I’m not a stickler for wine and food pairing and my penchant for accompanying heavily seasoned red meat with zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc has caused many a sommelier to cringe. I do however like to be armed with knowledge about things as you never know what may come in handy when chanced with an appropriate occasion. It is no wonder then that I headed out to Que Pasa Restaurant in Karen for this event– an evening sampling great food and wine.
Arriving fashionably late, albeit unintentionally, Nederburg‘s Brand Manager- Kelvin Wanjira- was already walking guests through the appetizer whose accompanying wine of choice was Lyric, at the rather intimate affair. Next up was the starter, a crispy crab with fennel salad and leek puree that instantly had me crafting a love song in my head. It was paired with the very rich Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay. Que Pasa’s in-house sommelier, Lucy Nduma, explained that the choice of this white wine was to dissolve the overwhelming smell from crab.
Chef Anthony hit the spot yet again with the main course; pan-seared spring duck with root vegetables, lime emulsion and wilted mushrooms. This was paired with the heavy, bold, masculine and rich Baronne which was very befitting, I must say. My favourite wine was however Stein from their foundation range. It is a white blend that’s light, fruity and oddly made me think of pop music! Very up my palate’s lane. It accompanied the desert; a green tea and milk flan with raspberry samosa, cardamon and orange crumble, and horseradish ice cream.
Chef Anthony’s dad was in attendance. There were hugs between the two as we were told that this was actually his first time sampling his son’s menu at the restaurant. Son shed a tear or two as father expressed his pride. It was beautiful. Or maybe I had just had too much wine and you could show me a picture of a white blank surface and I would call it beautiful (then frame it, call it art and sell it for Ksh 2 million). There was also a Q&A session where the winner got to walk way with a five liter bottle of Caubernet Sauvignon. Oh that lucky chap!
At the end of it all, Kelvin explained that their aim had been to achieve varietal appreciation of one of Africa’s most awarded brands of wine and if you didn’t enjoy them all, at least you enjoyed one.
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