BL16 - Page 55



VIVA VINA CARMEN
Boisdale is thrilled to add Vina Carmen,
Chile’s oldest winer y, to its wine lists.
Here are the key bottles from one of the
standard bearers for South American
wine, founded all the way back in 1850.
Carmen Premier Fume Blanc 2017,
Leyda Valley, Chile
Light and bright in colour with the elegant
herbal aromas typical of Sauvignon Blanc,
and a mineral palate. Pair this with shellfish
or dishes with spinach or asparagus.
Carmen Gran Reserva Chardonnay
2016, Casablanca Valley, Chile
A ver y fine Chardonnay with aromas of
tropical fruits, oak, vanilla, and butter. A top
match for rich fish, light meats or haggis.
It may bring followers
by the bucketload,
but does that mean
it tastes good?
it cannot be underestimated what a
revolution these cookery writers led.
As a writer two generations on, I relied
on these books, too, and took more
guidance from their followers: Alice
Waters, Anna del Conte, and even the
great Eighties TV star, Keith Floyd.
H U M P H R EY M U L EB A , U N S P L A S H
D
el Conte is the ideal example
of a recipe writer who can make
you see the food in your mind
without any illustrations at all. She
proves that you can look back to find
novelty, not just invent for the hell of it.
Without her we would not have lemon
risotto, or pork cooked in milk; so
innovative then, but with roots in real
Italian food history. Her recipes were
essential to Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’
River Café and a resurgence of rustic
regional Italian cooking. Jamie Oliver,
once a chef at the River Café, often
referred to the same influences and so it
went on. So when did ‘twisting’ begin?
When chefs and cooks stop reading the
classics, or at least admitting to it, their
recipes become about them.
“This is ‘my’ paella with a twist
– of tiger prawns [they’ve never been
near the Spanish coast] and sweet
potato [likewise].” You’ll find ‘my
focaccia’ ludicrously made with
Yorkshire rhubarb and sesame seeds;
‘my banana latte crème brulée’, and on
and on into a black hole of reinvention
riding on a stream of likes.
Novelty is good, but it has to evolve
with some form of improvement.
Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi do
this; hoards of Bake Off winners can’t.
Truly honest chefs will tell you they
struggle to create more than one
successful dish that is in all senses
their own, in their entire career.
In many ways La Merenda, with
items on a menu you can count on one
hand and pitch-perfect cooking, is also
an innovation, and not because it is
novel. Its difference lies in its naked
simplicity. No image is more dazzling.
55
BOISDALELIFE .COM
SUMMER 2019
ISSUE 16
Carmen Premier Carmenere 2017,
Colchagua Valley, Chile
Fruity aromas with strong plum, cherr y,
and mulberr y notes and an edge of ripe
red and green pepper, as is so typical for
the variety. Barrel aging lends notes of
toast and smokiness.
Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet
Sauvignon 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile
Complex aromas and flavours from
prolonged aging in barrels, giving notes
of vanilla, toast, a smoky edge and traces
of fruits. Great with steak and game.
Carmen Gran Reserva Carignan 2016,
Rapel Valley-Maule, Chile
Big and intense, this wine will warm you
up. Violet-ruby hued,it’s a complex, smokey
and luxurious match with grilled steak.
Carmen Gran Reserva Syrah 2014,
Colchagua Valley – Apalta, Chile
A highly expressive wine with layers of
flavours and aromas of dark fruit, leather,
dark chocolate and pepper. Drink with
game, lamb, beef or cheese.





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