Thank goodness for the global ‘guilt-free’ culinary revolution that’s been making waves recently. Nowadays your food order can easily be the topic of conversation. Burgers and pizzas in particular are no longer a fast food chain affair. With scrumptious gourmet burgers and innovative artisanal pizzas currently well in the lead of all food trends, the big M in the sky or those pizzas delivered by guys wearing bow ties, will soon be a thing of the past. The word gourmet added an entire new meaning to what used to be known as junk food. This gastronomic revolution is thanks to consumer’s demand for ‘real food’ with fresh, quality ingredients together with their willingness to try new food experiments. Audacious chefs were ready and eager to meet these consumer demands which in return offered us an uncomplicated, fun, dining experience.
Consumers however wanted…needed…more. Their curiousity led them onto a mind-blowing journey filled with flavour. That of glorious wine. To winemakers, doors of opportunity swung open, wide and wild. To them, this meant endless possibilities with taste experiments. Experimenting with and combining unusual flavours, peaked the interest of many a wine lover. Schalk Maas, Account Manager at Riebeek Cellars in the Metropole area, explains that the young and adventurous at heart are changing the entire concept of wine and food pairing. The ‘trend’ is that of young people wanting to move away from the ‘formal thing’. They want to create their own experience, in their own homes.
RIEBEEK CELLARS MERLOT WITH GROUND BEEF BURGER
We decided upon the classic homemade spiced, ground beef burger for our first pairing as this was a favourite amongst many. Schalk’s pairing suggestion was that of their best selling red wine currently – the Riebeek Cellars Merlot. Its renowned popularity is due to it being such an undemanding wine to enjoy on its own served at room temperature. On the nose, beautiful wood flavours, yet very soft and mellow in taste, smooth, almost velvety on the palate with a notable lingering berry aftertaste. “Damn, I wouldn’t mind a glass right now”. Should you decide to do the responsible thing of having something to eat while indulging, a light red meat is highly recommended as the Merlot is a very light style red wine. As far as pairing with the burger is concerned, it’s the mixed spices in the ground beef that combines exceptionally well with the Merlot’s distinctive red berry flavours. The Merlot is such a versatile wine that it’s an ideal match with most vegetarian meals (hint, hint to all those earth loving people). In a nutshell – should you be invited for dinner but not sure what’s cooking, take the Merlot. It’s always the ‘safe choice’. And if the food was a bit ‘too experimental’, you can always enjoy on its own.
RIEBEEK CAPE RUBY WITH BROCCOLLI AND BLUE CHEESE PIZZA
For our next pairing, we presented Schalk with a mouthwatering broccolli and blue cheese pizza. It was the creamy crumbled blue cheese topping with its rich, slightly salty and exceptionally pungent flavour that made for the perfect pairing with the sweetness of the Riebeek Cape Ruby (port). The sweetness derives from its noticeable flavours of chocolate and ripe fruit. The power and complexity of the sweet and savoury combinations complements each other superbly. Although made in the style of a ruby port, the use of the name Port is no longer allowed unless produced in Portugal. The European Union is protecting the rights of the name Port. Instead, we have to call it Cape (which suits us just fine).
Schalk enlightens us that the Cape Ruby has generally been known as a fine dessert wine (stiff lip sip, sip wine) that used to be whipped out only on special occasions. It was enjoyed either slightly chilled on those warm mosquito infested summer evenings or served to the special guests at room temperature on chilly wintery nights. Gentlemen together with their ladies occasionally indulged to warm up the cockles of the heart (with a little bun knocking on the oven door nine months later…hee,hee). If you were a lady of much sophistication however, it was more suitable to have it after a hearty winter meal. However it’s not at all uncommon for some to have it with soup. “I’ve heard of Soetes & Sop many times. It surely must have worked . In my opinion, a double whammy as a buffer against the freezing cold.”
FEEL FREE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AT www.riebeekcellars.com
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