Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
Roman legionnaires were paid in salt – Salarium, the origin of the word Salary, your happy day at the end of the month, is named after it.
South African’s consume far too much salt, but imagine life without it? Everything would turn beige and taste the same.
Well, maybe not. But when Craig Cormack’s invite came in to come and taste his 4 course wine and salt pairing with Fleur du Cap wines I just had to go.
I suppose I wanted my preconceptions shattered, isn’t it all about more or less salt?
It turned out to be a palate teasing tour which combined the unfiltered wines of Fleur du Cap together with dishes which explored the delicate flavours and surprising nuances of salts from around the world.
We started with cured salmon paired with a glass of Fleur du Cap Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Semillon Viognier 2010.
Sprinkling some Khoisan salt over the food showed how different this experience would be. Khoisan salt is made from seawater pumped from a 400 year old underwater lake. It’s siphoned through old seashell beds and the whole process imparts a briny taste with high calcium content with lower than normal sodium.
Next up was a fish baked in Oryx Pan salt from Etosha in Namibia. Unfiltered 2010 Semillon helped wash this down. When you pulled the salt jacket off the flesh it was deliciously moist and flavoursome without being salty. The salt itself had a mineraly clean taste.
Algarve salt from Portugal is natural sea salt, scraped of the top of salt pans on sunny windless days using wooden shovels.
Rich in magnesium and potassium it worked together beautifully with Salmon Pastrami and Preserved Lemon Salad. The tropical
fruit and acidic balance of the unfiltered Fleur du Cap Sauvignon Blanc proved the ideal wine to accompany this dish.
Gray salt from Guerande on the Loire Estuary in France accompanied the Chocolate Tart and Lemon Grass Ice Cream. Salt and chocolate? you might ask.
Try a bar of Lindt Salt Chocolate to see what this ususual taste experience is about. Of course we had to finish with the Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest, one of my favourite dessert wines.
The condiments holder contained a selection of other salts that Craig did not use, and the most unusual was a sulphuric Pakistani Volcanic Salt.
Salt, like all other nice things, in moderation, really enhances food and wine pairings.
You need to ignore Oscar Wilde when he commented, “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”.
Not with salt Oscar, not with salt.
The 4 course Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Wine and Salt Pairing dinners cost R400 per person, including the tasting, food and wine. It begins with Canapes at 19:00 hrs and runs on September 29th, October 27th and November 24th.
Book with Nadia Ferreira at Die Bergkelder on 021 809 8025