FOXCROFT; a lesson in the master of food and wine pairing.

The art of pairing wine and food is the key to a successful meal and elevates the most pleasant gastronomical experiences. It is the ability to create a relationship between food and wine based on the tasting and the use of the senses.

There are simple rules to follow as outlined below, yet when mastered in my opinion it is amoung the most esoteric of culinary arts.

There are simple rules when it comes to food and wine pairing;

  • Keep food and wine at a similar weight. …
  • Match flavour intensity and character. …
  • Think about acidity. …
  • Beware mixing salt and tannin. …
  • Soften bitter tannins with richer, heavier food. …
  • Serve a wine at least as sweet as the food being served. …
  • Spicy foods need spicy wine. …
  • Pair with the sauce.

Last week I attended a ‘Meet The Winemaker’ Dinner series at Foxcroft with Eikendal Vineyards.  I have been to a few before and always enjoyed Glen’s wine and food pairings.  They have stood out to be as being some of the best I have experienced.  And by no means to boast; but as a point of reference, I have been fortunate enough to experience many wine pairings, in some of our best restaurants in South Africa, as well as a couple of Michelin Starred Restaurants overseas.  But to this day; never have I been as blown away by a chef’s complete understanding and mind boggling interpretation of flavours, as I was last week at Foxcroft.  I was sat with Eikendal’s winemaker; the very talented Nico Grobler, and he must have attended hundreds of wine and dines since joining Eikendal fifteen years ago.  He had also never experienced such exquisite and astonishing pairings.  Chef Glen Williams tastes the wines less than a week before the dinner and comes up with his creations within twenty four hours.  When he tastes the wine; the flavours and aromas infiltrate his taste bank and his mind starts exploding in gastronomical combinations and pictures.  It is truly an art which very few can truly master.  Yes, they can follow the rules outlined above.  Yes, they can be incredible chefs.  But generally, even most of the word’s top Chef’s take the easy route; they create a dish and then pair a wine to it (or ask a sommelier to!) And it works.  But it doesn’t blow your mid.  It doesn’t make you stop mid mouthful, smile, ponder, chew again, raise an eyebrow. Swallow and smile again.  It doesn’t make you wish you had that dish every time you sip that wine again.

If Eat Out had an award for Food and Wine Pairing; Chef Glen Williams at Foxcroft would be the deserved winner.

The menu was as below; (but please understand that just by reading it and seeing my amateur photos will not take you on the same journey.  The pairings only truly come to life as the flavours serenade each other on your palate) 

Malay Yellowtail tartar, avocado, chickpea, buttermilk, poppadom Eikendal ‘Janina” Unwooded Chardonnay

 

Salad of smoked mussels, courgette, pancetta, stuffed blossom.
Eikendal Chardonnay

 

Roasted Beets, dates, christmas spice, feta, vinegar caramel.
Eikendal ‘Charisma’

 

Peppered Brisket, smoked garlic, kale& herb pesto, asparagus, potato.
Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Karoo Blue, dried & preserved figs, smoked walnuts.
Eikendal ‘Classique’

 

Glen said that his Karoo Blue creation was one of his favourite pairings of all time and so you can now find it on the menu at Foxcroft.

Experience the magic of food and wine in a way you never have before;

 

 

 

 

 

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Bubbles Hyland

Bubbles Hyland

Bubbles Hyland, Well Red Wine Magazine Editor and Founder. Wine is her passion and it's also her job; it engrain every aspect of her life. She aims to make wine accessible, and spread the love and knowledge she has in a fun and approachable manner.

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