A Birthday Wine Pairing

My skoon-suster is truly amazing when it comes to these sorts of things, she is absolutely in her element planning, preparing, plating and watching her guests enjoy!  Even on her own birthday she pulled out all the stops for the most delectable food and wine pairing lunch.  My mom who was visiting from Durban declared it by far the best dining experience she has ever had.  And I can honestly say it would give some of those top restaurants a run for their money.  What a superb way to spend time with friends and family.
P.S. I apologise in advance for the photo spam, but the dishes were all just so fantastic, both presentation and taste!

We brought some of Laborie’s unlabelled Brut to get the festivities started.  Bubbles are always a treat, and Laborie’s are delicious (we may be slightly biased because we chose their Brut & Rose MCCs for our wedding, but for good reason).

So, check out the menu below…
Birthday Wine PairingMenu

First course, I usually struggle with the concept of Gespacho, cold soup, but these flavours were fantastic and together with the delicious WW Salmon Cakes they paired superbly with the crisp, fresh Zonnebloem Sav B.

The second course with all its tart flavours, did so well paired with the smooth simplicity of the Ridgeback Viognier.  The Ginger Biscuit Syrup is another one of the amazing creations from AB Products, used uniquely here, but just as good over some vanilla ice-cream.  AB Products has a range of balsamic reductions, flavoured syrups and other sauces, great for transforming a simple dish into a Masterchef treat.  Another local, Paarl resident Chef doing great things in the food world.

Snoek is always a great Cape dish and together with the prawn and avocado it was well enjoyed by all.  The slightly more rounded and fruity flavours of the Graham Beck Chardonnay were a good contrast, the choice for unoaked was also wise as any strong oak flavours may have cancelled the fish flavours out.
The Panna Cotta was really interesting being savoury rather than sweet.  It is quite a rich dish and very well complimented with the strong beetroot flavours, the light Van Loveren Pinot Noir was the perfect wine to pair with such a rich dish.
My other half always favours the meaty plates and loved the Spiced beef which was accompanied by a delicious French Syrah Grenache (Thank you Checkers for their international wine ranges).

One might think I’m daft, but my favourite was actually the Cauliflower Soup – it was delicious!  And I love a bit of blue cheese. The Laborie Merlot was a lovely berry and plum contrast to the soup and cheese.
The pork was another absolute favourite for most, so full of flavour and really well paired with the white pepper spice of the Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Shiraz.
I actually missed the final course, but heard it was the perfect finish of chocolate and bubbles!

We all had the most lovely day with friends and family, plates were empty, tummies were full and what a great experience of flavour combinations and wine pairings.  As Remy from Ratatouille would describe it – “An explosion of taste”.

Happy Birthday and Thank you for a wonderful day!

Note:  All photos are property of A Good Year Blog, please do not use without permission.
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