This pairing is all about umami, the “fifth taste.” Umami is a flavour, like sweet, sour, salty and bitter; it’s best described as richness. Think of the full-bodied savouriness of ripe tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and grilled burgers. Crispy duck breast is the epitome of umami, and here the heady intensity of the dish is rounded out by a sesame- and soy-drenched sticky sauce and vegetables (particularly shiitake mushrooms) cooked in duck fat. Garlic, ginger, molasses and just a hint of chili add brightness without overpowering our wine selection.
Carmenere, Chile’s signature grape,is just right for this dish. When servingmouth-watering flavours, it’s important forthe complementary wine to be savoury but not so strong as to overwhelm the food. Carmenere was originally (and mistakenly) thought to be merlot; this grape is similarly robust, but not overbearing. Its soy sauce quality is balanced by notes of blackberryand plums, which give it a lovely lightnessand acidity, creating a heavenly match.
Perfect pairing: Carmenere + Szechuan duck