We celebrated Passover today; not quite the huge table full of people of childhood, but with my two favourites, so just as jolly!
This was the ‘before’ but I’ll spare you the ‘after’…
We started with a half-bottle of Waitrose Champagne Brut NV (made for them by Duval-Leroy) which accompanied a starter of warm figs and goats cheese salad, with pears and walnuts:
The daughter didn’t want any fizz, hence opting for half a bottle – and boy, it disappeared all too quickly! Very lees-y on the nose, with notes of toasted hazelnuts, brioche and baked apple, and similar notes on the palate. Rounded, rather rich and very very enjoyable!
The main was salmon chermoula and a veggie version for the daughter, served with Maftoul (giant couscous) cooked with feta and mint. To accompany, a wine which is always a hit with us:
Johanneshof Reinisch, Gumpoldskirchen ‘Tradition’, Thermenregion, Austria 2019
A traditional blend of 60% Zierfandler and 40% Rotgipfler - I wish this wine was more available and appreciated. It’s such a delicious blend that combines sweet and sour notes to perfection and works so well with mildly spiced food.
On the nose it showed initial notes of grassiness and even a whiff of kerosene, but it slowly opened to reveal notes of apple blossom, exotic fruit, fresh apricots and honey.
On the palate it entered on a sour note of lemon (even something tamarind-like), then developed ripe exotic fruit notes (passion fruit, pineapple) underlined by a touch of fresh herbs. It had a rounded mouthfeel, with a honeyed note in the background, and a good finish which left a tangerine/orange zest freshness. Excellent stuff!
Dessert was Eton Mess. It’s hardly summer yet, but the challenge in Passover is to bake something without flour – so this year I decided that the berries, cream and meringue combo was just the ticket. Such a simple and delicious dessert, which worked so well with a glass (OK, two!) of Brachetto d’Acqui:
Alasia, Brachetto d’Acqui, Piedmont, Italy 2021
The berry sweetness of the wine was in complete harmony with the dessert - but without ever feeling cloying or over the top. A lovely end to the meal and to the evening
Happy Passover to anyone else celebrating and a very happy Easter too to all!