Cultivating and growing a grape variety – it’s history, the land it’s grown on and the influence of the individual winemaker – tells a rich story.
Much like how a recipe developed over time, it talks to the culture, the agriculture as well as the individual cook. Adding individual touches and making it your own is part of the fun of cooking but there is something comforting in the familiarity of a recipe passed down through generations.
One food that speaks to all of this is soup. Perhaps one of the most underrated food topics.
From the aromatic flavours of a laksa to a hearty, rich goulash – the flavours that form the base of these soups can transport you to a kitchen half-way across the world.
Phố talks to a Vietnamese love of aromatic ingredients like lemongrass and a celebration of fresh herbs using a lighter broth loaded with flavour. European soups can be rustic with beans and root vegetables or more refined such as a bisque or a consommé.
Making a broth, letting it simmer and develop its flavour is not unlike cultivating the perfect grape for the wine making process. Pressing the grapes, choosing the right barrel, letting the flavours develop and enhance over time. This makes the idea pairing of soup to wine an exciting proposition.
I’ve taken inspiration from around the world to not only pair with the wine but to use the wine as part of the recipes. Wine adds a depth of flavour that allows the humblest of recipes to be elevated to something luxurious, but most of all – comforting.
In terms of matching wine to soup. My advice is always the same. Drink what you love and work out if you enjoy the combination. What’s good for the goose, may not be good for the gander. Now, left over roast goose for a soup, there’s a thought.
For all of these soups I thought I’d share an old French tradition. A custom in the Dordogne is ‘Faire Chabrot’ or ‘Faire Chabròl’. This is where the local farmers, rather than wiping their bowl clean with a piece of baguette, they add the last of their (traditionally red) wine from their glass, swill it around and slurp it all down directly from the bowl. Never wasting a drop of either soup or wine. Delicious and the epitome of comfort.
As always, it’s all about Food, Wine and Good Times.