In combining winemaking showmanship with culinary artistry, gorgeous flavours with irresistible textures, Creation on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge in the Walker Bay Wine Region enjoys an enviable reputation for their wine and food pairing. And when wine pairing guru Carolyn Martin puts on her traveling shoes, a wonderful tale of tastes can be told…

Carolyn’s most recent culinary adventure first took her to Denmark from where she enthusiastically reported on two successful dinners: at Restaurant Hummer (which means ‘lobster’ in Danish) in Nyhavn, Copenhagen and secondly at Restaurant Goma in Odense. 

At Hummer the highlight was a dish called Torsk med svampebisque, blomsterk og sherry which included grilled fish with seafood mushroom bisque using black trumpet mushrooms. Garnished with nasturtium leaves it paired exquisitely with the Creation Reserve Pinot Noir.

Restaurant Goma was ablaze with fresh proteas … at the same time I was struck by the strong influence of Japanese culture on Danish cuisine. One of my favourite pairings was the tuna sashimi with a fresh ginger drizzle which matched the Creation Viognier perfectly.  While in Odense I also did a trade tasting at Restaurant Marie Louise and was treated to some of their specialities. Good news is that Marie Louise has now listed three Creation wines.

Back in Copenhagen Carolyn visited Løgismose at Nordre Toldbod 16 and also Magasin du Nord (the Harrods of Copenhagen). These incredible stores are famous for fine food and wine and the whole range of Creation wines is available there. “It was also great to see sommeliers who have been supporting us for years and to meet new sommeliers and chefs, all of whom we look forward to collaborate with, introducing some Danish innovation to the Creation experience,” says Carolyn.

But Denmark wasn’t all work and no play. Current art exhibitions focus on the influence of Japanese culture on Danish design and of course Carolyn just had to pop in and check these out while in Copenhagen.

She then flew to Scotland where Jean-Claude joined her in accepting the prestige invitation to do a Creation tasting at the ultra-chic, Michelin two-starred Fairie Glen restaurant at Gleneagles. Afterwards the couple enjoyed an extra special dinner at The House of Turin in Angus.

This 5-star luxury lodge is run by Yvonne Corbett and offers a host of outdoor activities. Her hospitality is unrivalled and JC and I were treated to a royal dinner. Creation wines were paired with a menu of Scotland’s finest scallops, venison and a dessert of local rhubarb and honey panna cotta. Everything locally sourced. The Viognier showed particularly well with the scallops, the Reserve Pinot Noir with the venison and the Chardonnay with the dessert.

Next on their itinerary was a private dinner at Champany Inn, Linlithgow, West Lothian. Click here for a report by Peter Ranscombe on the successful evening.  The Martins then spent a relaxed weekend in Edinburgh with Carolyn especially enjoying the architecture. Dining with JC at The Witchery at the gates to Edinburgh Castle was another highlight.

Then back to ‘work’. And to Carolyn this meant Manchester and a tasting at Suri, a contemporary restaurant serving vibrant Mediterranean-style sharing dishes inspired by the flavours of the Middle East.  The wide and varied menu was ideal to showcase the versatility of Creation’s wines, says Carolyn and explains:

The idea was to taste through these small plates and find out what works best in terms of wine pairings. Among the many hits were the Creation Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc which fared really well with starter dishes such as the chickpea kibbeh with citrus yoghurt and the fig, honey and whipped goat’s-milk cheese salad. The Syrah, Grenache blend was a winner with meaty dishes like the Lebanese lamb with roasted garlic tzatziki while the Chardonnay beautifully complemented seafood such as the tiger prawns with smashed avocado. In fact, being a cool-climate wine, the Chardonnay also matched many of the mildly spicy dishes in terms of intensity, freshness and texture. All in all an amazing exercise in wine pairing!

Next up on Carolyn’s plate was a tasting with Fazenda’s corporate clients – a class act of pairing eight different meat cuts each with a Creation wine. Imagine the generously fruity, slightly spicy Creation Chardonnay with Fazenda’s gammon or pork belly, prepared to perfection. Or the generous ripe berry flavours of the Creation Merlot complementing a juicy beef fillet or Fazenda’s prime lamb … Needless to say, these finely tuned pairings resulted in a wow!  Click here for the menu.

Then on to London, but we’ll continue Carolyn’s taste adventures next week.

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