IT wasn’t that long ago that wine deliveries were arriving at EPD HQ; so much changes, so quickly and it’s a reminder to be appreciative and not take things for granted. Excuse me while I rearrange my crystals.
The goodie box from Lozärn included a bottle of the 2019 Chardonnay, and some beautiful produce from the farm, as well as some other goodies like coconut milk, and olive oil from Owl’s Rest, which also grows lavender. The idea was to create a plant-based dish to tie in with the fact Lozärn’s wines are vegan. I tend to go off and do my own thing and because I didn’t have rice vinegar in the pantry, I used the ingredients in a couple of other dishes.
The cute little butternut was the exactly right size for a portion of soup which I spiced up with some ginger and orange zest. Isn’t that just the most darling word? Zest. It conveys so much. The coconut milk and chillis went into a delicious Thai-style red curry with chicken and prawns (such a rebel), and the extra virgin olive oil – well, that just find purpose in all sorts of dishes, all the time.
The lemons are still in the bowl on the kitchen counter while I decide their fate. A cheesecake perhaps. Or a lemon tart…
The vegan recipe created by Bronwyn Darné (from @365wholesomedays on Insta) I was supposed to follow is at the bottom of this story, and here is more information about Lozärn, its wines – the Chardonnay in particular, which I’m saving for a special occasion (like the day I buy rice vinegar), and winemaker Salome Buys-Vermeulen.
“No wine is created in a vacuum. By the time you pour into your glass, the vintage you’re drinking bears the marks of the soil that grew the vines, the sun, rains and wind that shaped it, the hands that tended the vineyard, the mind that ushered the grapes into the cellar and the intuition and talent of the winemaker who sought to translate the rare and singular character of the wine that transpired.
“Part science, part alchemy, the processes of creating Lozärn Chardonnay 2019 all started in the deep red clay soils of Doornbosch farm in Bonnievale and the iron-laced koffieklip and weathered Karoo soils of Klipbosch farm in Robertson, from where the grapes were sourced respectively. Each soil type left a distinct imprint on the grapes that grew from it.
“Iron gives a lot of structure and concentration to white wines like Chardonnay. Clay soils, on the other hand, retain lots moisture in winter, which is then released sporadically throughout the dry summer months, resulting in cooler soils and a slower ripening process that yields Chardonnays that are rounder, bolder, more generous and with a stronger colour from deeper extraction.
“To achieve optimum varietal expression in a cloak of rich complexity, winemaker Salome Buys-Vermeulen chose to combine 60% of the unwooded juice that was sourced from the clay-based Bonnievale soils, with 40% of the juice from the iron-based Robertson soils that went into second and third-fill French oak barrels to be matured for nine months.
“This beautiful balancing act resulted in a bold, yet elegant vintage featuring a creamy, textured palate alive with the comforting scents that might waft from a bustling farm kitchen on baking day.
“‘The first time I poured Lozärn Chardonnay 2019 into my glass, I was intrigued by the almost familiar aromas I encountered,’ says Salome. ‘As I lingered on the thought, it dawned on me and I was transported to a late afternoon one autumn when I strolled through a lemon orchard. It was the scent of those new blooms, softly layered with vanilla pod – a memory from my grandmother’s kitchen – that lay infused in the buttery fullness of the wine on my palate.’
“Eco-conscious wine lovers can rest assured that, like all other Lozärn vintages, the Chardonnay is 100% vegan-friendly. This means no animal-derived products were used during the winemaking process. Instead, plant-based fining and filtering agents were sourced to coax sulphur levels into balance, clear the wine of pesky proteins and remove other incidental compounds before aging and maturation. By using pea protein and bentonite clay instead of animal-derived products in these processes, Lozärn is taking another vital step towards sustainability and ensuring that we tread lightly on the earth.
“Lozärn Chardonnay 2019 is a foodie wine through and through – a gallant and audacious vintage that can be paired with hearty winter dishes without fading into the background. As we head into the frosty heart of winter, you’re invited to serve it alongside a warming, plant-based butternut chilli noodle bowl with lime ginger and coconut.”
Lozärn Chardonnay 2019 (R143) is available online.
Social media: @LozarnWines / #InspiredByHeritage / #LivingTheLegacy
BUTTERNUT AND CHILLI SOBA NOODLES WITH LIME, GINGER AND COCONUT
500g butternut diced
Olive oil from Owl’s Rest
2 dried red chillis
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 thumb-sized knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup fresh coriander (stalks and leaves) + ½ cup roughly chopped to serve
1 Tbs sesame oil
Zest of two lemons
Juice of two lemons
1 Tbs tamari sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 400g can coconut milk
300 ml vegetable stock
200g buckwheat soba noodles
2 cups spinach roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C. Crush the dried chili with the salt using a pestle and mortar. Place the butternut on a lined baking tray, sprinkle over the chilli and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes until the edges start to brown.
Place the red chillies, coriander, garlic and ginger in a food processor pulse until roughly chopped. Add the sesame oil, lemon juice, tamari and rice vinegar and process to form a thin paste.
Heat a large heavy bottomed pan and add the paste. Cook for about a minute until fragrant. Add the coconut milk and stock. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste to season.
Add the noodles to the soup, and simmer until cooked (about 5 minutes). Add more boiling water if the sauce thickens too much.
Toss in the spinach and cover with a lid until just wilted. Top with butternut and chopped coriander leaves. Pair with Lozärn Chardonnay 2019 and enjoy!
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©