Given the synergy between wine and food it is somewhat surprising that of the dozens of trade tastings only one or two lay on food specifically for the wines available for tasting.
A prefect showcase you would have thought for the unique cuisine of South Africa to be displayed against the countries wines at the recent South African Mega Tasting. Rather than slithers of delicious indigenous game or slices of home-produced cheeses we had to slum it with an over-chilled sandwich, a bag of crisps and an apple. And a Mars Bar.
Logistics and cost I imagine are the main stumbling blocks but the attendees at the Fells Portfolio Tasting on the 22nd October put on a fine display of canapés matched specifically to a selected number of wines.
As this was the second consecutive year of offering such food and wine combinations the logistics can’t be that tricky to overcome…
There was some real thought put into these matches; each dish accompanied each wine beautifully and in several instances revealed hidden depths to the wine and added greater complexity to the flavours.
While the dishes could possibly be recreated, even without specific recipes, at the very least the descriptions should give some indication of the flavours that married so well with the wines.
Domaine William Fèvre Chabils, 2007 (£15.99) matched with a Saffron Queenie Scallop, Roast Chorizo and Wood Fried Piquillo Pepper.
E Guigal Condrieu 2008 (£30) with Chinese Chinese Satay with Chili and Ginger and Black Sesame Sprinkle (apparently meant to match any from Hugel’s Alsace wines; but we went to the Rhone instead!) Viognier plus Satay!
Murrieta’s Well White Meritage 2007, Lovermore Valley, San Francisco Bay (£18.99) matched with Label Anglaise Chicken & Buttercup Cheddar Ploughmans with Perry Pickle, picturted to left (another we picked the wrong wine for; but a marvellous revelation. A disappointing wine by itself; spectacularly transformed by the food!) The wine is a blend of barrel fermented Semillon (52%) and Sauvignon (48%).
Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rosé with Toasted Maltbread with Double Gloucester, Carrot and Ginger Marmalade
Ibericos Rioja Crianza, 2006 (£9.49) matched with Cinnamon Smoked Lamb, Confit Pomme de Terre, and Roast Choke and Mustard (photo on flickr)
Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel, 2006, (£17.99) with Tandorri Venison and Bombay Potato with Tomato and Juniper Chutney. A hearty beast and not just Zin either but also 7.2% Petite Sirah, 3.7% Merlot, 2.7% Syrah and 1% Grenache.
Chakana Reserve Malbec, Agrelo, Mendonza, 2007 (£10.49) with Roast Beef Fillet, Sweet Potato Chop, Beetroot Confit
Torres Moscatel Oro, NV, Penedes, Spain (£8.49) Coconut Cheesecake with Mango topping (photo on Flickr with a different wine!)
This photo is one of several lunch dishes. I neglected to record the wine, but it went rather nicely with this mild curry dish… the opening photo is of the lunch area… all the food on the day was prepared by the Chef of the Imagination Gallery, London.