Delaire Graff Empress Rosé 2019, so good with my Cured Fresh Norwegian Salmon…

Delaire Graff Empress Rosé 2019

The Delaire Graff Empress Rosé 2019 is a Cabernet Franc Rosé made specifically by the Estate’s Winemaker, Morné Vrey for sale, solely at Woolworths Wine Shops. In this, the first harvest after the worst drought in living memory was broken, there were severe weather fluctuations in Spring when the buds broke. There were less bunches on the vines, uneven in size and smaller berries. The latter not a bad thing with a higher skin to juice ratio. All the Estate’s white wines show excellent fruit and perfectly harmonious flavours, so too the Delaire Graff Empress Rosé 2019.

Morné Vrey, Delaire Graff’s Award Winning Winemaker

The wine is certified as Coastal Region which means that Morné was able to source his grapes from a number of premium appellations in that region. Once in the cellar, destalked and crushed, the grapes were gently pressed in order to keep colour extraction as low as possible. Using the same style of winemaking as he uses for the Estate’s acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc, Morné and his team are able to retain fresh crisp flavours. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is prepared for bottling.

Cabernet Franc Grapes – parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, ripening on the vine

From a Burgundy shaped clear glass bottle, closed with a screw cap. The livery is plain simple elegant Delaire Graff. In the glass, the wine is like one of Laurence Graff’s pink diamonds you will find in his boutique on the estate. Gem bright. The aromas are of red fruit, fraises des bois and spun sugar. From entry there is a bright acidity running through a generous creamy mid palate with its undertow of Crème de Cassis and fynbos herbiage, to the long and gently waning aftertaste. An impressive glass made for drinking now while fresh and young.

Grappa, Vodka or Gin Cured Fresh Norwegian Salmon

The Delaire Graff Empress Rosé 2019 is to be served well chilled and is a perfect midmorning refresher or sundown sipper. Its flavours are so generous that it would do well with smoked salmon or a delicious smoked fish paté at the start of a meal. At home, you might like to try my Cured Fresh Norwegian Salmon.

Fresh Norwegian Salmon cured with Grappa, vodka or gin

Difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Curing time: 18 hours

Serves 8

Salmon is such a perfect starter for a meal.  Gravlax is usually cured with dill, salt and sugar, here’s another way to do it.  You need to start the day before you wish to eat it.

Serve it with slices of brown bread and a salad into which you have thinly sliced a head of fennel.

What you’ll need
1 kg fresh Norwegian salmon – preferably the centre of the fillet
2 Tbs fennel seeds
2 Tbs coriander seeds
1 Tbs white peppercorns
1 Tbs black peppercorns
160ml flakes of sea salt, Maldon Salt for preference
75ml light brown sugar, use light muscovado
75ml white sugar
125ml grappa or lemon vodka or citrus gin

What you’ll do
Prepare the salmon by slicing just through the skin in lines across the fish about 3cm apart – don’t cut to deep.  Have ready a large platter with sloping sides on which to cure the fish.  In a small frying pan heat the seeds until warm and then give them a good bashing in a pestle and mortar with a little of the salt to break them up.  Stir in the remaining salt and the sugar.  Sprinkle a little of the spice mix onto the skin side of the fish and onto the platter.  Give the platter a sprinkling of grappa and place the fillet on top.  Cover the fish with the remaining spice mixture and sprinkle over the grappa.  Cover with clingwrap and place a board on top with weights on it [a couple of tins is fine].  Leave in the fridge for about 8 hours, then turn the fish over, cover and weight it again, and leave for another 8 – 10 hours.  When ready to serve remove the clingwrap and wipe the excess spices off the fish.  Slice very thinly onto a platter and serve with brown bread and the fennel infused salad.

Read more about Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch and its many exciting offerings, two restaurants, a wine tasting lounge, Luxury Lodges and many works of art  – CLICK HERE

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