Pairing Indonesian Food with Wine? Been There, Done That

February 9, 2015 Ellyna Tjohnardi
Having chosen the profession of food blogger for the past few years, I'm starting to find it a little 'saturated', saturated because there are more and more bloggers, saturated because there seems to be only thus much possibility or things to do as a blogger: eat, take photos, share (sometimes review or criticize), go to events and invitations, endorsements (will share more in depth about this in the next post). That's it. Well, occasionally, there are wine dinners to spark up the boring routine, such as the one hosted by Vin+ at its Arcadia Senayan wine boutique.
Indonesian Wine Pairing Dinner at Vin+ Boutique at Arcadia, Senayan (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
I have noticed that there aren't many wine bloggers or wine connoisseurs who share their experiences in the local blogosphere (local as in Jakarta and Indonesia in general). Well, there are a few whom I've met and I know that the person occasionally writes for some publication as well, but they are not as consistent as those wine reviewers / bloggers from overseas. I guess it has got to do with the price of wine in Indonesia, in general. The hefty taxes imposed on a bottle of wine already limits the sort of market who can afford it. However, thankfully, years of late I've seen a lot more wine stores popping up in town, and they've even opened in the shopping malls. And for the convenience for the anonymity of the consumers, there's even delivery service, right to your door-step if you wish for it.

Vin+ Boutique at Arcadia, Senayan (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Vin+ Boutique at Arcadia, Senayan
Vin+ Boutique at Arcadia, Senayan (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)

Anyway, back to the main topic of this post, which is about a rather out of the ordinary wine dinner, as it's about modern interpretation of Indonesian food created by Vin+ Executive Chef Djoko Sarwono, aptly paired with various wines from Vin+'s wine cellar. Indonesian food is not known to be paired with wine, not because it is impossible, but the caucasian sommeliers are hardly familiar with the flavours going on in Indonesian food that only an Indonesian establishment can possibly have the proper knowledge and pull it off. Such establishment is like Vin+, a long-standing and respected name in the local wine business here.

But I'm not going to merely 'boast' about how each dishes went, and instead, I'm going to also share a little wine 101 about the different types of wine served at the dinner. No worries though, I'm not going into technical description, just scratching the-surface, that even wine dummies will understand (I hope!). Alas, let the dinner begin...
Indonesian Wine Pairing Dinner at Vin+ Boutique at Arcadia, Senayan (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)

1st course: Sauvignon Blanc + Chicken and Salad

Food: Chicken Lawar - Balinese traditional salad with marinated shredded chicken
Wine: Miles from Nowhere Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (IDR 550,000/bottle 750ml)
Appropriate pairing of the Australian Sauvignon Blanc with fresh and tangy white meat salad.
Why? Sauvignon Blanc is a dry white wine, having distinct flavour profile that will be recognized when one drinks it: the citrusy aroma and its herbal or grassy scent (source: www.totalwine.com). Due to these properties, SB is a great for pairing with food that has vegetables, white meat or basically tangy, tart food or even with cheese (certain types of cheese).
Chicken Lawar - Balinese traditional salad with marinated shredded chicken  (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Chicken Lawar - Balinese traditional salad with marinated shredded chicken

2nd course: Chardonnay + Crayfish

Food: Crispy crayfish salad with rujak juhi
Wine: Miles from Nowhere Margaret River Chardonnay 2011 (IDR 550,000/bottle 750ml)
Chardonnay is good friends with fatty fish, sauced fish, or seafood in cream based sauce, so crayfish is still an acceptable pairing.
Why? Chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine grape, and in general produces dry to medium dry wine with ripe fruit scent, most often associated with apple, pear even orange, thus crisp Chardonnay. When aged in oak barrels, Chardonnay develops beautiful buttery /vanilla scent, so next time, try to distinguish for yourself if the Chardonnay you're drinking has been oak aged (or not). While slightly oaked chardonnay like this Miles from Nowhere 2011 is safe with a wide range of foods.
Miles from Nowhere Margaret River Chardonnay 2011 (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Miles from Nowhere Margaret River Chardonnay 2011
Crispy crayfish salad with rujak juhi (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Crispy crayfish salad with rujak juhi


3rd Course: Shiraz + Prawn

Food: Deconstructed prawn laksa with spicy coconut sauce
Wine: Shaw & Smith Shiraz 2009 (IDR 850,000/bottle 750ml)
Matching this Syrah with rich laksa spiced prawn, is quite an interesting pairing. I wouldn't say that it didn't work, but perhaps given the choice, I'd rather pair this with red meat such as lamb or beef.
Why? 5 years old Shiraz from warmer climate Australia produces full-bodied and dark coloured Syrah, with rich texture and rather sweet tannin. The normal pairing for Syrah is red meat (lamb, venison, beef, etc)
Shaw & Smith Shiraz 2009 (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Shaw & Smith Shiraz 2009
Deconstructed prawn laksa with spicy coconut sauce
Deconstructed prawn laksa with spicy coconut sauce


4th Course: Shiraz + wagyu beef or Shiraz Grenache + wagyu beef

Food: Rendang Wagyu - Marinated wagyu beef in spicy coconut rendang sauce
Wine: Edwards Shiraz 2010 (IDR 910,000/bottle 750ml) and Glaetzer Wallace Shiraz Grenache 2010 (IDR 820,000/bottle 750ml)
Syrah and food pairing done right for this course. Between the two Syrahs, I prefer Edwards which has a slightly sweet finish, while the Glaetzer is more on the dry side, which I tend to avoid when drinking wines.
Edwards Shiraz 2010 and Glaetzer Wallace Shiraz Grenache 2010 (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Edwards Shiraz 2010 and Glaetzer Wallace Shiraz Grenache 2010
Edwards Shiraz 2010 (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
A glass of Shiraz, cheers!
Rendang Wagyu - Marinated wagyu beef in spicy coconut rendang sauce (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Rendang Wagyu - Marinated wagyu beef in spicy coconut rendang sauce


5th Course: Moscato + dessert

Food: Dadar Gulung - Rolled crepe filled with palm sugar and grated coconut served with orange sorbet
Wine: Moscato d'Bali (IDR 250,000/bottle 750ml)
Moscato with dessert, can hardly go wrong (unless you're not into sweet wines). Unfortunately, the Dadar Gulung fell under my expectation, it was quite dry and hard. I would've been salvaged by the grated coconut filling, if it were wet, but unfortunately even the filling was a dry as sponge. Oh well, at least I could focus on enjoying my moscato instead!
Dadar Gulung - Rolled crepe filled with palm sugar and grated coconut served with orange sorbet (source: www.culinarybonanza.com)
Dadar Gulung - Rolled crepe filled with palm sugar and grated coconut served with orange sorbet

Vin+ frequently organizes wine dinners and relatively at affordable price, such as for this upcoming Valentine's Day, a 4-course  set menu dinner costs IDR 350,000++/person. Kindly call the respective wine boutiques to inquire for further details and to RSVP.

VIN+ Arcadia Senayan
Plaza Senayan Arcadia Level. 1
JL. New Delhi No. 9  (click to open in maps)
Pintu Satu Senayan, Jakarta Selatan
Ph: +6221 57901477
http://vingroup.biz/
Instagram: @VinPlusID
Twitter: @VinPlusID
Facebook: VIN+ Wine & Beyond

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stalk my Instagram: @ellynatjohnardi

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