ANOTHER superb evening was enjoyed by wine and food lovers at Graze by the River last weekend when owner and chef Nick Howard married five courses of delicate and decadent dishes to five exceptional wines from Windfall Wine Estate.
Located in the valley of wine and roses, Windfall Wine Estate, a boutique wine farm produces a limited amount of barrels each year.
The Robertson wine farm represented by Liquid® showcased five exceptional varietals each catering to different flavour portfolios and ingredients in each course.
Howard presented and shared his inspiration of each ingredient in every dish and the wine he had paired with it.
The first course was a beautiful asparagus, fig and goat’s cheese salad with a peach dressing married with a 2016 Windfall sauvignon blanc. The wine itself was light and crisp with lovely watermelon and peach flavours on the nose and mineral characteristics on the palate. The sauvignon blanc and the goat’s cheese along with the sweetness of the figs and tropical notes of the peach dressing completed the taste experiences for a match made in heaven.
The second course, a traditional Tuscan peasant’s dish, Ribollita, a hearty thick soup made from a variation of green vegetables and cannellini beans, was paired excellently with the 2013 vintage shiraz.
The shiraz was a medium bodied, smooth wine with white pepper, red berries and red plum flavours. While it was “lighter” than I imagined it would be, it made for a great partner with the Ribollita. The white pepper paired well with the tomato flavours of the wine while the cannellini beans, hydrated with shiraz, exploded hearty, deep rich flavours in the mouth – a beautifully balanced paired with a “full” finish which does not disappoint.
Next on the menu was Howard’s own smoked mackerel served on a bed of quinoa and mixed green leaves and chimburi sauce. The mackerel was served with 2015 pinot noir. The smoked oily fish was elevated to an even greater flavour sensation with the pinot noir which boasted hints of fynbos and ripe red berried on the mouth.
One of the favourite varietals among the foodies was the 2015 vintage medium bodied cabernet sauvignon which boasts notes of toffee and vanilla, sweet spices and dark berries.
Howard paired the cabernet with mouth-watering, perfectly-cooked Karoo lamb chops, marinated in a herb rub for 24 hours. The chops were served on a bed of sweet potato, carrot and potato mash with French green beans finished off by the most delectable red berry and honey reduction. The wine, the chops, and the reduction were as perfect a combination as far as food can be made. Infused with Howard’s passion and the lingering vanilla flavours of the wine, the dish lent itself to a taste bud explosion where senses were completely and utterly satisfied.
For the grand finale, Howard dished up beautiful red baked apples stuffed with Christmas fruit mince and cardamom sauce.
It was served with the show stopper vino of the evening, the Barrel 41 – Windfall’s flagship, a blend of shiraz, mourvedre and grenache. Flavours of oak, herbs, spices and berries begin the taste sensation leading into lingering tastes of dark chocolate and warm fruitcake. This complex and layered wine can be enjoyed alone, but also made the baked apples proud.