WE LOVE SPICE

Wine pairing with Asùn (roasted goat meat in Pepper sauce) .

What to Pair with Super Spicy Food

  Blush wines have light, cool, refreshing fruit flavors and with a touch of sweetness that is very soothing with the hottest dishes. Another aspect of the low alcoholic wines is you can take larger swigs instead of the normal small sips. And this is good when taking on spicy foods! Young red wines like Zinfandels and blends can be chilled and makes them soothing to less spicy dishes. Also try sparkling wines and Champagnes. Sangria is another great choice as it is fruity and low in alcohol.

But today we are taking on Wine Pairing with Nigerian delicacy :
Super spicy Asùn
A fresh, fruity white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with mild Nigerian spicy meals. But Merlot, on the other hand, is a great choice when it comes to hot and I mean “Iya sikirà” hot and spicy tomato sauce for Amala and èfo Riro.
Today I want to focus on Asùn which is one the favorite delicacy of Nigerian cuisine. If you like Goat meat or lamb, this is a dish you want to try.  It is deliciously spicy and has all the elements of African food that is authentic in nature, smokey, spicy, hot and delicious and can be eaten with Fried yams and plantains with extra tomato sauce on the side.
So what can you drink with this delicious meal, Beer is the first thing that comes to mind for most Nigerians but if you want a more refined taste, the best choice is a cooling glass of white wine or champagne (My choice) Nicolas feuillatte Grande Reserve or Rose, for white wine a bottle of Riesling and the master of spices in red wine a Merlot and my preference is a Pomerol.
Champagne : The bubbles of champagne are important in heightening the taste of the spices, while the high acidity level blends perfectly with the spices finally allowing the cooling effect of the champagne to appease the taste buds! Champagne Anyone!!
Riesling : Riesling is one of the best food wine in the world. Its balance of intense acidity, minerality, and fruitiness makes it an especially good match for spicy foods and the mix of ethnic flavors. A cold bottle of Riesling will make your Asùn a perfect meal and balance the spiciness. The slight sweetness of Riesling will enhance the spice in your Asùn but also reduce the heat in your mouth, while the minerality matches perfectly with the smokiness of the roast meat and fruity flavor gives a satisfying finish.
Merlot/Pomerol: A medium-bodied high-tannin Merlot is perfect for Asùn because it balances the flavors of the spices well. Merlot is a very popular food pairing in general and is one of the most versatile wines and can be easily found on all the wine menus in restaurants all over the world (and in so many different forms--full-bodied, medium-bodied and otherwise--even white or blush)For the Asùn a young Pomerol is perfect ( within 5 years of production. Taste the rich but balanced tannings and the easy way the wine enhances the taste of the meat and gives a long finish after a swig from your glass. Have any of these wines (yes champagne is also a wine) with your hot or medium spicy Asùn and you will definitely have a more fulfilling gastronomic experience.

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What are the top 5 Grapes Variety (Cépage) in wine making ? (My choice)

1. Cabernet Sauvignon- Is the most famous red wine grape and can only be rivalled by its partner in Bordeaux wine world "Merlot". Cabernet originated from Bordeaux and is one of the most successful export of the region .
Perfect in a blend and very easy to consume by itself. It is easily grown all over the wine countries and does very well on most soils. I will have Cabernet Sauvignon as my go to drink when i want to have just a glass or 2, it does carry a punch.
Character traits: Deep colour, good tannin structure, moderate acidity with aromas of blackcurrant, tomato leaf, dark spices and cedarwood. long lasting taste and heavy on alcohol content.
Food matches: Fillet steak, foie gras, truffles, beef/suya, beef in peppered sauce and spicy jollof rice.
Famous Carbenets: screaming eagles Napa Valley USA,  Penfolds Block  Barossa Valley, Australia etc

2. Merlot - Merlot, which in French means "The Little Blackbird", is the second most popular red grape in the world (after Cabernet Sauvignon). Known for being soft, ripe and elegant, most Merlots are easy drinking reds that go well both with food as well as on their own. This is an approachable grape varietal and is often recommended as the first red wine someone new to red wine should drink. I always recommended Merlot to a lot of my clients who want to experience wine tasting for the first time 
Character traits: Inherent sweetness, plummy taste and notes of chocolate. It’s also considered to be smooth and very easy to drink
Food matches: Pizza, Meatloaf, grilled chicken/Suya, Asun (roasted goat meat in hot spices), goatmeat, peppersoup. 
Famous Merlots: Petrus Pomerol Bordeaux, Pomerol wines in general, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, Masseto, Bolgheri, Tuscany etc.

3. Pinot Noir  - Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, and the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noir is now used to make red wines around the World, as well as Champagne, and such sparkling white wines as the Italian Franciacorta, and English sparkling wines. 
All Grands Crus red Burgundy, produced exclusively from Pinot Noir, are located in Côte de Nuits, except the Corton Grand Cru, the only one to be located on the Côte de Beaune. It is described as the most romantic of wines
Character traits:Pinot Noir produces a heavily perfumed wine with scents of earth, spice, cherries, strawberries, herbs and raspberries when ripe. It is a light to medium bodied wine, with high acidity that can age well. 
Food matches: Salmon or other fatty fish, roasted chicken or pasta dishes; bigger, more tannic Pinots are ideal with duck and other game birds, beef bourguignon, Egusi soup, Obè àtà with catfish, pepper snails and fried yam.
Famous pinot Noirs:Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits-Saint-Georges

4. Chardonnay: Chardonnay is the most popular white wine on earth and, more recently, it has also become the most divisive.Chardonnay was born in the Burgundy region of France, where it is known as White Burgundy, and it was there that the wine gained great acclaim for its elegance. Soon after Chardonnay’s rise in popularity, winemakers in Champagne began to grow the grape as well, using it as the dominant ingredient for their sparkling wines. For me a good Chardonnay has to be slightly oaked, there was a period where Chardonnay got a bad rep because some wine makers got it wrong, so do not blame the grape.
Character traits: Fruit, citrus, lemon, apple, tropical fruit, cinnamon, wood-oak, vanilla, toast-butter, dry full body, crisp, and velvety. The wine maker has a lot to do with the outcome of this wine.
Food Matches: Ceasar Salad, poached Salmon, oven baked catfish, crab meat, oysters, sushi, Akara, peppered fish and snails. 
Famous Chardonnays: Chablis (north Burgundy), Montrachet and Meursault (Côte de Beaune) and Puilly-Fuissé and St-Veran (Maconnais, south Burgundy).

5: Malbec: This variety originally comes from South West France, where it is called Cot and features a hard, tannic style. Due to its intense colour and dark hues, wines obtained from this variety were once called “the black wines of Cahors.” Noa Argentina has taken the lead in the production of this wonderful grape. I have a personal love for this grape because it embodies what i want to feel when drinking a glass of wine. It does not have a very long finish but when it is in your mouth you know you have a full bodied red wine that excites.
Character traits: Malbec is typically a medium to full-bodied, dry red wine with plenty of acidities and relatively high tannin and alcohol levels. Dark, inky purple colour profiles and ripe flavours of plums, black cherry, and blackberry can give this wine a decidedly jammy character and deserves to be called a sexy and heady wine. This wine is very versatile and matches well with food from my region and encourages taste of spices.
Food Matches: Steak, Pork, Lamb, Turkey, Blue cheese , Nkwobi, Isi éwù and African Rice and stew with assorted meats.

This is just the beginning I will have another top 5 in the coming weeks.

How long can I keep a bottle of wine?

This is a topic i will focus on in the near future because people think the older the better but that is just not true, there are probably not more than 10% of wine made with the purpose of aging for more than 10-15years.
Enjoy your bottle of wine before it becomes too old and once the bottle is more than 2 years it is ready to drink and some even younger.  

Is wine supposed to be chilled before consuming?

Perfect temperature for red wine is12˚C - 18˚C so do not hesitate to slip into the fridge for 30mins before drinking especially if you are in my home country Nigeria:Africa.
White Wine: 8˚C -12˚C keep bottle in an ice bucket or return to the fridge instead of leaving it to warm up on the table and remember your body is warm so hold your glass by the stem. Champagne / Dessert Wine: 5˚C - 7˚C, must remain cold to be enjoyed and for champagne it is even more important because the increase of temperature disrupts the bubbles and makes it flat so even it is cold Sparkling wines should always be poured against the side of the glass to preserve the bubbles.

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