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Wine and food pairing at Seven Grill & Lounge

written by EatOut 18th July 2014
Sommelier Victoria Mulu, Chef Kiran Jethwa and one of the wine makers at Seven Grill & Lounge. COURTESY

Sommelier Victoria Mulu, Chef Kiran Jethwa and one of the wine makers at Seven Grill & Lounge. COURTESY

Wines of the World recently hosted a five-course pairing dinner with Seven Grill & Lounge at the Village Market, led by Sommelier Victoria Mulu-Munyoki.

Each course was carefully selected by Chef Kiran Jethwa, and the chef’s hand in the wine choices always makes for a more interesting dining experience. The tasting took place in Seven’s beautiful private room at a long table surrounded by shelves of wines.

Each guest was welcomed with a glass of Boschendal 2009 Grande Cuvee Brut – an appropriately festive start to a lovely dinner. The sparkling wine had a delicate and lasting effervescence and a golden straw colour, with excellent balance and a lasting, crisp finish.

It was perfect to drink before the meal, with enough substance to drink on its own, preparing the palette for the meal to follow.

Marinated fish

The meal began with a kingfish ceviche with toasted sesame and fresh coriander. The marinated fish had a meaty texture and clean fresh taste, though the acidity of the citrus and vinegar made it a tough dish to pair with wine.

We tasted Boschendal’s Chardonnay Pinot Noir, a full-bodied and complex blend with hints of refreshing lemon and apricot on the nose, and flavours of citrus, tropical fruit and a touch of spice in the finish. Though I would have preferred it with the contrast of a fattier or creamier dish, the wine was well-balanced with a solid structure.

Boschendal Chardonnay was a nice partner for an asparagus and brie tartlet with red onion marmalade and baby spinach. Though the wine was fermented in oak as well as stainless steel barrels, the result felt more crisp and mineral than expected, with a good acidity and tartness in the finish, providing contrast with the creaminess of the brie.

Complex flavours

Expertly prepared, slow-cooked octopus with roasted garlic, paprika cream and olives was a standout dish, with challenging flavours to pair with wine. The Shiraz-Cabernet blend stood up to the complex flavours in the dish with its velvety feel, ripe plum and berry flavours, and a touch of black pepper in the finish.

The fruitiness of the Shiraz grapes, combined with the structure imparted by the Cabernet made this an excellent choice for the strong flavours in the octopus.

A deep purple-coloured pure Shiraz was poured to accompany the 21-day aged centre cut rump beef with berry jus and stilton butter. The meat was delicious in texture and taste, made more luxurious by the tart berry jus and rich stilton butter.

The Shiraz offered a full body with strong fruit flavours and a slight spiciness in the finish, with the fruitiness complementing the berry jus and the spiciness adding contrast to the creamy stilton butter.

Dessert was a chocolate ganache tart with popping candy (yes, like the insane technicolor “Pop Rocks” I remember from my youth) and mascarpone cream.

The tart was rich and purely indulgent, with the candy adding a bit of fun and the mascarpone cutting the sweetness just enough for balance and contrast. With this, the Boschendal Reserve Collection 2011 Vin d’Or seemed almost too much sweetness in one course.

However, the wine was well-balanced in its tropical fruit and honey flavours, and slightly zesty citrus finish. I may have preferred to pair the sweet wine with something less sweet, though the chocolate dessert and the Vin d’Or were both excellent on their own.

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