Let's Eat: Jamaican Style Wine Pairings
Welcome back to the blog!!!
I hope you all are doing well!! Yours truly is on a roll!! As Christmas approaches, one of the things that I love to do...is prepare for the season. Yours truly is what I call an emerging hostess. Emerging...because as many of us can relate...it's not until you reach a certain stage in life, or find inspiration to mature, that you reach for certain things. You can't remain in one phase of life forever...you must grow and change. I believe in intentional change and am actively pursuing it every week in all aspects of life including my businesses.
Growing up...we always had helpers and yours truly was that entitled millennial who used to say things like "Why do I need to cook? I'm going to be rich enough to hire a helper!!" Fast forward a few years...Mr Right shows up...and all of a sudden I'm all up in Constantino's wine section trying to figure out...what wine to cook with our dinner, and whether its on sale for $5.00 that week. It's just the nature of life!! I'm not the only woman who has made such declarations...and later taken them back...lol. To spare you all the agony...I decided to do a wine special...Jamaican Style, inspired by an article that I'd read in Indulge magazine the other day. These are the magical things that happen while I wait for my camera to charge...in the coffee shop. Since wines come in an assortment of flavors, I thought it a good idea to identify the pairings that suit our local palette since I'm currently at home.
JAMAICAN BEEF PATTIES
Jamaican patties...are a staple that the entire country all the way up to the bougiest of them all...enjoy. They are the perfect all around food. In my family, patties were an affordable fast food option. Since Saturdays were days when we did all of our shopping, by the time we were finished with our runs, we didn't want to cook. On the way home, we'd simply stop at the nearest Tastee ( I still love them over Juicy and Mother's), and order a box of very hot patties, coco bread, and drinks like orange juice. It was just the ideal way to fill yourself up without too much expense and hassle.
When it comes to entertaining however, beef patties are actually served in miniature sized cocktail patties. You can either order them from the retailer, or create your own using a light pastry covering and a seasoned beef or chicken filling. The recipes are available all over the internet. You can organize them in beautiful arrays and embellish them for your guests, just like you see in the image above. Since patties are predominantly beef...they go well with a wine like a Chardonnay. Before your event (yes...dinner with bae at home counts) chill the wine and serve.
If you're more of a red wine lover, Pinot Noir also goes well with the delicacy. With various affordable and high end options available...if you're ever wanting a cute appetizer, this option is a great way to start your courses.
OXTAIL AND BUTTER BEANS
Oxtail is one of those delicacies that I've learned to love across the years. While working at the refinery, we'd get this on occasion at our canteen, and I placed it on my must learn to cook list. A well done oxtail will have all dinner patrons wanting to kiss the chef, eat every drop of gravy and even want to chew bones (yours truly gave up doing this once braces existed in my life...lol). But you get the point...it's that GOOD!! With foods like potato or rice and the right vegetables, oxtail and beans is ideal for dinner at home.
As a spicy food, oxtail and beans is best paired with the complimentary wine that is sweet. A good, full bodied such as a Chardonnay works well with your dinner combination. Additionally, you can do things like have a nice Reisling with your dinner.
STEW PEAS (RED PEAS STEW)
Never really one to love peas, with time and during occasions like Christmas, yours truly takes the time to indulge in delicacies like stew peas. As a stew that consists of red peas, pork (got to have the pig tail in there) and rolled dumplings. Stewed peas is always a hit whether it be lunchtime or at dinner time. As a mixture of spicy and neutral elements, the dish is one that is best served with a complimentary wine that helps to tone down the extra flavor.
The wine for this includes a wine like a Pinot Noir, which will go well with the vegetable base of the stew. Pinot Noir has a smokey essence, which helps to enhance the flavors of the stew. Instead of having water...you can add that extra pop of elegance to your dining experience.
There are certain occasions, where certain foods are ideal. These include outdoor barbeques with family and friends. In our household, no barbeque is complete without a little jerk pork in the mix. Sourced from our trusted friends at PriceSmart, everyone in the house has more than enough pork, chicken and sausage to satisfy them during the gathering.
Jerk pork, as a spicy meat...aside from being complimented by beers of your choice if you're having them in the day, is also best paired in a more elegant setting by wines such as a Proseco or a Reisling. Since Jamaican foods carry a lot of spice, in your wine selections always go for the wine palette that will balance the food. As a general rule of thumb:
*If the food is spicy, add a sweet wine
As the seasons change, you will find the inspiration to cater for your family and friends. Having the right wine pairings is always a good idea. With the local palette, there are a variety of options available that will enhance the dining experience.
Of course if all that fails...simply drink a Red Stripe!!
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