There are few things that are more enjoyable to me then spending a lazy lunch with good friends. Interesting conversation, fun people and good times. I consider myself most fortunate in that most of my friends are foodies/excellent cooks and found myself one afternoon at the house of my friend, Luiz (AKA The London Foodie).
Luiz is a big foodie and he prepared an amazing lunch for me and his partner. Starting off with a cold garlic and almond soup, garnished with fresh green grapes left me holding out my bowl and asking, “More, please. Sir.” The only cold soup I know of is gazpacho so this was a revelation. The garlic was mild and not overpowering, garnished with whole green grapes lolling about the bottom of the bowl. Delicious!
For the main had Oxtail Stew with pumpkin with Moroccan couscous, oven cooked aubergine in a yoghurt sauce garnished with pomegrantes and a medly of sugar snap peas and aspargus with hazelnuts. Luiz really spoiled us! I had brought along the Casillero del Diablo, Reserva Privada 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah which we paired with the oxtail stew.
Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada wines are made from old vines and come from their Pirque and the Peumo vineyards, of the Maipo and Rapel Valleys. The cabernet is from the Pirque vineyard which is situated in the northern and one of the coolest parts of the valley. The soil is nutrient poor and provides excellent drainage all of which makes the grape work that much harder to produce very concentrated fruit.
The syrah used in the blend comes from the Peumo Vineyards further to the south of the Pirque vines and benefits from its position on south facing hills of the Rapel Valley. Here the soil is more clay like in character but has excellent drainage so the grapes don’t become bloated beachballs. The grapes produced have terrific balance and contribute depth of character and colour to the blend.
The Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvingon/Syrah 2007 spends 14 months in oak and that was certainly what first hit me when the bottle opened. As a matter of fact, vanilla and cedar along with faint tobacco were emanating from the decanter even when I was standing 5 feet away. This was a big wine and, on the palate, the fruit was definitely putting itself at the head of the class. I tasted boysenberries straight off the bat. Memories of childhood Saturday morning visits to The Pancake House filled my head. Did you ever have boysenberry syrup? Deep blue in colour, there’s no way it was natural but that sticky, sweet flavour of very ripe boysenberries was bouncing around my palate. About midway though, the pepper and spice came along and helped push the sweet fruit on its way. There was enough acidity to keep it on it’s toes and the tannins were as full and round as a doughnut. There was nothing delicate about this wine. It’s one of the big boys and don’t you forget it! I’m used to subtler wines but for a change of pace, there’s nothing like a big Chilean to wake up your tastebuds. It certainly did it’s job of standing up to the very flavourful oxtail stew.
In keeping up with the times, Casillero Del Diablo has joined in on the Supper Club trend and is urging people to get together and cook at home with friends. I’m all for food and wine matching so bringing together food, wine and friends sounds like a recipe for fun. Or disaster- depending on your friends. You can read more about their supper club here. I went along to the first Casillero del Diablo Supper Club at the lux L’atelier des Chefs in Central London recently. Check out Casillero del Diablo’s video below to see us putting our culinary skills to the test.
A quick thanks to Casillero del Diablo and to Chris and Scott of Cube Communications for inviting me to their inaugural supper and a big shoutout to Luiz for taking the time to prepare such a fabulous meal. I think everyone should run out, rustle up some friends and get cooking. Add some wine and the question of what to do for weekend lunch or dinner is solved.