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What’s trending for 2017?

Food and Wine

Trends in the UK are forever changing so we want to make sure you’re all up to date on what’s happening this year.  Food and drink go hand in hand so that’s why quite a few of these trends are food based.

Cauliflower

“Cauliflower is the New Kale” so for all you trendy vegans looking to impress your friends at your next dinner party, our London Wine Development Specialists have come up with wines to match some cauli- dishes.

Cauliflower soup with chive oil and rye bread- this recipe requires a fresh, dry but mineral white wine such as a chardonnay or if there’s some spice in the soup then perhaps a Chenin Blanc. The best match we recommend is the Kleine Zalze Unwooded Chardonnay (31445) from the western cape of South Africa. It has all the crisp freshness required to pair with this dish but with a touch of ripe fruit to cope with any spice or pepper if desired. It is great value for money as well from our MC New World range at a list price of just £6.79.

Grilled Cauliflower steaks and spring onions- Cauliflower steaks are cut through the core of the head, from the base to the top, to give a tree-shaped ‘steak’, which is then grilled until slightly charred and then combined with spring onions as the primary flavours. To cope with the extra power of the charring as well as the flavour from the Cauliflower and the onions, we need an oaked white wine, preferably from the ‘Old World’, so that we have plenty of acidity for freshness. An oak-aged white Rioja would work well but the best bet is a Rhone white, based around Roussanne and Marsanne, with classic Rhone white varietals which cope well with oak-ageing, retain a lot of their aromatic and citrus characters- we highly recommend Jean-Luc Colombo’s stunning Crozes-Hermitage Blanc ‘Les Gravieres’ (24475) at £14.03 List price.

Vegan Alfredo with asparagus and peas- The cauliflower is blitzed up and mixed with almond milk to form the base of the creamy pasta sauce and the main taste profile along with the asparagus and peas. A very light and fresh dish requiring a wine similar in taste profile; Northern Italian whites from Piedmont or the Veneto would have the freshness required, so think along the lines of Pinot Grigio or Soave. Both would be equally good, but I’ve selected the Gavi from Enrico Serafino in Piedmont (25837), the Cortese grape is king here and offers the freshness to pair with the asparagus and peas but has a little time on its lees, to allow it to work with the light creaminess of the sauce. In addition to being a great match and very fashionable, it is also suitable for vegans, so continuing the theme of the recipe (£9.32 List price).

Coconut

The rise is going to continue. The impressive versatility of the coconut has certainly impacted the popularity of the hairy fruit. Growing from just a tropical water and an alternative to standard cooking oils, the versatility of coconuts is now coming into full display with different parts of the palm being used for many different products. Examples of these products that are now being produced are coconut jam, syrup, sugar, savoury sauce (a soy sauce alternative), flour, butter, vinegar and many beauty products. So this year we are going crazy for coconut flour. It’s a great gluten-free option, more easily digestible than regular white flour, and high in both protein and fibre.

Charcoal

In black burger buns, modern ice creams, inky cocktails and thick, oily black dressings, charcoal is having a moment. Black food is always good for a dramatic social media photo and the alleged health benefits when charcoal is activated include detoxification, teeth-whitening, and hangover-curing. Activated Charcoal is the by-product of burning coconut shells, wood, or other plant materials. If that sounds dangerous to eat, don't worry because charcoal made from coconut is harmless and is different than consuming food that has been charred or burnt.

Zero waste

Minimising food waste is something we’re 100% behind on, and now thanks to restaurants like Silo in Brighton, the war on waste has begun. Add to this companies like Rubies in the Rubble, who make jam from rejected fruit and Toast Ale who make beer from leftover bread. A trend is emerging for ‘closed-loop’ cocktails made with ingredients people throw away. Get involved in the zero- waste and sustainable trends by following the footsteps of Duck & Waffle in the Heron Tower- Liquid alchemist Rich Woods, released a daring cocktail menu last summer featuring banana skins, tomato stalks, avocado stones and burnt toast in order to shine a light on ingredients chefs and bartenders tend to throw away.

Insta-ready

40% of all millennials have posted pictures of their food at least once before. The popularity of social media networks like Facebook and Twitter continues to increase and so does the concept that everything we do – everyone we meet, every party we attend, every movie we see – needs to be uploaded and shared with our Internet friends. Millennial diners will increasingly seek out casual restaurants that are newer and trendier in order to elevate their personal brand. The same goes for their drinking experiences, a show stopping cocktail is something that a consumer will definitely want to document.

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