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!

Make Tea Not War – the quest to source the best highland teas in the world

In December last year, I quit my director’s job and decided to take a break and step back from an international career which saw me living in some of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe – London, Paris and Rome. I took a sabbatical and went out on a mission to source some of the best teas in the world.

The highlands of Nuwara Eliya in Ceylon was the natural place to start my journey. Here, I visited some of the most important tea estates on the island. I ventured to the tea plantations, met the amazing women tea-pickers who diligently pluck those tea leaves which make the most divine tea cups, and learnt to distinguish and taste the various tea flavours which this land offers. It was an incredible experience, and the satisfaction of personally sourcing my own teas for our Boutique was immense.

In the end, I settled for tea from two very different tea estates. The BlueFields tea estate, which is one of the oldest established estates of Ceylon, and the Nandana tea estate, located in the south, and renowned for its organic flavoured teas.

We now have a selection of ten different teas at our Boutique – Earl Gray, Vanilla, Peppermint and Cinnamon teas make up our naturally-flavoured tea selection. For the tea purists, we offer Pekoe Tea, Orange Pekoe (OP), Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) and of course, Green Tea!

You may now shop for our teas online, or even follow a tea and jam pairing workshop where you get to taste all of our teas, accompanied by some of our home-made jams!

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