We normally blog about kids-related parties, but today it’s all about the adults! One of our special occasion places in Cape Town is the Vineyard Hotel and Spa. Every winter season they host a series of wine paired gourmet meals, and we love them! So if you ever need a reason to go out and celebrate your birthday (without the kids), consider this as an option.
Today we reveal what goes on behind the scenes of such a wine evening when we attended the Ernie Els wines pre-tasting evening last week.
The thing that is different about the Vineyard’s wine evenings, is that great care is taken in the pairing of the wines to the food. It is all about the wine and what works with it, and not which wine will go well with specific foods. For every wine evening, a team meets behind the scenes to taste the wines and taste all the food flavours that work well with each wine. In the room is usually the wine maker or marketing person from the wine farm, the manager from the Vineyard, the food and beverage manager, one or two chefs, and some lucky guests (my husband and I in this case!)
We were reminded to start on a clean slate and not think of what usually pairs well with certain wine varietals. Keeping an open mind and being creative is a key to the success of these wine pairings. We each took samples of as many items off the food table as possible, in my case I ended up with 3 plates!
We then started on one wine and took sips while taking samples off our plate – when our taste buds came alive, we knew we had found something that works well with the wine, shouted it out, and the chef wrote down our suggestions. Then we moved on to the next wine… and so on…
We continued this way and even added some dessert items – I almost forgot to drink wine at this point! Not having a dessert wine at Ernie Els, we had to find another option with one of their other wines.
So after throwing out so many flavour profiles that worked with each wine and the chef furiously writing it all down, it is then up to the chefs to work out a menu for the dinner. I have just seen what they came up with and very pleased to see my suggestion of turkish delight marshmallow has been included as part of dessert! Will keep the rest a secret for now and blog about it next week after the Ernie Els dinner this Friday 🙂
As you can see below, this is a serious job!