Alchemy in the Kitchen – Cooking with Wine

Food and wine form as much a natural partnership in the kitchen as they do on the table. The rule is a wine that is not good enough for drinking will never be good enough for cooking.

When pairing food and wine at the table it is essential to use a wine that is similar in taste, flavour, texture and character as the wine in the dish. These features will after all influence the style of the dish and therefore the pairing experience at the table. There are classic recipes or regional dishes requiring specific wines or wines of a certain style to create a particular effect.

At Creation about 70 percent of our dishes have wine as a component, whether as a flavouring agent in marinades, a pickling agent, for poaching or braising or in the sauce or jus. In desserts wine enhances shimmering jellies, refreshing ices/sorbets and creamy egg custards. We also use it in bread and to create wine salt.

Dishes at Creation with wine as an ingredient

A dash of Creation Viognier is added to our pickled fish – a traditional Cape Malay dish – which is then paired with the Viognier. We also use our Viognier in apricot jelly. The Creation Pinot Noir is used in our Pinot Noir bread. And speaking of Pinot bread: our chef recently created a gorgeous quince, pistachio and saffron bread and butter pudding which is served with honey and basil whipped cream. There are simply hundreds and maybe thousands of examples. Here are just a few:

Infusing meats. Wine combined with aromatic vegetables, herbs and spices produce a fragrant marinade in which meat can be steeped before cooking. It is a flavouring agent and can be turned into a rich sauce. The tannins in wine also break down fibres in the meat to make it more tender and digestible.