Meal kits are making life easier. Now UCook is pairing your food with wines
The first time I heard about a meal kit was while listening to a podcast and they had an advert for a popular US meal kit service. “It sounds lovely,” I remember myself saying out loud. I had just got some takeaways after a long day at work and wasn’t in the mood to cook.
But I kept thinking about it and how convenient it all sounded. With meal kits, you get your ingredients, all of them measured and the right quantity you will need for the recipe.
It’s no surprise that meal kits, like UCook, have exploded in the market, becoming popular with many working professionals. Everything is so easy to do and honestly, it has probably made more people start cooking again.
But now they have added a wine service that will help you pair your ordered meal with the perfect wine.
So I spoke to Delheim Wine’s winemaker Roelof Lotriet who collaborated with Chef Lapo Magni, to create the perfect pairing with your UCook meal.
We are seeing more people taking a vested interest in making sure they eat good food and paired with good wines. How much of a role have sommeliers and winemakers like yourselves played in making people see the need of picking the perfect wine for their meal ?
As a winemaker, I try to make wines that drink well without food. The pairing with the food part is what makes a really good product even better. The time I spent working in France taught me choosing the right wine to pair with the food is not an occasional thing, it’s a lifestyle. You should eventually get the hang of what cultivars, styles and types of wine generally go well with certain types of food.
Now the sommelier’s job is slightly trickier, they really dissect the wine and food to create a synergistic effect, 1+1=3. Pairing the “perfect” wine is hard but always pays off when you do get it right.
How did you choose which wine goes best with which meal?
This was simple, Lapo is a master at cooking, and the approach was almost as if he was pairing the food with the wine. We had a couple of chats; went to see what his kitchen is about and he came to the farm to see what our wines are about, and one of the key overlapping principals was sustainability. So we wanted to showcase this in the food and in the wine. On this occasion, we can passionately say that the food and wine were made for each other.
What do you particularly look for when choosing a wine to pair with your meal?
I try to keep it simple when it comes to my day to day cooking. I try to base my decision on simpler aspects like for instance when it comes to fatty foods, I enjoy it with a wine that has a naturally higher acidity or lighter foods I pair with lighter wines.
I try to drink different wines as often as possible. When I have friends coming over then I tend to think more in detail about what flavours will go with which vino and then I would go for quality wines that I have had before.
Why was it important for Delheim Wines to be part of this campaign with uCook?
Because we are a family business that has been around for 80 years as part of South African families. We are a trusted household name and hope that more families enjoy cooking at home with Delheim as their favourite home drink.
Also these days you don’t have to go to a Michelin-starred restaurant to enjoy quality food and wine. Having it delivered to your home, to be cooked by you, and enjoyed with friends and family is second to none.
We are moving into the colder months in a few weeks- which wines do you think we should be purchasing this year?
The general feeling is to drink red wines when it’s cold but you can never go wrong with Chenin Blanc. South African Chenin Blanc, in my opinion, is the best in the world.
Drink Chenin! On the red wine side, you can never go wrong with a Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon or Swartland Syrah.