I recently got an invite to attend a Wine and Food pairing and the Cellar Club brief at the recently opened Berries and Barrels shop in Yaya Centre. If you are one to keep your ears on the ground when it comes to wine news, you know that this shop stocks such an array of wines and spirits for the modern individual. This place is such a breath of fresh air. In Kenya, we are used to seeing shops with stacks and stacks of wines/spirits but here every bottle has some ‘personal space’ and gets to catch your attention. From the arrangement you can tell that the proprietors are very proud of their collection and they want you to have a long hard look before you make your purchase. I will keep you posted about the club in time.
It’s hard to describe the aura of the place because when I got there people had already entered the establishment. In attendance, were the owner of the shop (Anne Marie) and different representatives from the wine circle, business people and a few people from media.
My good friend Tom Magara, was conducting the tasting. He took us through every wine and gave us a brief history. You can tell when someone knows his stuff because everyone was quiet to soak in all the information that Tom was giving us. I was not on top of my game this day, because I doubled up as my own photographer and it was hard to scribble notes as I took photos.
The food was supplied by the Chef from Sierra and he explained to us the thought process behind every food & wine pairing that he had.
Here is the Menu (food & Wine).
The wine was both from the New & Old world regions and it was paired with amazing food & bitings.
1. Herb Salad parcels with Black Forrest ham and Sundried Tomato and Basil dressing. Paired with Silk Oak Sauvignon Blanc 2013
I did not like this Sauvignon Blanc. It did not impress me because it tasted like most Sauvignon Blancs would. It was crisp and smelt of green lemons. The taste was also citrusy. However, since I had already formed that impression about the wine, it was hard to be impressed by the pairing.
2. Pork Belly, Coconut Braised Lentils, Cauliflower Puree. Paired with Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012
The chenin blanc smelt of peanuts and mild coffee flavours. On the tongue, it was rich and had some acidity that I liked. It went well with the pork and lentils. When was the last time you had lentils at a tasting?
3. Norwegian Salmon, Truffle Soy Glaze. Paired with Silk Oak Old Vines Zinfandel 2012
The Zinfandel tasted fruity with plums and raspberries very prominent. I think that they paired this with white meat because the wine was not too strong. It was smooth and slightly oaky. This may be a to-go pairing for anyone hosting a dinner party.
4. Braised Lamb Neck, Zucchini and Mint Veloute, Herb Crumbs. Paired Robert with Reynolds Petite Syrah 2012
The Petit Syrah smelt Herbaceous, berries, not so oaky. I could also get aggressive hints of spice. It had some tannicity and paired excellently with duck. The wine did not overpower the duck.
5. Pithivier of Duck Confit, Mushrooms and Leeks. Paired with Cederberg Shiraz 2012
On the nose, it displays ripe berries like strawberries and rasp berries. On the tongue it is spicy and fruity with the taste of the same berries.
6. Penne Bolognese, Stilton Cream. Paired with Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Pinotage 2012.
When I smelt this wine, I immediately thought of coffee. There were hints of vanilla and black currant. I actually loved this wine. It is like they were saving the best for last.
I used to be a white wine person, but as time goes by I am beginning to get excited when we are at a tasting and the reds arrive. The spicier and smokier, the better. I also love the tannicity. I need to research and see what this change is all about.
Here are some more photos.