The mock salmon ceviche served with avocado and rocket with soy mirin topped with roasted sesame melts in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.
When washed down with a chilled glass of Tons de Duorum white wine, it is a complete course.
The same wine refreshes the palate after a course of goat cheese pannacotta served with tomato and black onion seed. It stands up to the richness of the goat and leaves a crisp citrus note in the mouth.
The wine from Joáo Portugal Ramos Wines and Spirits in Portugal showcases the versatility of Portuguese wines when paired with a variety of tapas style dishes.
Portugal is famed for its port wines, and with over 250 grape varietals in the country and according Bruno Rebelo de Sousa, export manager for Joáo Portugal Ramos Wines and Spirits, their wine can only be described as a surprise in a bottle.
Tons de Dourum, for instance, is made up of five grape varieties including Viosinho, Rabigato, Verdelho, Arinto and muscatel Galego Branco, which Bruno indicates, showcases what the region of Dourom has to offer.
Portugal, one of the notable “Old World” wine producers with Douro being one of the main regions. Each wine can be any random combination of grape varietals or a single one, highlighting what the country offers, all in a single glass.
Local distributor UVA Wines partnered with Chef Manoj Aswal, executive chef at Villa Rosa Kempinski to highlight how a single wine can work with dishes from across the world. The four wines served are each coupled with four different plates to test the wine against sweet, spicy, salty, and savoury notes and what works best.
The Alvarinho white wine is one you can sip without needing a meal to accompany it, and can also pair with light seafood with salty, citrusy and sweet notes.
The pan seared Akami tuna with lobster and a pineapple salsa carries all these notes, and when coupled with the Alvarinho, they balance out.
This particular wine is of a northern appellation and is a single varietal wine. It is not aged in any oak as is usually the norm with richer wines, giving it that light yet complex flavour that allows you to enjoy it by itself.
For a wine tasting to be deemed complete, one must savour the red wines too. The Marques de Borba red can best be described as intense.
This means a pairing with strong flavoured dishes as a cod fish or carne alentejana dumpling, it brings out the earthy and dark fruit notes of the wine.
For a Kenya pairing, this would probably go down very well with ugali and a spicy goat stew.
The final wine of the day is the Duorum Colheita Red. This particular bottle is a 2015 vintage and is aged an additional year in the bottle. Its makers describe the wine as “Deep red colour with violet tones. Fresh and complex aroma dominated by ripe black fruits, blackberries, prunes and cassis, showing notes of violet and spices originating from elevate in the barrels. Full bodied, with well-balanced acidity, firm and ripe tannins.”
The wine is served with a quartet consisting of spiced chickpea mousse on braided puff, mini beef wraps and truffle mash, a white pepper nod goose liver pate macaroon and a cyro fried green onion chicken lolly.
The spicy chicken lolly with the wine can only be described as near perfect. The spice and chilly bring out the flavours in the wine. While the dessert style goose liver macaroon offers a sweet note to cap the dish without veering too far into a sweet dish due to the savoury pate.