Thursday, 5 June 2014

Umami Challenge

It is so easy to go a week without fish. Such a week takes a hit on the old Omega 3 levels. I realised it had been a while, so a fish dish was on the menu this evening.

The recipe was Mediterranean Fish. A very easy weeknight cook-up where I baked the kingfish in the oven for 25 minutes covered in olive tapenade, passata and oregano.

The cooking might have been easy, but not so the wine pairing. As I learnt last week at my WSET course, umami is the most difficult wine pairing of all the tastes. And this dish had it in bulk with a big whack of tomato on top of white fish!! The only aspect in my favour was the salty tapenade, which has the ability to bring out the best in wine.

Flametree 2011 Frankland River Shiraz
Based upon what I had learnt about wine and food pairing, I determined that with the salt in the dish, I would have a good chance of tempering a fairly astringent wine.  On top of this, I was really keen to have a go at matching a red wine with a white fish dish.  So I settled on Flametree's 2011 Frankland River Shiraz.  When I bought this wine back in 2012, I had found it slightly lacking in fruitiness so I was hoping the saltiness of the dish might coax out such characteristics.  

If I might say so myself, I was quite impressed.  The wine was a bit closed when first opened and displayed a slight 'animal' aroma.  However, I soon relaxed when spicy cherries and cloves started to jump out at me.  There was a beautifully silky mouthfeel from this opaque, mauve-coloured Shiraz.  The wine neither overwhelmed or detracted from the fish dish.  

Shiraz with fish?  Who would have thought!