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Porcini Ravioli and Muratie George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir

24 May 2011

Porcini Ravioli and Muratie George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir

 

When Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti) in Sideways declared, “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving! I am not drinking any f*****g Merlot!” he damaged Merlot’s reputation globally. But he is credited with lifting interest in Pinot Noir, rambling that “Pinot needs constant care and attention… Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavours, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.”

What is it about this thin-skinned, pale-fleshed grape that makes wine-drinkers gush? Part of its mystique lies in the fact that Pinot Noir is eminently difficult to grow. Yet, once in the bottle, Pinot Noir reveals its true versatility. It works well at the table as it is comfortable with many foods – be it meat (especially game), fish, vegetables or cheese.

After much experimentation with Prof Abraham Perold, who created Pinotage in 1925, George Paul Canitz produced the country’s first Pinot Noir on his farm Muratie in 1927.

Winemaking at the Stellenbosch estate has since expanded and, in recent years, more focused wine production has meant grapes are picked and sorted by hand, gently extracted and oak used more carefully than in the past.

Stellenbosch does not boast a coolclimate terroir, although Muratie owner Rijk Melck says that he happened upon a cool patch on the farm while out walking his dogs. The result is the first vintage (2009) of the George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir, elegant and balanced, with forest floor and strawberries on the nose; cherry, and mushroom meatiness on the palate.

Few chefs understand food pairing as well as Linger Longer’s Walter Ulz (pictured left). The restaurant celebrated its golden jubilee in April – and has retained many of its signature dishes on the menu for years. When asked to match Pinot Noir with food, Walter says two things jump to mind: mushrooms and duck. “But our porcini mushrooms are simply beautiful at the moment, so for this wine, porcini ravioli with sage butter will enhance its earthy flavours.”

PORCINI RAVIOLI 
(SERVES 6)

PORCINI FILLING
1 small onion, chopped fi nely
1 clove garlic, crushed
500g fresh porcini, chopped
100g spinach, cooked and chopped finely
100g ricotta cheese
½ glass white wine
½ cup chicken stock
6 fresh basil leaves
1 t truffle oil

1. Sauté the onion, add the garlic, then porcini and cook for about two minutes. 

2. Add the spinach, ricotta, wine and chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. 

3. Add basil and truffle oil. Cool the mixture.

RAVIOLI
300g cake flour
1 egg
½ cup luke-warm water
1 T olive oil
pinch of salt

1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor and allow to rest for about three hours. 

2. Roll out a quarter of the pasta dough at a time until very thin (each portion of the dough should be about 10cm wide when rolled). Place one teaspoon of the ravioli filling at 5cm intervals down one side of each strip.

3. Whisk an egg yolk with three tablespoons of water. Brush the egg along the side of the dough and between the fi lling. Fold the dough over the filling to meet the other side. Repeat with the remaining fi lling and dough. Press the edges of the dough together fi rmly to seal. Cut between the mounds with a knife or fluted pastry-cutter. 

4. Cook the pasta in batches in rapidly boiling water for about five minutes. Drain well and return to pan to keep warm.

PORCINI TOPPING
100g butter
300g porcini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup white wine

1. Sauté the porcini in butter, add garlic and wine. Set aside.

PREPARED BY
Walter Ulz of LINGER LONGER
Wierda Road West, Sandton
Tel 011 884 0465

Source: http://www.winemag.co.za/article/porcini-ravioli-2011-05-24

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