Every restaurant has the task of ensuring that their wine list is perfect. There is a lot of preparation that goes into crafting an amazing wine list. The wines have to appeal to the prospective customers tastes and preferences. Nairobi is such a vibrant city and I hate to use this tired and overused phrase but it is a “melting pot of cultures“. I would imagine having a restaurant in Westlands, Nairobi area. There is no predicting who may walk in. One minute you have a local, the next you have briefcase wielding guy who is here on business. I would be very unsure of who my ideal client is. Do they like wine? What sort of wine do they like? The task becomes twice as hard when you incorporate the food. You may have the perfect wine collection, but how well does it complement the food. It is a hit or miss. The wine should not overpower the food and vice versa. I choose one restaurants whose food I enjoyed and decided to put their wine list under the lens. We are heading to Seven Seafood and Grill in ABC place Nairobi for the 2nd time on this blog.
Joseph Holt, the General Manager had already sent me their entire menu and had mentioned that they change it every few weeks. I would imagine how difficult it is to revamp both menus but after sitting down with him, I got to learn more abut their offerings. He is very skilled & knowledgeable on all things food & wine. Some of the items that stood out to me were the Oysters which are brought live from Kilifi. I couldn’t wait to see how Joseph would pair them with wine. From their raw bar, they also have the Seven Special Tempura, Whole Catch Ceviche, Kingfish and Tuna among others. The menu is very diverse with starters to share, Signature crabs (that I am sure you have heard a lot about if you love food), prawns and vegetarian dishes. Their seafood is delivered daily and is always fresh. They also have amazing steak options that have been cured and aged in the establishment.
Ordering wine in a restaurant is always a tricky process for a beginner but this restaurant has solved this problem by providing a menu/ visual flavor map that allows guests to see what wine they are ordering and the flavour profile. They have divided the red and wines into medium bodied, full bodied and light bodied. Body, is the overall feeling and weight of the the wine. Full bodied wines are big, flavourful and powerful. Since I was also filming a wine education Video for my Youtube Channel, we had to open a few bottles from this selection.
This is the order in which we did the tasting and Pairing.
Light Bodied White: Zonin Pinot Grigio paired with Ceviche
Medium Bodied White: Gamla Chardonnay paired with Oysters
Heavy Bodied White: Fontella Ovieto paired with blistered Anaheim peppers.
Light Bodied Red: Fuzion Malbec paired with Steak Tacos
Medium Bodied Red: Bongeronde paired with Calamari.
Heavy Bodied Red: El Coto Rioja paired with Crab Bao.