This is why I love the internet. Yesterday I was telling @Zawino over Twitter that the wines we had ordered (a case of Miles Mossop’s Saskia 2007, but more on that later) had arrived and he could come and pick then up. As I had a few characters remaining I thought I would put them to good use. So I asked my followers – yes, just like Christ – what they would pair with the wine.
Here is the link: http://ow.ly/1BcF0
Fair options I thought. I then popped over to Miles’ website to check the percentages of the blend and the alcohol level of the Saskia, and at the bottom of the page there were food recommendations. And you can stick a dead racoon on my head and call me Davy Crockett if they weren’t pretty much the same as Jamie’s. A red thai curry and a fennel and seafood salad. Smart guy.
So the god’s were obviously telling me to make a curry, they even sorted out the weather. Here is the (super simple) recipe I used and the results.
The Twitter advised Thai Red Curry with Kabeljou.
1 can coconut milk – I used about 3 quarters
red curry paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup basil leaves – coarsely chopped
Red Bell pepper- julienned
1 medium carrot – (Use a potato peeler to make thin strips)
2 zucchinis – Also in strips
First things first. Find a good curry paste. Seriously, this makes a big difference. I used about two tablespoons because the paste I had was pretty mild. Best bet is to make your own. I even googled it for you here. The better you know your paste, the easier it is to control the heat.
In a medium saucepan, pour in the coconut milk and red curry paste. Bring to a low boil and let simmer for five minutes.
Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Stir, let simmer for 5 more minutes. Add basil leaves; remove from heat. If you’ve got some lime leaves, throw them in here as well.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and add the bell pepper, carrot, and zucchini. Saute until the vegetables wilt.
Add curry sauce to the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes over low heat. Bang in your fish, taste and season, then as soon as the fish is done you’re ready to serve it with some basmati rice.
Whilst making dinner we drank Adi Badenhorst’s Secateur Chenin 2009. Adi makes this wine with his neighbour, a partnership which he calls “the smallest co-op in the country”. It offers outrageous value. I picked it up for fifty-six bucks at Vino Pronto. From older chenin vines it has a purity and concentration that belies its meagre price tag. Last night there was heavy doses of pears and honey wax on the nose. The palate was rich with the honey delicately unfolding amongst refreshing floral notes. The wine carries its 14% alcohol expertly. This is probably on the top of my good value white list at the moment. Not that I actually have a list – I’m suffering from list fatigue at the moment.
The big boy – or girl, but that sounds less complimentary for some reason – of the evening was Miles Mossop’s Saskia 2007. A blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier this is an opulent and lithe beast. Two pickings of Chenin are used, one early to give freshness and minerality, and one late after the grapes have developed some botrytis which adds richness, complexity and depth of flavour. The nose was dense and full of spicy honey and tropical fruits. The floral notes of the viognier and the dried apricot aroma from the botrytis combined beautifully. The palate was awash with pineapple, mango, and peach; rich and smooth with a bright acidity at the core. This is a rollicking buxom wine whose elegance is underlined by its bounciness. A beauty. Although the pairing wasn’t.
It wasn’t shit, I mean I’ve had parings that make you want to cry they are so awful, and then others that extract tears of joy. This one was just OK. Good, because the wine was so delicious and the food didn’t get in the way too much. There was nothing that elevated both to a new taste dimension. Yes that’s right, taste dimension – I have no idea what that is, but it sounds pretty good. “Chef. Please take me to the next taste dimension.”
“Ay Ay Captain Haddon. Boys, fire up the truffle boosters, release the saffron valve, full sear ahead!”
Aaaany way. The reason I think the pairing wasn’t brilliant is that the curry seemed to bring out the wine’s alcohol – which is pretty hefty at 14.5%. When drunk alone I found this to be less of an issue. I am not convinced this wine needs spicy foods, rich complex flavours, sure, but not spicy. I think the Grilled yellowtail served on fennel gazpacho could of been a better option. I have two bottles left, maybe I can convince @JamieWhoSA to whip up one for me? I’ll bring the wine.
Quick tip: If you are drinking this wine I recommend at least an hour or two of decanting – I gave it about an hour and it still opened up in the glass nicely.