Sew&Sew Pinot Noir 2013
It was one of those pre-Christmas fairs where you find a mixed bag of stalls, each offering some lineup of products which can be successfully disguised as Christmas presents. My eye caught a familiar shape of a wine bottle on one of the tables and I made a beeline to it past the competitors spruiking jewellery, chocolates and cuff-links. The bottle contained Pinot Noir, but not my favourite type. You see, I like Pinots which have some depth of flavour, but in my usual price range I mostly find lighter versions of this variety. In fact, when I explained my preferences to one winemaker whose Pinot I didn’t like, he said that I shouldn’t drink Pinot Noir at all because it was not supposed to have intense flavour. This is true for many Pinots and Sew&Sew was not an exception. It had red currant flavour with a bit of spiciness, and initially I didn’t want to buy it. Still there was a hint of black berries in the aroma and in the finish, that made me change my mind.
Being a versatile variety, Pinot Noir matches a wide range of food, but for each release you have to find its perfect pairing. My initial attempts to find a food match were rather frustrating. I started with Havarti and realised, or rather confirmed, that I didn’t like that cheese with wine at all. Any wine I tried it with tended to reveal a certain chemical smell in the cheese, which reminded me of polyethylene.
Then I opportunistically tried Sew&Sew Pinot Noir with home-made meals which were not specifically designed to match the wine, and the results were mixed. Pork patties with pickles were not too bad, but I wouldn’t pair them again. Beef casserole in rich tomato sauce was not a match at all. I blame it on the sauce because garlic beef with brown rice went surprisingly well with this Pinot.
Finally, I decided to subject this bottle to the ultimate test, the textbook example, the definitive Pinot match — the duck. And then I botched it. While daydreaming about the delicious medium grilled duck breast I ate at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Restaurant, I managed to buy a pack of frozen duck fillets. I don’t know about you but I don’t dare to cook anything frozen to a grade below well-done. Still, a thoroughly roasted duck in garlic, oregano and celery seed rub was a better match than all previous dishes, and provided a glimpse of what this pairing should taste like when properly cooked.
There was only one glass of wine remaining in the bottle when I bought a pack of fresh Luv-a-Duck duck fillets at Woolworths and very carefully grilled them to medium. And there it was — a perfect match. The wine’s acidity cut through the skin fat, and the varietal flavour blended harmoniously with the meat producing a wonderful taste which was greater than just the sum of the ingredients.
After this last-ditch pairing I felt relieved and redeemed in my own eyes — buying a 30-dollar bottle of wine after tasting, and then admitting that I didn’t actually like it would be very close to a definition of “stupid” in my books. But now I can say that any time I plan to have a duck for dinner and think about a wine match, Sew&Sew Pinot Noir will definitely be on the list.
|Date of purchase:||08/12/2013|
|Date of tasting:||09/10/2016|