Any sommelier worth their salt will tell you that the food must come first and that wine is a condiment, and second to the food itself. With the first course of the winning menu being Chef Michelle Matthews' Spot Prawn Escabeche, the obvious pairing would be Manzanilla for its brightness and salinity. However, when Sommelier Ian Adams tasted the unique interpretation of the dish which employs many savory elements including saffron, tomato, chive and cured "mojama" tuna, they screamed "young Amontillado!" to him. In order to truly open up those flavors, an older, slightly oxidized Manzanilla Pasada maintained the freshness and salinity while bringing more savory oxidative flavors into the picture.
Find the recipe here.
With the thoughtfulness employed with the match, it's no wonder that Mr. Adams also took home the prize for Best Sommelier.
26 February 2016