I've been lucky enough to attend two events in the last two weeks with the lovely folks at Cabana. I love good fresh produce, grilled meats and a cheeky cocktail or two, so this can only be an excellent thing. I think it's so nice that here in London there are so many spots to enjoy different cuisines, from Vietnamese to Argentinian; Japanese to South African. What a place to be a foodie!
One cuisine I haven't had as much of is Brazilian*, so this past month, with the two great Cabana events and the awesome brunch at Carioca has well and truly whetted my appetite. There are lots of familiar elements from other Latin American cuisines (the heat of chillies, the marinaded and grilled meats), but also many things which mark out Brasilian cuisine as something different. Last week I went to the Brixton branch of Cabana for a yummy meal with some of the Bangarang lovelies, and that will feature here soon. Today, however, I'm turning my attention to the Islington branch, where I attended a fun wine tasting.
Now before we begin....I didn't actually know a tonne about Brazilian wine before I attended. I like New World wines (favourites being Chilean Malbec - so good with steak; and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough), but I hadn't encountered Brazilian wines before. That was about to change. In a big way. I was so impressed with the different flavours and tastes on show; Brazil's sheer size and location means it can cultivate such a wide range of grapes, and the flavours on display were really exciting.
We were given such a comprehensive tour of the regions and geography of Brazil - I regretted not getting my notepad out to take notes. What really stuck with me were the parallels between to wine-making traditions of the pampas regions and how closely they mirrored those you might find in regions of France.
We began with two lovely fizzes to try, and they were delicious. Light and fruity, with the gentle acidity of a prosecco - perhaps something to try as an alternative if the forecasted global prosecco shortage does happen?
Love me a good wine pour shot!
After the sparkling wine we progressed to white, then on to the reds. Even Erica, who doesn't usually like red wine, got on board!
This 2012 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon was my favourite of the evening. It had a real velvetty mouthfeel, and a deep, fruity flavour. Smooth and dangerously easy to drink!
I'll write more on the food in my piece on Brixton (spoiler alert: we ate very, very well and I had to hit the salad hard in the days afterwards), but I did take a few snaps when I wasn't thoroughly enjoying the wines.
I enjoyed leafing through this cookbook - lots of great recipes you can make at home. There's a new one being released soon I believe, and I'll be looking forward to trying some dishes at home. Not sure where I'll find palm hearts though....
A lot of the starters and puddings are spherical, and also amazing. The cheese filled rolls above are devilishly moreish, flavoursome and tangy. And the chocolate dipping balls below? Should simply not be allowed. Far, far too good.