Monumental flavours – KWV Cathedral Cellar

The KWV Cathedral Cellar is this abyss of stories. The more interesting facts you undercover, the more you want to know. And the beauty of it all is that it is right there, carved into huge, larger-than-life wooden wine vats, resting under a Cathedral-like dome. All the stories embraced in this mesmerising cellar are history in the making, dating back over 100 years. And still, more characters are added to its wine book.

The Cathedral Cellar was built in 1930 as a wine cellar, and today it is also one of the most sought-after events venues in the Cape Winelands. 

Reiterating the stories on paper carved into these barrels is one thing. But to be there in person, you emerge into this space’s smell, sight and sounds while running your fingers along the intricate carving to get a feel of what the Cathedral Cellar is all about. 

The KWV winemaking team is led by the seasoned Chief Winemaker Justin Corrans, who ensures that every Cathedral Cellar Wine becomes a fine ambassador. In addition, celebrity chef Mynhardt Joubert is responsible for all gastronomic experiences hosted in the Cathedral. So, when it comes to food and wine, no stone (or spice) is left unturned (or should I say, ungrounded).

If we have sparked your curiosity, click here to book a tour.

Or, if you need Cathedral Cellar Wines to warm you up this winter, visit their online shop and follow their Spice Campaign throughout August on Facebook and Instagram. They have already shared some handy tips in July on how to use the best spices in your winter cooking to complement each wine in the Cathedral Cellar Wine Range and we cannot wait to see what’s in store for August!

Here are a few teasers:

Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay and Nutmeg

Nutmeg is the quintessential autumn spice for savoury and sweet dishes. Buy the whole seed to ensure a longer shelf life if you can. Grating it over food imparts a fresher taste that will better accommodate the wine you pair with the dish.

Nutmeg can add a relatively potent and warm aroma to a food and wine pairing, and its nutty, almost sweet character pairs well with vegetables and rich wines. The subtle nuances of oak in the wine adds a creamy mouthfeel and warm notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A reasonable addition of nutmeg in the dish naturally complements the wine, adding a nuttiness to elevate the fruit.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks & Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay

Here is how you add the wow factor to the humble cauliflower! Make sure you buy whole cauliflower heads to cut out thick steaks. Then, add olives, capers, and Parmesan for extra flavour during roasting. But, whole nutmeg and good olive oil remain the magic ingredients. Try out different recipes and enjoy how the caramelisation of the roasted cauliflower and the nutmeg elevates the Chardonnay.

Triptych and Sumac

Sumac is often used in Middle Eastern cooking as an alternative to lemon. Sumac berries are dried and turned into a coarse powder that adds a tart and bright taste to meat and vegetable dishes. The red colour will often turn dark during roasting, albeit not burnt, so add some bright greens to liven it up.

The tart taste of Sumac adds a citrusy acidity to dips, salads and roasts and is much subtler than vinegar or lemon. From the outset, the Cathedral Cellar Triptych and Sumac have something in common – their vibrant ruby colour! The Triptych is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec that opens up a world of food and wine marriages!

Sumac is made from berries, so it naturally blends with the wine’s exuberant display of blueberries. In its spice form, it also ties in with the herbaceous character of the wine, adding more depth of flavour.

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Red Onions and Triptych

Red wine has never been so happy to see a roast chicken dish! The secret is in the spicy and smoky flavours of this dish. The tart character of Sumac adds a lift to the wine’s supple texture, and the red onions add sweetness to enhance the earthy taste of the wine. Enjoy the food and wine pairing as a communal and hearty experience and be generous with allspice.

Cabernet Sauvignon & Star Anise

Star anise deserves its name for more than apparent reasons. These little star-shaped spice bombs are often the star in any rich meaty stew, adding a sweet aroma to the dish.

There is distinctive liquorice and peppery aromas in star anise, and one or two whole pieces go a long way to impact the overall flavour experience.

Full-bodied wines can be brought to heel with pungent spices.

It is, therefore, important that the wine and the spice share at least one common trait. In this case, the subtle nuances of liquorice that the wine and star anise possess weave a common thread of warmth, sweet and earthy notes into the paring.

Braised beef stew with star anise and five spice

All you need to reinvent an ordinary beef stew is to add a couple of whole star anise to the pot that will bolster the rich sauce with warming flavours!

Cabernet and carrots go a long way as the sweetness of the vegetables enhance the mineral tone in the wine. And, of course, a dash of the wine in the pot will bring it all together.

Follow Cathedral Cellar throughout August as they spice it up with cinnamon, chilli, fennel, black pepper, and coriander seeds – complementing their wines with simple and delicious ingredients.

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