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Dinner with Rudi Schultz, South African Winemaker

Posted on September 23, 2011 in the Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

Recently, we had the honor of hosting thirty-eight guests in house to share an evening with Rudy Shultz, winemaker for Thelema, Sutherland, and his own label, Rudi Shultz.  His wines are great examples of South African winemaking, and we set out to pair them perfectly with some pre-selected dishes.

We first experimented with katsu shrimp and baby greens salad with a South African sauvignon blanc.

Next, we tried Peking roast duck, chile noodle salad fork, almond cous cous with a South African merlot.

Then we put together a cherry and coffee glazed pork shank with baby bok choy and lentil cake with a South African syrah

As our finale, we made Parmesan gougeres with poached “Englewood” Asian pears and peppered orange jus with a South African riesling.

Whenever we are given the task of pairing wines, we first look at the body of the wines that we are given.  Once we acomplish a proper food mate for  that, we look for characteristics in the wine itself to pull out of in the dish.  We then place those elements in a sauce, or somehow weave it onto the plate. What we then end up with is a dish in which the elements of 1 + 1 no longer equals 2, but 3, because of the heightened flavors and textures in the dish.

The feedback on our pairings was positive, which made for a fun evening for the guests and our kitchen staff’s egoes.

The coolest part of the evening is that Rudi got to meet everyone personally, and talk about all kinds of stuff, not just wine.  Afterall, it’s not every day that we get to ‘hang with a winemaker from the other side of the globe.

To stay informed of upcoming special events such as this one, please join our mailing list.  We’ll let you know when something else cool like this in on the radar.

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