Kate Lamont, Western Australian restauranteur and winemaker, spoke at M on the Bund today of going beyond simple wine-matching in restaurants, and advocated choosing a wine before cooking food at home, matching seasonings and cooking techniques to further enhance the food-wine pairing.
As an example, she contrasted the way one might cook a piece of chicken depending on whether there was a sauvignon blanc or a shiraz in the cupboard. For the former, it might be poached chicken with a mango and lime salsa, and for the latter, a slow roast with roasted garlic, tomatoes, herbs and potatoes. Very thought provoking and completely different to how I currently cook – for me it’s usually a matter of deciding on a particular dish, then scouring the wine cupboard for what might be OK to drink with it, and often finding the answer is ‘nothing much’ or ‘gin and tonic.’
M on the Bund came to the party with a fabulous 3 course lunch and Wolf Blass wines (what a shame they weren’t West Australian wines, thought many of us….). We started with a summer soup of peas and mint, followed by tender grilled snapper served with shaved fennel, sumac and lemon. Lastly a fool of summer berries, with rich, ripe raspberries and blueberries nestled in the creamy fool.
Inspired by Kate’s approach, I visited The Lady on Wulumuqi Lu on the way home for some pinenuts and Italian parsley and dragged a bottle of New Zealand Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Gris from the cupboard (thanks go to Martel who brought it in her luggage all the way from NZ a few months ago). I remembered the pinot gris was still lurking there for a special occasion, and I thought it would pair nicely with chicken breasts if I cooked them with vino cotto, currants, and a salad of Italian parsley and rocket topped with toasted pine nuts and parmesan, bringing out the lovely pear, peach and toasty honey flavours of the wine.
It did. It was bloody delicious. Thanks Kate!