Any time the word eggplant pops into people’s heads, they immediately begin to wonder why it is called an eggplant when it looks nothing like an egg? The answer to this is actually pretty interesting. As it turns out, the name “eggplant” was given to the vegetable by Europeans in the mid-eighteenth century. The variety they knew during this time was not the long wine coloured vegetable we know today, but actually had a short round shape, similar to the colour and shape of an egg. Over time the name just stuck and even though the variety we know today is completely different, the name stayed the same.
Eggplant in Ontario is in season from August to October. When picking out produce, you want an eggplant that feels plump and heavy for its size. It should have dark purple skin with a green cap, but be free of soft spots. Be careful not to pick ones that are extremely large as they tend to have more seeds and less meat. Eggplants are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, manganese and vitamins C, K and B6. They also contain copper, thiamin, niacin and magnesium.
The grapes for this dual varietal blend were harvested from premium vineyards in the Niagara
Peninsula. The grapes were gently crushed and allowed a cold soak for 48 hours. Both varieties
were fermented separately at an average temperature of 25˚C until dry. The wine was then
pressed off and transferred into both French and American barrels where it went through a
complete malolactic fermentation and was allowed to age for 17 months before racking into
stainless steel tanks for blending.
Why we think this works – Blends are often great wines for foods because they can incorporate different flavour combinations to highlight the best aspects of the dish. In this wine, the Shiraz adds a spiciness that will play well with the spiciness found throughout this dish, from the harissa, coriander and cumin to the spiciness of the arugula and the other fresh herbs. The Cabernet adds a fruitiness that works to tone down the heat. Grilled eggplant has an earthy, almost meaty quality that needs a full-bodied red wine to balance the flavours and textures. Read the full wine report here!
Contact Wine Club Specialist Candis Scammell for more wine information and check out the Crispy Eggplant and Harissa Flatbread here!