Monday, December 25, 2006

BBQ and Wine pairing

Singapore has been experiencing a water-filled December with our highest record of rainfall in the last ten years. My husband and I thought it will help to boost the mood by organizing a BBQ although the bet to having a dry evening could be 50-50. Purely driven by festive optimism, we started our shopping of fine grade meat and ingredients for this event.

First, we visited The Butcher at Holland Village to get the Australian corn fed beef which is supposedly less fatty than Wagyu but just as tender. We also have some freshly prepared lamb and pork sausages. There is salad greens and mushroom that I bought from the Isetan supermarket. Preserved olives and anchovies for the guests while enjoying the aperitifs. With this food in our bag, we are ready for this important occasion where my husband decided to be the head chef for the evening. My task is to focus on beverages, antipasto, salad and creating a comfortable environment for the guests. I am getting excited about the prospect of a great evening albeit a potential downpour of rain.

To bring out the original flavor of the meat, we marinated the beef with our favorite sundried tomato olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and a just small sprinkle of finely grained sea salt. As for salad (Full range of lettuce, red bell peppers, Japanese Tomatoes, button mushrooms) , it is also simply prepared to preserve the freshness of the greens, tossed with spiced olive oil, black pepper, a little salt and preserved black olives. The entire preparation is to enjoy the very fresh ingredients to its original form.

With blessing, the weather got better over the day and by 6pm, it was dry and we were ready to start fire! With the BBQ pit located half way up the hill, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the rain will forget this spot for the rest of the night.

To celebrate the rainless evening, we started off with a refreshing 2004 Gewürztraminer from Thomas Fogarty that promises all the tropical fruits and spices. The signature lychee nose is welcoming. It is rather sweet on the palate and a creamy texture. Although it is not as dry as I would expect, the wine is a good aperitif while starting the fire.

Since all the food is taken care off by my head chef (who is busy at the pit all night, grilling meat on a hot plate), I am more than happy to enjoy the wine and food as it comes. The second wine that I chose was a 2002 Syrah from Roshambo which is a very unique winery. It combines art and wine into its winemaking philosophy and the label designs. Most importantly, the wine turns out to be of great quality! The Syrah is bursting with plums and berries on the nose, spices on the palate leaving behind a lasting impression. The wine is extremely well matched with the grilled beef.

Two more wines were presented for the rest of the evening – Montevina Sauvignon Blanc 2005 and Kent Rasmussen Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 as more guests arrive. The Montevina is great with the simply prepared salad, refreshing the greens with its citrus character. The garlic bread is delicious!
Kent Rasmussen has always been my favorite winery because its wines are refined and neat. The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon is such a wonderful wine with a rich black fruit nose, a full bodied palate and fine tannins. The wine is well balanced and promises longevity.

Throughout the evening, proper wine glasses were used to serve the guests. When I ran a little experiment by asking them to try drinking their wine from water cups, all of them could not believe the difference a glassware could make on the wine! (you may refer to my previous article: The Science of Wine Glasses).

We filled the night with lots of laughter and stories, encouraged by great wine and food. I am happy that my guests have enjoyed themselves and there is not a drop of rain! Cheers!

Copyright of Wine Treasures Pte Ltd

By Cher Lim
Wine Treasures Pte Ltd



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