Autumnal, but Alfresco

Autumnal, but Alfresco

As some of you will know, most of my time in The Vinorium is spent on handling lots of bottles of wine, packing orders and general logistics. After a long day, I have to admit I am not too fussy about the dinner – it must be quick and filling. I am a proper meat and potatoes man. However, last Saturday I decided to prepare something a bit more special - a slow roasted leg of lamb with chardonnay, sage, rosemary and bay…

Who said slow cooking is for winter? Especially with an outdoor oven, all you want to do is throw your ingredients into a large casserole dish, put it in and enjoy the warm summer days outdoors with friends and family, while your dish is slowly cooking to perfection.

The preparations turned out to be very much straight-forward. I seasoned the leg of lamb well before adding quartered onion, unpeeled garlic and strings of fresh rosemary, sage and bay. Poured over half of the bottle of chardonnay and threw it in the oven. A gorgeous smell filled the garden pretty quickly, making my Saturday afternoon feel like the summer is still here! It’s not extremely hot, it’s not extremely sunny… but the pleasure of outdoor cooking is unsurpassed. Roasted potatoes and a bottle of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 2013 to complete my creation – and I couldn’t be happier! This supper absolutely inspired me for the upcoming weekends – just a thought of roasted mackerel with some seasonal bean salad or a mince stuffed aubergine makes it impossible to sit still and wait for the colder days to come. Let’s make the most of summer (even though we have just arrived in equinoxical Autumn).

Here are a few suggestions we think will go extremely well with seasonal foods…

Pazo Señorans Albariño Colección 2011
While making the best out of seasonal fish and seafood, you cannot forget about a chilled glass of quality albarino – and look no further. This complex and elegant wine is the best compañero for a variety of summers salads, paellas, as well as grilled fish and white meats.

Dog Point Chardonnay 2011
If you lack in patience of creating some most amazing apricot frangipane tart with this season’s fresh apricots, crack open a bottle of this stunning chardonnay and you will be just as pleased. Honeyed apricots, lemon tart and brioche notes oozing from the bottle. Delicious!

Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Elegant pinot noir, smooth and subtle, packed with dark and red cherry. Beautifully textured, this will stand up to many sophisticated dishes, like braised rabbit, artichokes and grilled fennel.

Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Riserva 2006
The sweet perfume of lush red fruits, layer upon layer of red cherries, raspberries on the palate with lingering liquorice and earthiness. This wine is a concentration of pure summer tastes and a perfect match for the in-season aubergine.