“The aim of Discover the Origin is to unite the notions of Taste, Time, Tradition. Together – and the products within the campaign – in a true culinary experience… The aim is to educate on the benefits of the provenance indicator schemes, the relevant checks, controls and traceability systems that are out in place to ensure ongoing quality and to differentiate the products and raise their profiles”
A hamper containing three bottles of wine, a generous slab of the cheese and a pack of ham arrived awhile back. Included was a lovely little hard backed book containing details of the regions and their unique provenance and various recipes to match with each of the regions wines. Not sure the book is generally available but all the recipes in it are fully detailed available on the Discover the Origin website. There is plenty to discover on the site – videos abound, recipes to keep you in the kitchen for an age…
Each recipe has a recommended wine, obviously either a red or white Burgundy or a still or Port wine from the Douro. Extracted from the Discover the Origin hamper a dry white from the Douro to accompany a dish of Parma Ham, Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Chilli Mango Dressing; frankly it wouldn’t have been my first choice to match with such a dish. I would perhaps have gone with a wine with some sweetness, a Chenin perhaps or even that rich Viognier sampled at my recent secret tasting. However the wine, full of citrus minerality, was actually fine. Consumed during the fine summer weather we had (remember that?) when the temperature decrees lighter foods it is actually designed as a starter.
Not sure what my thinking was at the time (hey, this was back at the beginning of August) but the dish selected to accompany the bottle of red Burgundy (Domaine Martin Michel, Chorey-les-Beaune, 2005) was not one from the book. I’ve no recollection now of where the recipe originated but the dish – Lamb Fillet wrapped in Pama Ham served with haricot beans by the look of the photo, was a stonkingly good match. (There also seems to be a layer of stuffing between the lamb and the ham). My notes read “delicious”.
Less good, although individually superb, was the combination of a LBV Port with basically hot berries served on a shortcake. While sweet the ports tannins clashed and the wine just too full and rich for the more delicate fruits.
While any food and wine combinations are eventually down to personal preference – the suggested matches via Discover the Origin are a great start – was is indisputable is the quality of the individual stars of this little experiment – the wines of Burgundy, the ham and cheese from Parma and the ports and still wines from Portugal’s Douro.