Once upon a time in a secluded little enclave on the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, there was a talented culinary team who loved nothing better than to surprise and delight their guests with a feast of aromas, flavours, textures and colours. To ensure that their offerings remain fresh and always on trend, they introduced a most novel concept in wine and food pairing: the Story of Creation.
According to Creation co-owner and pairing guru Carolyn Martin, the ever-evolving Story of Creation Pairing Menu celebrates the estate’s spirit of innovation with an exciting variety of themes. “Our latest menu is titled ‘Heritage Story’. To be launched on 30 August, it comprises six palate-pampering courses or chapters, artfully paired with our award-winning wines.”
Heritage? Why the Heritage Story of Creation? Well, says Carolyn, thereby hangs a tale – in fact, quite a few! “With September being Heritage Month in South Africa the choice of the theme was kind of natural. But whose heritage were we going to celebrate? Jean-Claude of course hails from Switzerland, where our two children were also born. My roots are here in South Africa where the cultural differences are as vast as they are wonderful.”
Luckily the Creation team loves challenges and what’s more, at Creation Wines originality rules! And so it is not surprising that the new Heritage Story of Creation Menu turned out to be a magnificent fusion of cultures and backgrounds, inputs and outputs.
“From dishes representing the hot favourites of days gone by to modern cuisine capturing the latest culinary trends, our Heritage Story strings together a wealth of nostalgic tastes and flavours with an even greater dollop of innovation and creativity,” says Carolyn.
A generous example is the Introductory or ‘Welcome’ course which includes freshly baked Zopf, which is of course a traditional Swiss treat but now in a delectable South African guise: Zopf Vetkoek served with old-fashioned ‘Suurvytjie’ Jam and wait for it … Biltong! Paired with the vivaciously crisp and fruity Creation Grenache Noir, Viognier blend this is a creamy sweet, sour and savoury sensation and an irresistible sample of cross culture inventiveness.
Chapter 2 is a succulent feast of indigenous Cape Abalone (locally known as ‘perlemoen’) served with Capers, Red Onion, Lemon, Spring Onion, Garlic, Kelp and Samphire. Remarking on the pairing with the Creation Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend Carolyn says that the saltiness of the dish brings out the sweetness in the wine, opposites attract … and voilà, the minerality is uplifted!
Chapter 3 is titled ‘Inspiration’ and the gorgeous Coconut Poached Line-fish, Banana Leaf and Apricot Masala Salsa combined with the single-vineyard Creation Reserve Chardonnay is nothing less than an inspiration for the senses. “While celebrating our Cape Malay culinary heritage the aromatic masala salsa is a delightful foil for the vibrant yet elegant wine bouquet. The creamy texture complements the buttery nuances in the wine while the coconut and apricot bring out the toastiness in the Chardonnay. It is an intense yet at the same time light dish: a chic, modern crown for our Queen of White,” remarks Carolyn. She also proudly points out that Creation obtains all their fresh fish via ABALOBI, a mobile app suite and programme aimed at social justice and poverty alleviation in the small-scale fisheries chain. You can go to http://abalobi.info/about/ for more information.
What will a South African heritage menu be without a lamb cutlet? The next chapter features Lamb Loin, Star Anise Poached Pear, Polenta, Goat’s Milk Cheese, Parmesan and Sorrel – all enhanced by the award-winning Creation Reserve Pinot Noir through contrast as well as similarity. Thus the savoury lamb is beautifully counterweighted by the layers of dried fruit in the wine. The goat’s milk cheese polenta on the other hand supports the crisp acidity in the wine, while the star anise is in harmony with the piquant spiciness of the wine. “A dish of earthy complexity complementing a wine with similar characteristics,” comments Carolyn.
And the menu continues to impress … Chapter 5 for instance offers Springbok Shank with Waterblommetjies, Samp Purée and Jus – pure South African heritage and pure delight with the Creation Syrah, Grenache blend. This is a dish rich in umami with the waterblommetjies adding freshness as well as texture. The samp contributes creaminess and combines brilliantly with the soft tannins of the wine.
Then for dessert, Chapter 6: bring on the much loved Malvapoeding with Apricot, Orange, Popcorn Crumb and Coconut Yoghurt! Here you have one of the most popular Sunday desserts in South Africa paired with the ever so versatile Creation Viognier. The gooey malva and creamy coconut yoghurt textures flatter the smoothness of the wine. The stone-fruit in the Viognier sings beautifully with the fruit in the dessert, lifting both sweet and sour notes. The nuttiness of the popcorn adds texture and dimension … with a cheeky little daisy contributing a touch of spring.
Referring to the alchemy of wine and food pairing, where the combination of the two components creates a magical third dimension, Carolyn says: “The greatest culinary experiences are achieved by blending time-honoured recipes and methods with innovative techniques, transforming craft into art. Because sustainability is so close to our hearts, our menus will always feature the finest and freshest produce sourced from our neighbours in the Overberg and surrounds.”
Creation Wines is situated 120 km southeast of Cape Town, on the outskirts of the coastal resort of Hermanus. The Heritage Story of Creation Pairing Menu will be launched on 1 September 2019 – be sure to make a reservation at email@example.com, tel: 028 212 1107. Please specify any dietary requirements: standard, vegetarian and vegan options are available. The small-plate Heritage Story menu comprises six courses and eight wines at R695 per person; the pescatarian and vegetarian small-plate Heritage Story menu is priced at R630 per person. All Creation wines are vegan friendly. For wine orders, please go to the Creation online shop at https://shop.creationwines.com/.