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Combining wine and food, starting from the wine. Is it possible? A Rhône experiment

When combining food and wine the starting point is most of the times the food. In this case, a cooking competition arranged around Rhône wines, the situation was the contrary. The wine was chosen first and then four young Swedish chefs prepared a dish they thought would fit. BKWine Magzine’s reporter Henrik Stadler reports.

Four young Swedish chefs picked a wine from two districts in southern France, Lirac and Crozes-Hermitage. Based on the chosen wine they composed a main course where the main ingredient was deer saddle. The recommended vegetables were cabbage and Jerusalem artichoke.

This should be done in three hours to then be judged by a professional jury composed by the winner of The Swedish Chef of the Year 2012 and Head of the Restaurant Portal, Klas Lindberg, Mercedes Bachelet, operations manager at Adam / Albin and director of the Bocuse d’Or Europe, Stockholm 2014. Member of the jury was also Clara Grabe, journalist and sommelier. There were also the two French wine producers Yann Chave from Crozes-Hermitage and the winery Domaine Yann Chave Père & Fils and Rodolphe de Pins from Lirac and the estate Domaine de Montfaucon.

The jury on combining food and wine

The jury on combining food and wine, copyright H Stadler

All of the participants kept high standard and it was difficult to judge the competition. In the end Jonas Lagerström, member of the Swedish National Culinary Team and creative director at Restaurant Yolo, won, just ahead of Johan Backéus, Christoffer Sköld and Fredrik Kristensen.

The reasoning was that Jonas was best able to combine wine and food and to get both food and wine to lift each other. As spectators with the possibility of tasting, we were many who agreed nodding and applauding when Jonas came forward to receive the prize from the French Ambassador’s hand. Alf Tumble, wine writer for the Swedish Newspaper Dagens Nyheter and the Magazine Nöjesguiden, led the night’s event.

The competitors at the prize ceremony with the French ambassador

The competitors at the prize ceremony with the French ambassador, copyright H Stadler

The answer to the question in the title is that it is definitely possible. It actually works very well! Try it yourself at home.

The evening ended with a major tasting of over thirty wines from Crozes-Hermitage, Lirac and Côtes du Rhone. Fond as I am of Rhône wines in general it was a nice moment, enhanced especially by three favourites:

Firstly, the Lirac wine, Lunar Apogé 2014 Domaine des Carabiniers that is a real gem among GSM wines (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre).

Among the Crozes-Hermitage wines, it was a pure syrah wine, Laurus 2013, by Gabriel Meffre that I liked best.

Among the Cotes du Rhone wines it was the white Saint François 2015, also from Gabriel Meffre, that stood out the most.

Henrik Stadler writes för BKWine Magazine on wine tastings and wine events in Sweden.

Rhône wines offer you a huge variation in style, many of very, very high quality. You will see that for yourself, on site, when you come on a wine tour to the Rhône Valley with BKWine.

Travel to the world’s wine regions with the wine experts and the wine travel specialist.

Wine tours to the good life and good wine. BKWine wine tours.

The winning dish by Jonas Lagerström, and his chosen wine Le Rouvre by Yann Chave

The winning dish by Jonas Lagerström, and his chosen wine Le Rouvre by Yann Chave, copyright H Stadler

By Jonas Lagerström, the winner's creation

By Jonas Lagerström, the winner’s creation, copyright H Stadler

Jonas Lagerström, the winner in combining food and wine

Jonas Lagerström, the winner in combining food and wine, copyright H Stadler

Johan Backéus, one of the young chef competitors

Johan Backéus, one of the young chef competitors, copyright H Stadler

One of the young chef competitors

One of the young chef competitors, copyright H Stadler

Vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone

Vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, copyright BKWine Photography

On the road to Crozes-Hermitage

On the road to Crozes-Hermitage, copyright BKWine Photography

This post is also available in: Swedish

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