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.
Next, we tried Peking roast duck, chile noodle salad fork, almond cous cous with a South African merlot.
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 Â 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.
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About the Blog
Chef Dennis Chan is the creator of Blue Bamboo, a great restaurant. He writes this blog as an outlet for his food ideas and to keep fans of Blue Bamboo, Hip Asian Comfort Food and his cooking classes up-to-date.
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