Match of the week
Salt and pepper squid with Asian dressing and Fleur du Cap unfiltered chardonnay
One of the highlights of last week’s trip to South Africa was a salt pairing dinner with Fleur du Cap wines at the Bergkelder. The chef Craig Cormack was a real salt fanatic having hunted down dozens of different varieties and experimented with matching them with different wines.
The overall effect of salt on wine is to reduce acidity and fill the wine out which is certainly what happened with the Chardonnay. Tasted on its own before the dinner it was, despite its 14.3% ABV, pleasantly smooth and creamy. Combined with the squid and accompanying rice it tasted much richer, almost Burgundian, a wine of twice the price.
The interesting issue was whether that was due primarily to the salt or the umami-rich dressing which included black sesame seeds and the sweet Indonesian soy sauce kecap manis. Probably a bit of both.
Other cleverly judged pairings during the dinner included venison with smoked salt and a salted chocolate ganache with the Fleur du Cap unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon and flambéed bananas with cinnamon sugar, salted peanut chocolate mousse and tonka bean ice cream with the Noble Late Harvest.
Similar dinners are held on the last Thursday of each month for 290R (£16/$27 - check out the Fleur du Cap Facebook page for details ) but you can also try a selection of salt pairing canapés every weekday at the Bergkelder tasting room for an incredibly reasonable 75R (£4/$7)
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