Wines and Chutneys – an unorthodox pairing!

Since we started back in October 2019, we wanted to represent a very well curated selection of Maltese culinary excellencies in our gourmet section. When it comes to wines, we chose to keep it local. Our wine varieties are rigorously Maltese, and we tend to favour wines made from the indigenous grape varieties – the Gellewza and the Girgentina.

Maltese wines have a marked personality, because of the terroir and the strong sunshine the vines are exposed to. They go well with meat, fish and poultry, as well as with cheeses. There are some excellent award-winning reds. One of our favourites is perhaps the Grand Vin de Hauteville Cabernet Sauvignon is a gold medal winning full-bodied and robust Malta grown Cabernet Sauvignon which offers true classical varietal character derived from selected hand picked grapes.

The white wine of the same family is equally rewarding. This fuller flavoured, dry white wine is made from the designer grape Viognier. It is an unoaked, delightfully fresh wine with an appealing floral and peachy nose. It is ripe in the mouth, yet has famously opulent apricot flavours to offer; all blossom-scented with exotic fruits.

It was by chance that we discovered the how pairing wines with chutneys can be delightfully rewarding!

Chutneys were introduced to Malta by the British in the 1800’s. Our chutneys are made of organic-grown fruit and vegetable chunks, home-cooked in vinegar, sugar and spices until reduced to a thick, dark sauce.

We always tend to associate chutneys with England. However, the word chutney derives from the Hindi word ‘chatni’ which loosly translates to sauce. It was brought to England by traders coming back from India in the 17th century.

At our boutique, you will always find a very healthy selection of reds and whites, as well as many different flavours of chutneys to complement your wines or cheeses, or as an accompaniment with meat, fish or poultry.

What’s more you can always experiment my pairing wines and chutneys! Here are some of our favourite combinations:

– Grand Vin de Hauteville Cabernet Sauvignon paired with tomato, chilli and sage chutney

– Grand Cavalier Merlot paired with tomato and apple chutney

– Grand Vin de Hauteville Viognier paired with Loquat and dates chutney

– Grand Cavalier Chardonnay paired with bambinella and papaya chutney

We have just launched our wines and chutney pairing workshops. Book yours with us here and learn how chutneys can offer you a window to the food which complement your wines!

Farm-to-table – the story of Birgu Blue

When we were carrying out restoration works at our pied-a-terre, which today houses our independent apartment within the Birgu Blue portfolio, we did realise that the entrance hall must have hosted an animal of sorts, which would have been tied onto the wall, during the day or possibly at night to provide the animal with shelter. The elderly folk of Birgu also told us that the space had many uses in the past.

One room (which is now the bedroom) was indeed a boathouse, and housed a traditional ‘frejgatina’ of a local fisherman for many decades. It was also a workshop and a store for leather and shoes for a while and the amount of leather shoes we salvaged from the well (today the wine cellar), proves this.

But the place was mostly remembered by the locals as a grocery store of sorts, where a local farmer would bring his fresh vegetables and fruit from his fields just off the city walls and sell his fresh produce off the back of his mule!

This old photograph of the little donkey was taken some 65 years ago. The two young boys in the black and white photo are today adults, and they were kind enough to come over to our shop and let us have this original picture!

We can safely say that we have been doing Farm-to-Table for over 65 years! And we uphold this tradition by stocking a selection of organic jams and chutneys at our store, lovingly prepared by Maltese gastronome Andrea Critien of ‘With Love from Our Kitchen’.

Learn more about our concept store here.

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