On a cold winter’s evening, I’m generally only interested in three things – a warm meal, a glass of vino, and my passion-killer pink bunny slippers. Since I haven’t yet let my standards drop to the extent where I’ll go out in public in my slippers, I naturally think twice when an invite for an evening ‘do’ lands in my inbox in winter. Fortunately, my love of good food and wine trumps my fondness for my bunny slippers.
So last Thursday, appropriately shod, I drove into town to Kyoto Garden Sushi in Lower Kloofnek Road for an evening with the lovely people from KWV. Fresh from cleaning up at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show with their flagship The Mentors wines and a few others, there were broad smiles all around. But I wasn’t there to taste The Mentors, I was there to get acquainted with their Classic Collection range. Say KWV, and many immediately think brandy (I’m rather partial to a snifter of their 10-year old myself). But of course KWV is about way more than brandy, so I was looking forward to rubbing shoulders with their Classic Collection.
Yellowtail ceviche with Sauvignon Blanc. King crab paired with Chenin. Melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu beef with Shiraz… You get the idea. I was in foodie heaven. (Thanks Kyoto Garden Sushi!) More importantly, I was in wine heaven because this range is right up my street – cheap enough for an everyday tipple and good enough to open for your misguided wine snob mates. I liked the lot, but my favourite of the evening was their Chenin. Retailing shy of R45, it’s full of fruit (as indeed is the entire range), but not in that cloying the-winemaker-could-not-be-bothered kind of way.
At these prices they’re perfect not just for drinking, but for cooking with too, so off I went at the end of a fabulous evening, determined to whip up something with wine. Being as I’m quite a classy sort, Boeuf Bourguinon and Coq Au Vin naturally came to mind. They’re basically the same thing, except for the ‘chicken or beef’ bit. Think thyme, garlic, pearl onions, bacon, button mushrooms and a bottle of red. Pure 70s retro. I went for chicken and used a bottle of KWV Shiraz. It was awesome BUT… white meat cooked in red wine = purple-blue food. About as attractive as a beer-bellied bloke in a Speedo. Not exactly the kind of thing I want to photograph. So I threw tradition out the window and made it again – with white wine. And because I’d already broken the rules, I added a dollop of crème fraîche too.