probe.

Remove from the pan and set aside to rest while you finish the chips.

Get the oil to 180. 

Cook the chips in 2 batches for 6 minutes until they are nice and brown and crispy.

Again drain on paper.

Toss with some salt and pepper or however you like it.

Plate up your steak, sliced if you like.

Chimichurri on top.

Chips on the side.


Spring Rolls


1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

400g pork mince or chicken mince if you prefer

8 fresh shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced

2 carrots shredded

100g bean sprouts

100g shredded cabbage

1 tsp cornflour

1 1/2tbsp oyster sauce

2 tsp soy sauce

Spring rolls

15 spring roll wrappers as provided

Oil for frying

Dipping sauce

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp hot water

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

We start with the filling here.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. 

Lob in your garlic and then your mince.

Cook while mashing it all up.

Pork should turn white.

Lob in the carrot, bean sprouts, cabbage and mushrooms.

Cook for 4 minutes while stirring until wilted.

Chuck in the cornflour, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Cook for 2-3 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.

You need the liquid to be gone gone. We want the filling to be a nice sticky texture to stick and hold in the wrap.

Remove and set aside to cool. Mixture needs to be cold to go into the rolls so refrigerate if necessary.

Once mix is cool, start with the rolls.

Fill a bowl with warm/hot water.

Immerse hard wrapper in the warm water but not for too long that it becomes very soft.

Place flat down on a bowl, chopping board, surface.

Using a normal dessert spoon, add one spoon to the bottom of the wrapper closest to yourself.

Roll up around the filling to tuck it in and then roll in the sides.

Keep an eye on the roll ahead of you and make sure the sides tuck in also.

Then finish rolling,

Set aside until all wrapped!

Grab a small pot and fill with oil to about 3 inches deep.

Or else just heat your deep fat fryer!

We want the oil to be at 140 so use a thermometer or do the bread trick as previously mentioned in the sub to test.

Gently introduce your spring rolls to the oil.

One at a time and try only fry 4 at a time.

They will only take about 4-5 minutes to cook.

They should be lovely golden brown and very crispy.

Transfer to paper towels to allow them to drain.

Continue until all cooked!

Make your dipping sauce at the same time.

Combine sauce ingredients in a small pan.

Heat while stirring just up to the point where it begins to simmer and then remove from the heat and pour into a bowl for dipping.