Tue | Aug 4, 2020

Smoke this, Sip that

Published:Tuesday | August 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMRocheda Bartley/Lifestyle Writer

Fine-tasting American wine, smooth but filling cheese, and mouth-watering meats pooled together a group of Jamaican chefs and food importers recently for an evening of pairing great flavours.

Held at the US Embassy, the American-inspired initiative focused on educating food providers about preparing and complementing the foreign nation's cuisine. Smoke this, Sip that was the theme of the day.

The embassy's chargÈ d'affaires, Eric Khant, whetted the guests' appetite with great American wines.

The aroma of a mixture of wines and cheese filled the room. Gillian Ferguson cheered the taste testing. It started with smelling for great savours then curiously delving into the delicacies. Cook Up Creations was the caterer of the day.

First up, they had the Robert Mondavi Chardonnay wine with Belgioso Parmesan cheese. The taste of rich and creamy baked apples, poached pears, and pineapples balanced with baking spice and citrus met their palates. And the hard cheese aged for over 10 months completed the opening experience.

They then went for the Wente Reisling. This semi-great sweet delicacy was paired with a four-month-old slightly smooth and blue-veined Great Lakes Gorgonzola cheese and a slice of jerk marinated top sirloin cap kabobs in bearnaise jerk sauce.

Next up was the Beringer Founders Estate Pinot Noir with bursting flavours of raspberries and spices. It fell light on the palates of the tasters and was paired with alouette-montrachet goat cheese. Braised and deboned oxtail wonton ended this test.

Silver Palm Zinfandel, a blend of a little Petit Syrah and Barbera wines, followed. It was paired with borden extra sharp cheddar cheese and Alexander's Restaurant's own Chef Dekrines' sweetwood-smoked centre cut top sirloins.

The Robert Mondavi's Woodbridge Merlot was the talk of the town. The everyday wine was simple and pleasant. Matched with the mild semi-hard Borden Monterey Jack cheese and roasted split striploin with Fischer and Wieser roasted raspberry chipotle sauce, it soothed the sensory panellists.

The tempting affair ended with a final glass of another Robert Mondavi's, the Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. The delectable dark ruby red wine was joined with the Great Lakes Gorgonzola cheese and grilled ground beef sliders topped with carmelised onions, chipotle mayo and Gorgonzola.