When Chilean meets Italian
The Jakarta Post
LEAD MAIN: Chilean wine and Italian cuisine blend together to make a perfect match.
Wine pairing has always been a favorite activity for wine connoisseurs, matching the right wine with the right food in order to enhance their palatial enjoyment and bring it to a higher level. Different types of wine have different flavor nuances depending on their terroir, a French term referring to the set of environmental factors that affect a crop’s characteristics, including soil quality and climate conditions.
Chilean wine is quite unique because of Chile’s diverse geographical condition, resulting in different varieties of wine flavors depending on where the winery is located. Therefore, Chilean wine is suitable to be paired with different types of foods.
Recently, Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta’s Rosso Restaurant explored the possibilities of Chilean wine by conducting a wine-and-dine event with Concha y Toro, a Chilean wine brand distributed by PT Mega Beverindo and sold by the popular VIN+ wine store. Organized in the evening of July 14 in the restaurant, the event brought Chilean wine and Italian food together.
Participated in by approximately 65 people, the function featured a six-course menu prepared by Rosso’s Italian chef Gianfranco Pirrone, paired with Concha y Toro’s best wine, Marques de Casa Concha.
Concha y Toro is a winery that was founded in 1883 in Chile, one of the first wineries to be established in the country. It consist of a number of vineyards that total 8,720 hectares in size and are spread throughout the country’s major wine regions, namely Maipo, Maule, Rapel, Colchagua, Curico and Casablanca.
“Chile is a unique country. You can find almost all the climates here and Marques explores the diversity of Chile, the wine varieties that this place produce,” Concha y Toro Asia Zone Wine Ambassador Pablo Pressac told The Jakarta Post before the wine-and-dine event.
He pointed to several examples of how the flavors of the Marques wine varied according to the place where its grapes grow.
“For instance, the chardonnay is very fresh as it grows near the ocean, with lots of minerals from the soil. The syrah, meanwhile, which grows 450 kilometers south of the chardonnay, is a red wine that is very powerful with a full body,” he explained.
According to Pessac, they have decided to pair the Chilean wine with Italian foods for the occasion because Italian cuisine is very popular in Jakarta.
“Basically, however, the wines could also be paired with Asian gastronomies, which have similar flavor characteristics [to the Italian foods],” he said.
Below are some guidelines to pairing Chilean wine with Italian foods based on a review by the Post of the wine pairing at Rosso:
Wine: Concha y Toro, Terrunyo, Sauvignon Blanc, 2008.
Food: Amberjack crudo.
Ingredients: Freshly sliced amberjack fish with parsley-chives purée, avocado mousse and drizzled with ginger-lime vinaigrette.
Review: The savory flavor of the food with its subtle salty nuances blends well with the sauvignon blanc’s fruity and acidic taste. The wine actually lengthens the aftertaste of the food.
Wine: Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha, Chardonnay 2009.
Food: Lombok Blue Crab Trianglo.
Ingredients: Triangle-shaped ravioli filled with Lombok blue crab, toasted hazelnut and cacciuco sauce.
Review: This food is savory, but with sweeter nuances. This is why the food’s flavor works well with that of the wine, which also has a sweeter taste. Similar with the first course, the wine in this course also strengthens the aftertaste of the food.
Wine: Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha, Carmenere 2014.
Food: Summer squash risotto.
Ingredients: Creamy squash risotto with diced foie gras and fontina cheese.
Review: The food has a savory flavor with a predominant sweet touch to it. For those who do not really like sweet foods, the wine could somehow help neutralize the sweetness of the food.
Wine: Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
Food: Spiced duck.
Ingredients: Pan-seared spiced duck breast with creamy polenta, gorgonzola and spicy jus.
Review: The strong taste of the wine fits well with the well-rounded taste of the duck meat. Both the food and the wine have equally strong flavors, so in a way they balance each other out.
Wine: Concha y Toro, Marques Casa Concha, Syrah 2015.
Food: Prime short rib.
Ingredients: Prime short rib with pan-seared Hokkaido scallops, green pea purée, beets and truffle jus.
Review: The strong taste of the wine fits well with the well-rounded taste of the short rib. Both the food and the wine have equally strong flavors, so in a way they balance each other out.
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