The Magic of Mushrooms and Fleur du Cap Wines

In the old days, pairing wine and food was made easier by rules such as “white wine with fish” and “red wine with meat.” But every rule has its exception. Mushrooms must be one of the most difficult foods to match with wine and the variety of mushrooms available on the market these days makes the task even more daunting.

The general rule when it comes to matching a wine with mushrooms is based on how they are cooked. French cuisine advocates that “less is more”. In other words, keep it simple and you will be able to taste the flavour of the mushrooms.

The ”less is more” rule came to its own over a delectable exotic mushroom inspired lunch, paired with Fleur du Cap wines at Die Bergkelder, situated in the heart of Stellenbosch. Mushroom fundi, Dr Adriaan Smit, from the Gourmet Mushroom Academy, known for his in-depth knowledge of the amazing world of mushrooms, created a five course feast that satisfied all the senses.

Mushroom fundi, Dr Adriaan Smit.

A lot of thought went into matching the dishes with wines. Mushrooms don’t have a singular flavour profile, as they range from the mildest of button mushrooms to porcini that pack a punch. Each suggests a different wine pairing, from lighter-bodied and more delicate for the former to fuller-bodied and more powerful for the latter.

“Earthy mushrooms pair best with earthy wines,” Dr Smit advises. An entrée of Enoki and Wood Ear mushrooms were served with the Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Viognier 2011, followed by a flavoursome Eryngii mushroom crust dish which paired superbly with  the Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Semillon 2011.

Entrée of Enoki and Wood Ear mushrooms paired with Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Viognier 2011.

The Eryngii mushroom, before and after it was cooked.

For the creamy Porcini risotto Dr Smit selected the Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot 2010, whilst the delicious Shiitake Duxelle was served with Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Pinotage 2010, which really brought out the meatiness and strong flavours of the shiitake mushrooms.

Shiitake mushroom, before and after it was cooked.

The decadent mushroom pancakes were a first for me, as I never even imagined using mushrooms in a dessert! The Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2010 complemented the sweet delight to the tee.

Lemony mushrooms pancakes paired with Fleur Du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2010.

Mushroom and wine fanatics can join Dr Adriaan Smit at Die Bergkelder on Thursday, 25 October, for another unforgettable exotic mushroom inspired dinner paired with the naturally crafted wines of Fleur du Cap. The evening promises to be extremely informative and fun and those interested to attend the dinner can contact Karine Retief on 021 809 8225 to secure a spot. The cost is R195 per person which includes a five course meal and all wines.

The Gourment Mushroom Academy also offer a variety of mushroom training course, focusing on the picking and growing of mushrooms. Click here for more information and pricing.