For centuries wine has been a beverage that many have enjoyed across the world. Sommeliers and chefs have curated food and wine pairing menus educating masses on which wines best pair with food to ensure a delightful blend of aromas and flavours are experienced on our palates.
Over the years, the art of wine and food pairing has shifted to a simpler method, whereas consumers can match the tasting notes i.e. herby, citrusy, fruity notes from their wine, with that of the ingredients of their food. The old adage of white wine with white meat, red wine with red meats and sweet wine for dessert is presently being challenged as the tasting spectrum for some wines from new world wine countries are presenting a broader tasting profile.
The last stop – Africa – a continent where our foods are generally heavy, spicy and complex to a foreign tongue. With a rich use of oils, spices and carbs within our diet, wines need to be carefully selected to best complement our food – it’s not impossible yet we have to be intentional with the procedure.
Wine consumption has rapidly increased over the years in Ghana, to the point where Ghanaians can shop country specific wines from California, Spain, South Africa, Italy in stand-alone outlets. Over the past decade we have seen the quality of wine improve, along with varying lifestyle and product engaging experiences being delivered, which in turn, are capturing a larger market of Ghanaian consumers.
What is important, as we continue to penetrate the market with the wine culture and lifestyle, is that we make it our own! With years of experience in hosting wine tasting events in Accra, one thing which is consistent, is that your average Ghanaian cannot identify the bouquet tasting notes and flavours presented in wine, as it is foreign to their palate. Within our industry, we have a responsibility to Africanise the wine culture and make sure we speak our own language to what we identify in taste and what pairs well with our cuisine.
As Africans we have done so well with Africanising everything else and not adopting to the western culture, wine will be no different.
This Thursday 19th August at Sai Wine Café, we are taking bold steps towards this movement by hosting a food and wine pairing evening. We shall be pairing household favourite Ghanaian jollof, grilled chicken and kelewele with 3 red grape varietals. Our seasoned sommelier will educate our guests on each wine, take them through the three-step tasting and then proceed to pair with our food. We are excited to be embarking on this pairing journey with the hope that consumers will start adapting and being selective on the wines they present with their meals.
We look forward to continuously redefine food/wine pairing, and the wine lifestyle in Ghana. We have confidence in a few years to come, foreign wine will play the best role on our local dining tables.
The writer is the Founder/CEO of Sai Wine Café