Vinul din Cluj

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Romanian wine and Caribbean chicken. Or the other way?


There are few instances where the beauty of cultural fusion is more evident than with wine and food. Cultural features and traditions that would otherwise take lengthy scientific papers to be expressed are simply cooked and eaten together, taking the word fusion to a literal meaning. I have tested recently this wine & food matching between a Caribbean dish and a Romanian wine. Centuries of immigration tradition from all corners of the world in a tropical paradise, meet an old-world style wine with a contemporary twist.

Caribbean chicken

Visiting some friends for a special occasion, I was given the task to choose and bring the wine for dinner, and naturally my first question was related to the nature of the dish: „what’s cooking?”. Caribbean-style chickenis not among the dishes I’m familiar with, so I had to ask some further questions. A certain impression of mystery and surprise was preserved, yet I managed to find out that it would be a flavorful dish, with slow-cooked chicken breast and thighs along with vegetables, spices and brown sugar. When I had it on the plate and in my mouth, I confirmed that the description was quite accurate: the chicken parts were so tender that the meat was flaking easily, and the smaller parts were dissolved into the thick brown sauce, along with carrots, celery and turnips. Actually, the sauce is the main feature of the dish: thick and brown, with a silky and rich texture, it binds all the parts of

Tamaioasa Romaneasca Stirbey dry

this dish together and spreads the spices evenly. It is very filling and comforting, especially if it’s served in a traditional way, with macaroni pie. There is also available an even more traditional version, where the sauce also contains potatoes, beans, flour and coconut milk.

I was quite undecided upon the choice -to go with a fruity and light red, or with a flavorful and crispy white. I have chosen the latter, and it was an inspired choice: Tamaioasa Romaneasca 2011, dry, from Prince Stirbey. This grape, as the Romanian name suggests, boasts rich flavors of incense, ripe quince and Bartlet pears. The nose is very expressive and intense, it almost jumps out of the bottle and the glass, filling the room with subtle, somewhat oriental notes. In the mouth it is surprisingly crispy and fresh; served well chilled,    the acidity is pungent and balanced, and has a wonderful refreshing finish of zesty lemon rind and oranges. It was a great match for the meat and the sauce, having just enough acidity to make the sauce seem less thick, and the fruity flavors brought a wonderful contrast with the heavy texture. This is what I  call globalization.

Romanian wine

macaroni pie

macaroni pie

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This entry was posted on 14 Octombrie 2012 by in English and tagged , , , , , , .

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