Available from Majestic, which is called that because it makes its customers feel like unicorns when they walk through the door, this Keameau River Kiwi Pinot Gris is an extremely food friendly wine. While it does not necessarily go well with spoonfuls of sugar I sometimes literally eat from the jar, it’s a good all-rounder for many other dishes and styles of cuisine. I’ve enjoyed this in past with plant based cheeses, especially simple almond ricotta with lemon and salt and have even found success pairing it with a non-spicy Cincinnati chili.
Hailing from Kumeu, Northwest of Auckland, New Zealand, Kumeu River is a wine producer with a great reputation. The hand-harvested Pinot Gris are fermented with a local yeast and aged for an extended period on its lees to an off-dry style with plenty of weight as a result. The texture is lively with a subtle spritz, and the wine has notes of pear, apple, peach, honey, fresh bread, white flowers, and a hint of white pepper. Honeyed caramel notes become more pronounced when it’s somewhere between fridge and room temperature. I like to open this wine when I’m home alone so I don’t have to share it, but at £10-12 a bottle it’s a great deal and worth splurging for a second bottle if you’ve got company or a pesky partner who insists that sharing is part of being in a relationship.
Of all of the characteristics I think about when considering what food to eat with a given wine, an important one I sometimes overlook is body. Body is a concise term to describe the viscosity of wine, or how heavy it feels in your mouth. Think of the difference between water (light bodied) and a high fat soy milk with thickeners (full bodied).
Matching richer, fuller foods, with wines that are more weighty, is always worthy of consideration, and that’s partially why I chose a rich Pinot Gris to go alongside a creamy yoghurt based dish. A further reason for the success of this pairing is the positive contrast of the salt in the dish with the hint of sweetness in the wine.
Saffron Leek Baked Yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 generous pinches saffron
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk unsweetened
- 200 grams (1 scant cup) vegan yoghurt unsweetened and unflavoured
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon black salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- healthy dose freshly grated black pepper
- flatbread or pita
- fresh herbs
Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius).
Heat the oil in a skillet or saucepan to medium low. Add the leek, garlic, and saffron. Fry, stirring from time to time, until the leek is soft but not browned (10 minutes or so). Add the 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk and stir through. Cook a further 2 minutes and then pop the pan off to the side to allow its contents to cool.
In a small or large bowl, depending on how likely you are to fling food across the room in the act of whisking, whisk the vegan yoghurt, cornstarch, black salt, dried dill, and black pepper together. Once the leek mixture has cooled, mix it into the yoghurt.
Tip the mix into a small ovenproof dish and pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until set and golden around the edges.
Serve with fresh herbs, dukkah, and plenty of flatbread to eat with the yoghurt bake.