Slow Food is a non-profit, member-supported organisation encouraging people to take an interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and to think about how their food choices affect the rest of the world. Today there are over 80,000 members internationally.
Any foreigner visiting NZ is gladly surprised by the NZ BBQ tradition. BBQ in Marlborough appears to be a sacred cooking pot, a moment to share with friends and family whether in the garden, in the Marlborough sounds, or on the boat. Name a place to have a BBQ, it’s probably been done already by kiwis.
At Clos Henri we decided to take that great tradition, forget about French cuisine, and get Slow Food lovers to enjoy the sun of Marlborough with some fantastic meat… on 2 BBQs … the idea was to compare gaz BBQ with vine shoots BBQ. But before eating, we had to do some exercise in the vineyard: our winemaker and viticulturist showed the purpose of vine shoots – starting with pruning process and use, then explaining how to make vine shoots bundles, and finally showing at the winery the use for them (as filters in the red tanks during the fermentations).
David Woodley, from the Village Butcher in Blenheim, gave explanations on how he ages his meat, and chooses the best pieces, as well as how he smokes his bacon. Finally he gave few tips to cook perfect steaks on the BBQ.
At the menu was an aged angus ribeye steak, some greek style sausage and New Orleans andouille.
After a difficult start of the fire on the vine shoot BBQ – which reminded us that it is most certainly the reason why gaz BBQ is commonly used – we were able to compare the flavours on the BBQ. To be precise, the tenderness of the meat was not affected, nor was the moisture, but the flavours were very distinct. The vine shoots were from a mix of pinot noir and sauvignon blanc shoots, to which we wouldn’t make any differences once burnt. These shoots had been used during harvest as filter in our tanks; therefore they had been ‘soaked’ into wine for a little while and were still carrying the flavour in their wood. The smokiness and the perfume given by the wine to the meat on the vine shoots BBQ was quite something.
The votes for better taste were unanimously for vine shoot BBQ!
Special thank you to David from The Village Butcher for his beautiful, flavoursome and tender meat!