Food and wine pairing starts in the kitchen with our Executive Chef Dennis Kuipers. A new creative process is then started. 

A new dish is not easily created. It takes time, tasting and preparation. When a dish starts to take shape, the Chef informs me about its progress. This will give me time to think about the perfect wine that will suit the dish.

When making a food and wine pairing, I start by sensing what the course is all about. For me this is a process during which I decide on the perfect wine. When I have a great mental picture of that course I will look in the wine cellar and start contacting suppliers.

I categorize the wines and courses according to fresh and matured flavours. When a dish is a full flavoured fish course, I will make sure that the dish is paired with a full bodied white wine that is rich in taste. In making pairings it is very important that the wine does not overpower the dish with flavour but rather adds to the experience.

The feeling I have with a course is very important. At the moment, we have a course of John Dory with a risotto of squid and plankton. This course is silt, green and has a lot of flavour, which gives it a Mediterranean feel. When I want to pair such a course with a wine it needs to be fresh, green but not to dry. Because the squid risotto has a creamy mouth feel, the right match with this course is a very special Albarino from the Ribeiro in Spain. It has the perfect combination of freshness, herbs and high flavours.

The Chef and I taste all the wines and courses together. A wine and food pairing is only perfect when I get the satisfaction of the Chef.

Natasja Noorlander – Sommelier

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