While our raison d’être will always remain the creation of distinctive wines and therefore the production of quality grapes, we at Creation are at present also blessed with a bounty of apples, pears, quinces, passion fruit, plums, figs and prickly pears. All ripe and plump and irresistible in their deliciousness!
When last have you eaten a prickly pear? Not those lily-livered ones sometimes available at supermarkets but a truly juicy, brimming-with-flavour fresh and sun-ripened prickly pear. You know – the ones you had to handle with care as a child lest you got ‘stung’ by the thorns?
Well, these are the high days of harvest in the Hemel-en-Aarde and our neighbours recently sent us a gift as generous as it is nostalgic. A few dozen fat and flavourful prickly pears arrived on our doorstep – thorns already removed – and we naturally took up the challenge of pairing them with one of our wines, the Creation Chardonnay. We despatched some of the ripe (green) prickly pears to a friend who is based in the city with a bottle of Chardonnay and she reported back that the chilled fruit and wine made a wonderfully refreshing pairing.
On peeling the fruit and pouring the wine we compared colours and found a most pleasing contrast between gentle green (prickly pear) and mellow yellow (the Chardonnay). Shrouded in a thick skin the fruit, when exposed, revealed itself as a multi-facetted treat with fresh saltiness just inside the skin and honey sweetness at the kernel. The same amazing complexity can be found in the Creation Chardonnay: crisp minerality followed by glorious layers of sun-kissed pear and peach.
What about texture? Well, the prickly pear is of course renowned for its grainy pips, but also for its fleshy, creamy voluptuousness. An exciting match for the Chardonnay, which although creamy and smooth, reflects the earthy minerality characteristic to Creation’s wines. All in all an unusual and exhilarating pairing, proving once again the food-friendliness of Creation’s wines.
Prickly pears grow readily on the farms around us and have numerous health benefits being high in fibre, antioxidants and carotenoids. They have also been used as an anti-inflammatory directly on insect bites or internally for the intestine. They are popular for making jams and syrups and the Creation Culinary Team recently came up with a delicious dessert which pairs beautifully with the Creation Chardonnay. Click here for the recipe.