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In this popular series we feature selected sommeliers from top restaurants around the world. Each chooses his or her favourite Creation wine, tells us why and recommends a matching dish. This week we welcome the inventive Tinashe Nyamudoka from Cape Town’s famous The Test Kitchen in Woodstock.

Tinashe says:

More often than not, my wine pairing inspiration comes after the chef has created a dish. It’s up to me to find a wine which can be enjoyed without masking the flavours created in the kitchen. It must be expressive on its own but should also complement the flavours and at best invoke another dimension, offering a combined taste experience.

To me Creation’s wines are special because they are true to their unique, cool climate terroir – an authentic reflection of the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. I love their fresh elegance and above all their food friendly nature which allows one to pair them with a variety of cuisine.

My top favourite must be the Creation Art of Pinot Noir. Brimming with red and dark fruit and beautifully silky on the palate it is the perfect pairing for The Test Kitchen’s magnificent duck prepared by our Head Chef, Ivor Jones. It is brined, laced with sticky soy, cooked sous-vide and then finished in the oven. This leaves the meat pink but well cooked. It is served with pecan nut and cherry salsa, braised endive, barbeque meringue and a rich cherry jus.

Click here to read further.

The Joy of Harvest

At Creation we’ve always believed that what grows together goes together. With the grape harvest in full swing our culinary team have decided to also look at other local seasonal fruit, choosing quince and figs in their prime to prepare us a feast of a menu!

Quince – “A Retro Revival of all those Harvest Memories”

Creation co-owner Carolyn Martin just loves quince: “It’s one of my favourite harvest treats and one of my all-time best Pinot pairings. The loveliest fruit transformed by cooking – from hard and inedible to pink, soft and aromatic with rose and spice and all things nice!”

So two of our team members, Stephanie and Marike, set out to pick the fruit at a neighbouring farm where the quince trees are just laden with these rustic delights. And voilà … the Creation culinary team surprised us with their simply sensational Rack of Lamb with Fried Quince and Roasted Root Vegetables with Quince Jam and Lamb Jus. (Click here for the recipe.)

It’s the perfect autumn pairing for Pinot Noir! The scent of cooked quince is partly rose and partly spice, aromas which are echoed in the wine. The perfumed flavour profile of quince provides an exciting contrast to the savoury dish while the freshness of the wine cuts through the richness of the lamb.

Having created the perfect main dish pairing for Pinot, the culinary team then prepared an irresistible matching dessert: Cardamom Chocolate, Quince and Cranberry Jelly with Liquorice Custard, Tarragon Shortbread and Fresh Blueberries. (Click here for the recipe.)

This completely new take on jelly and custard, so light and so delicious, is an ingenious combination of the lightest and most elegant flavours, matching the layers and complexity of Pinot perfectly.  Cardamom (the third most expensive spice in the world, surpassed only by saffron and vanilla), has intensely aromatic characteristics and pairs well with quince jelly which has notes of rose and spice. Together with the cranberry jelly which has good acidity and a touch of sweetness it’s truly a recipe for success! Add to this the liquorice flavours of the silky crème anglaise (or custard) and the tarragon and it’s fantastic with the Creation Pinot Noir.

Figs – Seductive since Ancient Times

Bell or pear shaped with succulent flesh, the delicious sweet fig is of course one of the world’s most popular fruits. It is rich in natural health benefiting phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins with dried figs a highly concentrated source of minerals and vitamins.

As another perfect pairing for our Pinot, the Creation culinary team conjured up a magnificent recipe for Goat’s-Milk Cheese Mousse with Adam’s Figs, Pomegranate, Thyme Shortbread, Berry Coulis, Sumac and Beetroot Tuille.  (Click here for the recipe.)

Adams’s figs are a wonderful late summer to autumn fruit and part of the mulberry family. They have sweet as well as astringent characteristics, similar to Pinot Noir, while the weight (medium) is also an ideal match in terms of balance for this gorgeous velvety smooth, medium-bodied wine. Pomegranate, sumac, raspberries, thyme and beetroot all have flavours in affinity with the wine, enhancing the freshness, earthiness, mouthfeel and sweet notes in the Creation Pinot Noir.

Carolyn Martin with the Creation Culinary team. From left to right - Eleanor Niehaus, Jaco Grové, Carolyn Martin, Diane Pick, Juline Daniëls and Francois Hugo.
Carolyn Martin with the Creation Culinary team. From left to right – Eleanor Niehaus, Jaco Grové, Carolyn Martin, Diane Pick, Juline Daniëls and Francois Hugo.

A big thanks to Creation’s new culinary team who have kindly agreed to share their delectable recipes with us.

Highlights and Happenings on the Creation Calendar

Hermanus

12 March, 9h00 – 13h00: Hermanus Country Market, Hermanus Cricket Club A small market with a lot of soul where good friends meet, hug and eat … You can look forward to an amazing array of fresh organic produce, homemade delicacies, artisan breads, probiotic yoghurts, handmade cheeses, home smoked fish, happy hen eggs, wheat-free bakes and local wines. For more information click here.

Overberg

19 March, 11h00 – 17h00: The Overberg Wine and Food Festival, 36 Main Rd, Greyton Showcasing the Overberg’s most exquisite wine (and food!) this is a festival not to be missed. Live entertainment by The Rivertones. Tickets: R150 including wine tasting and booklet. For more information click here.

Cape Town

10 April, 14h00 – 17h00: Pinot Noir Tasting, Vineyard Hotel, Colinton Rd, Newlands Forming part of the Vineyard Hotel’s annual ‘Tastes’ calendar, this is a special festival for Pinot Noir aficionados, showcasing the wines of some of the best South African Pinot Noir producers. Guests are invited to sample an exciting variety, accompanied by canapés and live music. Cost: R215 per person and guests are encouraged to book early. To book: please email or call 021 657 4500.

13 April, 17h30 – 21h00: Tuning the Vine Returning for its fourth #Innercitywineroute adventure, Tuning the Vine continues to rock the city with wine. With last year’s events drawing some 4 000 on-foot wine tuners, this year’s Tuning the Vine has once again created some good wine experiences on the hippest streets of the City.  For more details click here. Tickets available at Quicket online – or collect a ticket at one of the ticketing stations at 91 Loop and Orphanage Cocktail Emporium.

Gauteng

16 March, 18h30: Conversations at Protea Hotel Parktonian All Suite, Braamfontein We are delighted to announce the date and venue for the Other Foundation’s second Conversations JHB event of 2016! The Skylevel Bar and roof terrace with superb views of the Johannesburg skyline is the perfect place to enjoy some great company, wine and food on a late summer’s evening. For more details click here.

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