Walking into a restaurant, “Ooh”, “aagh” and “do you smell burnt leather and pickled raspberries?” bubbled throughout the air. In the corner of the restaurant, a long table, lights sparkling off various glasses, plates of food like a medieval banquet, laughter, conversation, eager smiles, heads bobbing up and down, noses near glasses, food near mouths, a man conspicuously circling the table, in the distance an angel chorus. You came for pizza with your family, a little wine with your wife, but instead, you stumbled into a wine pairing evening. Fine Wines And Supermarket Isles
Great for most wine lovers, these types of events seem arbitrary and pretentious, with so-called “connoisseurs” spewing verbiage such as: “I think this wine was grown on the foothills of the Monastery of St Odile in the Congo, where the monks chanted to the grapes which led to the fresh plum complexity”.
Just as a side note, the said monastery was suspended in 1996 and the Congo has never produced wine. You would rather sit with your feet in the air, enjoying a glass Bouchard Finlayson Kaaimansgat Chardonnay at home, while listening to the ramblings of Miley Cyrus or Martha Stewart.
So, the question is, whether you can enjoy a glass of wine (or bottle, we don’t judge), with normal food which you can make at home, or do you have to sell your grandmother’s soul to book a wine pairing at a fancy restaurant and listen to the so-called “connoisseurs” while rolling your eyeballs out of your head, and ultimately wishing you had never been born? Well, the answer is yes.
It is our opinion that the reason why wine is so enjoyable is exactly that it’s so versatile and accessible, even to the newest wine drinkers, aficionados and weekend warriors. You don’t need to be a qualified sommelier, have visited the finest wineries in the world, or be Dionysus to be able to appreciate a good wine.
So, to give you a little kick, we will begin your journey into the world of the vine, right here. We will begin by showing you how one of the best wines our country has to offer, can be paired with a homemade meal, using locally produced ingredients, which will compliment your chosen varietal.
Bovril vs Marmite
Nigella Lawson wrote an article about marmite pasta, weird, I know, personally, Bovril is by far the superior spread, but this article inspired an idea which we conceived years ago, in collaboration with an amazing local chef, it showed me that you can capture and develop the imagination and creativity of your family with a couple of easy steps:
- Choose ingredients from your pantry or local supermarket which either you, your husband or your kid’s love;
- Engage in the wonderful world which is Google, and find recipes that will complement your favourite wine, for inspiration, and put on your creativity pants;
- While you enjoy your wonderfully creative and inspiring dish, contemplate the changes in complexity while you indulge.
We tested this idea by doing a comparative study. I mean how will you know what is special about Mauritius if you haven’t spent time backpacking through Colombia?
Our study began by using an Italian inspired tomato base, which we made by incorporating the traditional Sheba base, tinned All-Gold Tomato and Onion. Additionally, we wanted two constants; venison boerewors and feta were our chosen accomplices. Without thinking of dish acidity and palate weight, we chose one of the best Pinotages which this country has to offer…
To enhance our All-Gold base, we added fresh basil and thyme and some salt and pepper. The boerewors was grilled separately and added at the end together with the feta. When paring, you should consider the ingredient’s components.
Our case study considered that venison boerewors have a high-fat content; tinned tomatoes often have an underlying sweetness, and feta has a tangy richness.
The marmite pasta itself was made by adding butter in a pan with two teaspoons of marmite; our Il dente pasta .and half a cup of parmesan cheese, which were all added and mixed thoroughly with the venison, feta, and some meat sauce.
The Pinotage showed great versatility when paired with our marmite pasta. Canned tomatoes only have 3 grams of sugar (thank you, nutritional label); though not a lot, you would not expect something sweet to slightly increase bitterness, which is exactly what happened.
The crushed pomegranate in the Pinotage become more prominent. Since the Pinotage is not a heavy tannic wine, it handled the fatty boerewors extremely well. We were immensely surprised.
The butter and marmite mixture created a meaty, almost umami palate complemented by the boerewors and feta. The dish made the wine as soft as a baby kitten. All the wonderful, rich flavours were identifiable with ease
This goes to show that anyone can cultivate their appreciation for wine and their creativity, by incorporating it with their daily routine of cooking meals at home, with the bonus of enjoying time with their family.
Fine Wines And Supermarket Isles