A couple of weeks ago we moved into a new office and for some reason, we received so many lovely deliveries. Never one to dislike presents, I have to say my favourite was the wine and chocolate from South African winery, Durbanville Hills Estate. This got me to thinking about how much I love good food and wine pairings – when it’s done right, it’s the best mouthful you can possibly experience.
So first off, wine and chocolate. There are so many theories about this pairing… Durbanville Hills sent us an interesting combo: first a Sauvignon Blanc that they paired with a white chocolate they called Morning Mist. Interesting is what I would say about this pairing. The chocolate was very sweet with hints of lime and lavender and paired with the wine it worked, but it wasn’t a pairing I would do again. That said, the Shiraz they sent paired with a spicy milk chocolate worked perfectly. The spice in the chocolate had aftertastes of cinnamon and nutmeg, which, when paired with the spicy Shiraz, brought out notes of black pepper and the richness of the wine. Lovely. I am very much prone to pairing a rich wine like this with a dark chocolate vs. a milk chocolate, so it was nice to try it out and enjoy it just as much.
Other pairings that are noteworthy are most definitely inspired by my European side. A delicious foie gras on brioche paired with a sweet wine is spectacular. Personally, I prefer a Sauterne but have found that sometimes the sweet Niagara wines work well, too. The richness of the foie gras with the butteriness of the brioche and sweetness of the wine will often bring the palette notes of apples or figs and a combination of flavour that will leave you wanting more and more.
Ever tried a beautiful dry rose prosecco or champagne paired with a rich and creamy cheese like burrata? Add some sea salted grilled sourdough and you have a match made in heaven. If this entices you, Terroni serves a burrata like this as well as a beautiful sparkling rose.
Writing this little piece has got me thinking that I would like to explore this in more detail. Lookout for upcoming articles on what pairs best with various grapes. I may even bring in some professionals considering I only know what I enjoy….