By James Wambua
There was a time when the art of pairing food and wine was pretty simple. Even novices knew how to do it: For the saucy red stakes, roast or otherwise please take them down with red and if you are taking fish, just order a pour of white wine. Such dining rules were easy to grasp and put to practice then when the range of wines was also limited.
Marcelo Marasco, a lecturer on Argentine wine and the grapes growing regions of the South American country took guests through an elaborate 5 course meal prepared by Chef Hector Boo at Picazzo Restaurant, The Hub Karen.
To go with the starter, king fish gravalax with pickle peaches and pears dressing, was a 2014 vintage: Catena Alta Chardonnay. With taste of pineapple and butter on the palate, Marcelo’s pick wowed the guests with its freshness and long finish, ushering them to a night of exploring the vintages from the Argentine family owned winery.
Picazzo restaurant chef Hector Boo whipped together a pulled lamb dish for the second course which was paired just right with Catena Alta Malbec 2012, a wine blend made from Malbec grapes. Harvested from different climatic zones in Mendoza, the wine blend portrays beautiful minerality and lively acidity with spectacular blueberry, black currant, licoruice, vanilla and black pepper coming through.
Marcelo’s father and grandfather come from viticulture backgrounds and so he grew up working in the family owned vineyards.
One of my favorite pours for the night went to the pricey Catena Zapata Adrianna Malbec. (It is retailing at Sh10,000 per bottle from WOW Beverages). It was uniquely paired with a blue cheesecake made with mulled wine. And yes, just as it was paired, the dark violet Catena Zapata Nicasia Malbec loves roast meat much as you do. To get the best of the guests’ taste buds, chef Boo served a meal of brunuasie potatoes and roast beef with smoked sweet corn.
To cap it all, Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino is the wine that you might want to splash out on for a very special occasion with friends or family. It is a blend of both Adrianna and Nicasia, offering y0u the best of both worlds. At Picazzo Restaurant, overlooking the lake at The Hub Karen mall (what a sight?) we wined it down with goat cheese salad that was carefully prepared with nuts and a sin-sin dressing. This wine variety helps the sweetness come out sharper on one hand with the flavors of dark berries, giving your a palate stunning, lasting finish.
If you want to experience a wine tasting similar to the one at Picazzo Restaurant, checkout the next wine dinner from WOW Beverages.
Bodega Catena Zapata is a family owned winery established in 1902 at Mendoza, Argentina, by Italian immigrant Nicolas Catena.