Chocolate Pudding and Red Wine
01 January 1970
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Jenny Crwys–Williams : Old Mutual Live Wine Edition, exclusive to Old Mutual Live, on mobile, on digital, on demand. We’ve been talking food and wine recently, lovely dessert wines, matched by Anna Trapido’s recipes, but here is something just a little bit different.
A Nomu easy, easy baked dessert, chocolate dessert in a teacup, matched by wine expert Angela Lloyd to three red wines. I know she’s been slaving on this. Of course the recipes and the wines do not need to be restricted to winter. Angela Lloyd, welcome to the show, thank you.
Angela Lloyd: Thank you Jenny.
JCW: Angela, listen, I was just thinking, what can we do because it’s almost but not quite spring and I was thinking, still, those lovely chocolate desserts. Everybody now is thinking about serving chocolate desserts, not necessarily with a dessert wine, but with a red wine.
AL: Absolutely and people never think of something like chocolate with a red wine because of tannins and things like that. But there are certain wines that when they’ve got the richness of fruit or just the body in them, they go so well with chocolate and the darker the better actually.
JCW: I was thinking Rhone wines and red currants and things, you’re saying no?
You can pair red wines with chocolate
AL: Well, funnily enough, the first one I’ve come up with is a Shiraz and it comes from Bloemendal in Durbanville and it’s their Water Lilly range, 2014. It’s a very approachable wine now, but it’s got lovely dark sort of fruit to it, ripe. It’s quite luscious, although it’s still got good form to it as well.
It’s not flabby and sweet, it’s dry, but the tannins aren’t too marked. So it goes very well with this Nomu cake which they recommend also putting some cream or ice cream with that. I didn’t do that because that will completely spoil the taste of the red wine.
JCW: I know that you’ve been cooking, which you didn’t expect to do but nonetheless and did it work out fine?
AL: Yes, but I actually did a chocolate cake in a soup dish because I don’t have a cup which would stand the oven and I don’t have a microwave.
JCW: And we won’t tell anybody about the state of your cellphone either or the fact that it’s about 9 million years old. On that basis, on the cooking that you did, whether it’s in a soup bowl or a plate or whatever, what’s how you chose the three red wines to go with it.
AL: Very much so, yes. I had an idea in my head before because as you know, I’m working very hard on the Platter Guide at the moment. There’s nothing more soothing at the end of supper than to have some chocolate and I’ve still got some red wine in my glass from supper. So it made a perfect soothing partnership between the two and this was just as good. As Paul says, it is such an easy dish to make.
JCW: All right, so I love the idea because I think if you go away for a holiday weekend or you are sitting watching the whales beginning to come in, all of that happening down in the Western Cape. Any day now the whales are going to be there aren’t they?
AL: Yes, I believe they’ve been spotted already and the flowers are out as well, so it’s a great time to be here and it’s still cold, as you say.
JCW: And if you go away, as we would be here, for a trout fishing weekend, it’s an easy enough recipe to do there. I thought it sounded easy, but I haven’t cooked it.
AL: It’s very easy and including the wonderful ‘just add water’ chocolate, that’s what makes it. Then there’s a bit of flour, a little bit of sugar, baking powder. But it takes five minutes to whip it up and put it in the oven. Then I found 15 minutes was fine to get it to the right consistency.
Pinotage works as well as Shiraz
JCW: All right, you’re saying a Shiraz and the Shiraz that you mentioned is absolutely perfect, a perfect match?
AL: Very much so and then the other one, one of the other ones I chose was a Pinotage. This might seem rather strange because Pinotage is known to have very hearty tannins. But in fact the new style Pinotage doesn’t. People are managing it so much better.
The one I’ve chosen is from Eikendal, which is on the Helderberg. Nico Grobbelaar who is the winemaker there, says it’s a new style for him, it’s a 2015. What he’s trying to do is to bring out the natural complexities of the wine, but not in a big and bold style.
It’s lovely because it is, again, it’s got very fine tannins but they’re beautiful integrated with the fruit and not over-oaked or anything like that. That oaking can kill chocolate, those dry oak tannins, so neither of these – the Bloemendal nor the Eikendal – have those oak tannins that wouldn’t do the chocolate any good.
JCW: This is just part of the Pinotage revolution isn’t it?
AL: Very much so, it’s a beautiful wine this, really.
JCW: Somebody was talking to me over the weekend, I was down in the Lowveld where spring actually has come. They were talking about Pinotage with that old acetone taste, but that isn’t today’s Pinotage’s at all.
AL: No, and this is very atypical of that, thank goodness. It’s very subtle in its fruit, it’s got lovely big, silky texture almost and richness, without that bigness that Nico is trying to avoid.
JCW: All right, that sounds interesting. So we’ve got a Shiraz, we’ve got a Pinotage and what is your final one?
at sounds interesting. So we’ve got a Shiraz, we’ve got a Pinotage and what is your final one?
And a Cabernet, believe it or not!
AL: That’s a Cabernet, believe it or not.
JCW: I love it!
AL: You see, again, it’s getting the tannins from the grape rather than from the oak and this comes from Bartinney which is Michael and Rose Jordaan’s winery on the Helshoogte. It’s made by Ronell Wiid who is really one of our top winemakers.
She’s a very unassuming young lady, well she’s not so young, but she’s an excellent winemaker and has a very classic style. This is dry, it’s got a lovely savouriness to it, it’s got Cabernet tannins but because they’re full of fruit, they’re not so hard and harsh as if they were just aged in new oak.
JCW: It’s the Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon and is there a year to it?
AL: Yes, 2013, so it’s already got a couple of years of age on it which has helped it to integrate nicely, the fruit and the structure.
JCW: I was at Bartinney, I think when I last saw you, I went up there for the day and it’s a very, very interesting estate. It’s still quite low-key I think.
AL: Very much so, which is a pity because for me, and I love classic wines, they must be dry, they mustn’t be overripe, there must be good freshness which this has and they’re just brilliant I think, their wine.
JCW: Just going back to the Bartinney, when I was there, they were showing me these incredible cycle trails, going up and down what looked like vertical hills and whatever. That’s also part and parcel of the fynbos and the whole complexity of what they’re trying to do.
AL: They’re very big on biodiversity. They’ve got a new Chardonnay that’s called the Hourglass Chardonnay that’s from a vineyard that is in that shape. They’ve deliberately done away with the terraces that they had and inter-planted the rows of vines with fynbos, which I think is terrific. In fact, you talk about the cycle trails that I believe the Cape Epic came through there this year.
AL: And really tested people coming down those slopes.
JCW: I would have no idea how they could actually get up, let alone come down, but I would rather come down – I think – than go up. Because I think it’s harder territory, but you see, Rose does a lot of riding, so that’s why. So we’ve got three totally different wines, totally different varietals, but all working with chocolate and you’re saying it’s because of the tannins?
The key is a good richness of fruit
AL: Well, it’s not only that, it’s a combination of well integrated tannin, well balanced tannin, but good richness of fruit. It’s not a thin, austere style of wine, it’s got plenty of richness without being big, without being overripe.
JCW: I think it sounds absolutely lovely. With confidence, you can do away, for a change, with the dessert wines, which always go anyway, but try these red wines. Would you chill them at all?
AL: No, no, at this time of year they come out of the cellar at about 16, between 16-18 degrees. In summer, maybe a little bit, but the more you chill a red wine, the more emphasis is placed on the tannins, so one shouldn’t over-chill them much.
JCW: Angela I was just thinking, if you want to, if you go out for dinner as one does and somebody has been slaving in the kitchen and you take them chocolate, quite a nice idea is to take them chocolate with one of these wines.
AL: Absolutely, yes. It really is a marvellous match. I know that there are wineries down here who do chocolate and wine pairing, that’s becoming very popular. We’re making some excellent chocolate and of course, Nomu doesn’t only have this ‘just add water’ chocolate which is proving a huge success. But they also have this wonderful, decadent chocolate that you make into a chocolate drink. That is real, dark chocolate.
JCW: It’s real, dark chocolate and it’s got wonderful lumps of chocolate in it.
AL: It has, yes.
JCW: Really, I think what Nomu has done for drinking chocolate is almost impossible to describe because it’s so moreish.
AL: And they’ve got so many different types. They’ve got the cocoa, the drinking chocolate and the cocoa and this ‘just add water’. That was a brilliant idea, this ‘just add water’ because it makes it easy. When I first tried one I thought hmmm, is this going to be rather thin and weak? Not at all! It’s just as though you’ve added chocolate to milk and made yourself a lovely hot chocolate drink with loads of full cream milk.
JCW: Angela, listen, fantastic, I think these are just a lovely, intriguing choice. Of course, I’ve got to say, it’s difficult to beat Nomu’s decadent chocolate drinks. You can actually buy a skinny chocolate one, but the gorgeously rich one, which we’ve just been speaking about with the chocolate chips, absolutely is my favourite. Go to www.nomu.co.za for a wealth of outstanding recipes and the recipe itself on dogreatthings.co.za/oldmutuallive. Thanks for listening, you can get this and all the previous podcasts on dogreatthings.co.za or sign up for the newsletter on Old Mutual Live Wine Edition. On mobile, on digital, on demand.