Close your eyes and try to remember a really lovely meal you once had – really think about it, perhaps it was a romantic meal for two where you had oysters for the first time, or maybe you had the tastiest freshly-cooked fish and chips from a little beach cafe one summer? Often, memorable meals can happen when you least expect it. I once had the most AMAZING falafel at V Festival of all places – honestly, I still dream about it now and wish I could have it again, but of course I have no clue which food stall I bought it from, and where the company is based!
Jacob’s Creek have joined together with champion tennis player Novak Djokovic to celebrate the special memories that food and wine can evoke. Sometimes, when you taste food, it instantly transports your mind back to a moment in time, doesn’t it? Here, Novak talks about a dish that reminds him of his childhood…
For me, there are a few dishes that bring back lovely memories…
SCALLOPS WITH PEA PUREE AND PANCETTA
It’s our tenth wedding anniversary this year (don’t, it makes me feel old) but back, when it was our very first wedding anniversary, I had this dish. We booked ourselves into a posh London hotel and went for a fancy meal, to celebrate. I remember feeling like it was such a milestone – a whole year of marriage – and we had such a special night. The combination of the scallops with the pea puree was a bit like a posh version of mushy peas and cod that you get from the chippy, but the addition of the salty pancetta transported it to another level. I always order this, when I see it on a restaurant menu – it’s now one of my favourites. This would be perfect paired with Jacob’s Creek Classic Rose or Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir.
STEAK, TRIPLE-COOKED CHIPS AND BEARNAISE SAUCE
Going back even further than that, to our honeymoon in 2006, and we were doing a 3 week tour of Australia’s East Coast. Our first stop was Port Douglas – and we had the most magical meal at a restaurant that’s actually set up in the trees (I believe it’s called Nautilus). It was like something from a fairytale. I ate steak, and drank a little bit too much wine as it happens, but if you can’t kick back and enjoy yourself when you’re dining in the treetops, when when can you?! I remember feeling – at age 27 – like I was just pretending to be a grown up, that night, eating in a posh restaurant in the trees in Australia. This is another must-have dish for me, when I see it on a menu. Medium-rare, for me please and with a glass of Jacob’s Creek Reserve Barossa Shiraz.
A GREAT CHEESE BOARD
You can’t go wrong with a good cheese board, right? I’ve eaten many a special cheese board (in small French bars, at my 30th birthday party – which was a cheese and wine party, in posh London restaurants) but the one that meant the most to me was shortly after the birth of my daughter, nearly six years ago. Having struggled through the nine months of pregnancy where I couldn’t eat any decent cheese, Mr P ordered a selection of Neal’s Yard Dairy cheeses for me. Having a fridge stocked with Montgomery Cheddar and the like, was the best ‘new mum’ present ever! A good cheese board is a must for me, at the end of a meal, and perfect with another glass of Jacob’s Creek Reserve Barossa Shiraz.
On Thursday, I’ll be joining others at a Jacob’s Creek wine tasting event at Wimbledon, hosted by celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner and with an appearance by Novak Djokovic. Chefs will be recreating the dishes that evoke special memories for me, and Jacob’s Creek will be pairing wine to each course. How exciting! Follow me over on Twitter for updates from the evening.
This post has been commissioned by Jacob’s Creek and as always, all views are my own. For details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page. Images of scallops, steak and cheese: Shutterstock.