There is nothing as satisfying as opening a bottle of wine and hear that "plop" from the cork followed but that "bloop bloop" of the wine falling in to your glass. I am a fan of wine that comes in bottles with real cork, but I knew little to nothing about cork itself.
I was very excited to be invited by Deutscher Kork-Verband e.V. to a blind tasting paired with delicious food at Das Stue, and try to see if it is possible to guess which wine came in a bottle with cork or screw top. And of course the Food pairing...The exciting food from Das Stue.
We were all welcomed by the Uber-Sommelier Rakhshab Zouhleh, enjoying a refreshing 2012 Cava Relat Brut Nature, very according to this sunny summer day. He explained us how this tasting works. We will enjoy 2 flights of wine paired with exquisite food. Then we will try to find out which bottle had a cork, while we learn some more about Cork itself.
The starter got to the table, a Seasonal Funghi Risotto. And it was mouth-watering! After this, the blind tasting started.
.Rakhshab, explained us a lot about cork and where it comes from. I had no idea cork its a 100% natural product made from tree bark, Cork Oak to be specific. The bark of this tree is used to make the tops of our favorite wines. This cork Oak forests not only create jobs for more than 100 000 people, but are the home for animals and endangered species as well.
The fun part is, they remove just the bark and the trees continue living, and they kindda look like trimmed poodles :)
The first 2 wines arrived, White. Both mineral-y and fruity (in a way). After smelling, tasting and deconstructing the taste and smell of both, we all agreed that "Wine 1" was the best and must come in a bottle with a cork top.
And we were right., The Spanish Albariño was the winner by unanimous vote. and it DID have a cork. Then the first course arrived. It was 2 dishes: Calamar Romana with Yuzu Mayo & Grilled Octopus with baked potato. For the vegetarians in the room: Quinoa Salad and Strawberry gazpacho. An excellent pairing with these 2 first wines.
The next 2 white wines were served, and we were eager to see if we would be able to find out which one came in a bottle with cork, or of it was just "Beginners Luck".
Right away we had a favorite. a full-body wine made of Silvaner grapes. Delicious! Thank god for us, it was the wine of our sommelier. We decided that that one was the one with a cork. But this was a tricky one. Both had cork! But this Umana Natura was for me, the favorite of the evening.
Our petit fours appeared: Prawns Summer Roll with Thai Grapefruit. Yet another great pairing. Crunchy and tasty as spring Rolls come. For the vegetarians, there were Nachos on Guacamole. And I had to steal some from Sophia, cause they were colourful, and HELLO? it was avocado!
The Umana Natura, not only came with a cork top, but sealed with wax. What a beautiful old-fashion closing. I love wax seals on wine so much.
The next 2 wines were Red. Violet and Cherry red. Here we were part. 50 % loved "Wine 5" and 50% loved "Wine 6". I was a fan of "Wine 6" a Soft yet Fruity. I rapidly said: The Blaufränkisch has a cork. and boy was I wrong. It had a screw top. So I guess not EVERY great wine comes with a cork.. I guess there are some exceptions to the rule.
Meanwhile, the room was smelling like heaven. A great smell, Iberico Ham Smell to be exact. The Baos with braised pork arrived to the table and suddenly my head was all into it. I finished my glass of the Blaufränkisch and was completely happy with that pairing.
One of the best things of being in a great event, is that you have some great friends and fellow-Foodbloggers. We were some of the #Fibergang there, including my bestie Sophia from IN SEARCH OF, and boy! did we had fun! Just check the next picture for it!
NOw there was time to relax out noses and palates, The dessert wine came by and it was a beautiful wine with a deep smell and taste of elderflower, that would be great to join some table of cheese, if you as me. So i thought some cheese was coming... Please let it be cheese!
But, NO! it wasnt cheese but a tasty sesame waffle with Espuma, So fluffy and soft, Basil, Mango, maracuja... Such an Asian delicacy. a bit like a Mango Lassi with Basil.
At that point, we were done with the tasting, and we all relaxed, drinking some of our favorite wines of the evening. Having interesting chats about cork, wine, experiences and enjoying this scandinavian location.
Besides of great great wines, food and conversation, I found that there are some Cons & Pros about Cork
A Natural Renewable Resource
Longterm Aging Proven
1-3% Affected by TCA ‘Cork’ Taint
So I will definitely keep buying wine with cork, Not only because my favorite wines come with a cork, but I think it is the best we can do for our environment. And after learning so much about it, I think is the best choice.
What do you think about cork? Do you think you can differianciate a wine from cork top to screw top?
Do you want to know more about Cork? Check the Kork Website it is in german, but thank god for google translator!
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...