When we think of pairing food with wine, most of us don’t even consider Filipino food as a good pair for wine. Maybe it just never occurred to us, or maybe we think the flavors of Filipino food just don’t go well with wine.
But maybe we should start drinking and cooking Filipino dishes with wine because they can work really well. 🙂
Last Monday, I attended a wine pairing and cooking demo featuring some dishes developed by Chef Sharwin Tee to pair with Casillero del Diablo wines. The most widely recognized brand of Chilean wine recently signed chef-host Sharwin Tee as its newest ambassador.
The always smiling celebrity chef likes to experiment with hearty Filipino dishes, and has developed some recipes that pair really well with Casillero del Diablo’s various wines. Recipes are available below.
CASILLERO DEL DIABLO
Casillero del Diablo, in English, means Cellar of the Devil. What a name!
Casillero del Diablo is a wine brand owned by Concha y Toro, and it is considered one of the best value wine brands in the world. My friends who live in North America have heard of it and know that it’s good wine. I had a bottle of it at home last Christmas and one of my balikbayan friends told me that she heard from her South American friends that it’s a good wine, so of course we had to open it and drink it! Yes, it was pretty good!
The wine legend: It all started back in the 1800s when the founder, Don Melchor, imported grapes from Bordeaux to start a winery in Chile. Afterwards, his wine cellar, where he stores his wine, became famous for the fine wines stored there. Wine kept mysteriously disappearing.
To discourage the thieves, he started a story that the devil lived in his cellar. The story grew and people even started claiming to have seen the cellar’s guardian.
At present, Concha y Toro has grown to become the biggest wine company in Chile, and claims to be the second largest in the world.
These are the people behind bringing Casillero del Diablo to the Philippines:
PAIRING FILIPINO DISHES WITH CASILLERO DEL DIABLO WINES
Chef Sharwin showed us how to make his Pulled Pork Adobo Nachos:
I am not an expert on wine, although I do like to drink it on occasion 🙂
What do you look for when you’re pairing wine? The wine should enhance the taste of the dish. Take a bite of the dish. Notice what it tastes like. Take a sip of the wine, then take a bite of the dish. Did the flavors of the dish taste better, enhanced?
Here’s what Chef Sharwin Tee has to say about pairing wine. Experiment and do what you want, find what you like:
The Spicy Mussel and Clam Binakol was paired with Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay. This was actually my favorite dish and wine pairing, where the flavors of the soup went up a notch once paired with the Chardonnary. I thought the Chardonnay was lively, sweet and deliciously fragrant with pear notes.
The Grilled Chicken with Guava Glaze was paired with Casillero del Diablo Carmenere. Carmenere is a semi-extinct grape variety that is now only mostly found in Chile. A plague in 1867 wiped out the entire Carmenere grape stock in Europe, although there have been recent discoveries of surviving Carmenere vines. I found the Casillero del Diablo Carmenere wine to be fuller-bodied, tasting deeper, spicier, and sweeter, with darker plum notes.
The Arroz ala Cubana “Omu Style” was paired with the Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon was actually my least favorite, I find it on the sourer side.
Pouring the Carmenere:
WINE REVIEW SUMMARY
For me, I find that Casillero del Diablo can be considered a good staple wine. Price per bottle is around P500-700. I think they are a good choice for Sunday dinner with family-type occasions – where you want to drink something nice but it’s not really a special occasion and you don’t want to spend a lot on the wine. It’s also a good choice for when you’re winding down and watching TV after dinner.
I find Casillero del Diablo wines to be much better than the usual, cheap supermarket brands that most people tend to buy. If you have never liked wine because all you have ever tried are the really bad, cheap wines, you’ll be surprised that wine can be good!
Casillero del Diablo’s Carmenere is something I can see myself sipping in front of Netflix when I want to pretend I’m Olivia Pope. 😀
One thing I can say about the Casillero del Diablo wines that I was able to try, was that never once did I find the wines too harsh, too bitter, too tannic, or just generally awful. I used to dislike reds, but I realized some time ago that I just disliked cheap, bad reds.
Casillero del Diablo’s red wines were actually quite okay. I liked the Carmenere best, then the Merlot. I found the Cabernet Sauvignon a bit too sour for my tastes, but some of you might like it, since it’s the Cabernet Sauvignon that is the best-selling wine type in the range.
I loved the Chardonnay.
Casillero del Diablo is a step up if you have already graduated from the elementary wine brands.
Tip for people new to wine: the wines taste much better after you vigorously swirl them in your big wine glass for a few minutes. Just be careful not to spill any.
After buying the wine, keep it in a cool, dark place. Don’t keep it in a warm place, this might ruin the wine. After opening a bottle, try to drink it the same night (share with others). If you can’t finish the whole bottle, use one of those wine stopper things, preferably something air-tight, and keep it in the refrigerator. After a few days, you will notice that the wine will not taste as good as when you first opened it. It starts to taste a bit sour. That’s natural. If you still have some leftover wine that you can’t stand to drink anymore (after they’ve been opened for several days), just use it for cooking.
I keep my leftover wines in the refrigerator until I’m ready to cook with them. Some of the recipes I like to use red wines for are beef stew, chicken adobo, etc…
WHERE TO BUY CASILLERO DEL DIABLO
Here in the Philippines, Casillero del Diablo is imported by Fly Ace Corporation and is available at leading supermarkets and groceries nationwide.
I’ll update this when I see it at the shops. 🙂
CHEF SHARWIN’S PERFECTLY PINOY RECIPES
These are Chef Sharwin Tee’s recipes that he developed to pair with Casillero del Diablo’s wines. As he tells it, he did a lot of drinking while preparing these recipes to make sure that they pair well with the wines.
You can also get these recipes with the bottle of Casillero del Diablo wines:
Enjoy, and hope you try the recipes at home!
Grilled Chicken with Guava Glaze
For the chicken
- 4 chicken breast fillets, around 150-180g each
- 1/2 cup guava jam
- 1/2 cup Casillero del Diablo Carmenere
- 1/4 cup coconut vinegar
- 2 tbsps water
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pickled green mango:
- 2 small green mangoes, cubed
- 1 cup coconut vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsps sugar
- pepper to taste
- To make the pickles, combine all the pickle ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
- In a pot, combine Carmenere wine, guava jam, water and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and reduce until it becomes a glaze or syrup consistency.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Grill the chicken until golden brown and cooked, about 5-7 minutes.
- Brush the cooked chicken breasts generously with the glaze.
- Serve with the pickles on the side.
Arroz a la Cubana “Omu-Style”
- 200 g ground beef
- 50 g carrots, cut into small cubes
- 50 g frozen peas, thawed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1/8 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 2 large saba bananas, cut into thin strips
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 tbsps of cooking oil
- In a saute pan, cook the ground beef in half the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once browned, add in onions, garlic and carrots and saute until fragrant.
- Add in the tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Pour in the wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add in water enough to just cover the surface of the meat. Simmer until almost dry, adding the peas just as the beef is finishing.
- In another saute pan, cook the saba strips in oil until golden. Set aside.
- Pour the eggs into a nonstick pan to cook form a flat omelette. Cook only one side, about one minute. Remove from pan.
- Place the rice and the beef mixture into half the flat omelette and fold the other half over to form a half moon crescent. Top with the saba strips.
Spicy Mussel and Clam Binakol
serves: 4 – 6
- 500 g fresh mussels
- 500 g fresh manila clams
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced thinly
- 2 stalks of lemongrass
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsps Korean chili paste like Gochujang or Chinese chili garlic sauce
- 2 young coconut (buco)
- 1 cup Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay
- 8 leaves of fresh basil
- 2 tbsps cooking oil
- In a wok or deep pot, saute the ginger and garlic in the oil until fragrant. Add in the chili paste and cook 1 minute more.
- Add in the lemongrass, clams and mussels. Pour in the wine. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add in coconut water and the meat and cook until the clams and mussels open. Discard the unopened ones.
- Serve with torn basil leaves as garnish.
Pulled Pork Adobo Nachos
serves: 6 – 8
- 250 g pork shoulder or kasim, cut into big pieces
- 1 cup Casillero del Diablo Merlot
- 1 cup coconut vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 large red onion sliced thinly
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
- 2 whole bulbs of garlic
- 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large green mango, cut into small cubes
- 2 calamansi
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 4 tbsps cooking oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/8 cup cilantro leaves
- 200 g tortilla chips
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pot, brown all sides of the pork seasoned with salt. Add in the onions and saute until fragrant.
- Pour in the red wine and vinegar and simmer for 1 minute.
- Add in the soy sauce, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Simmer until pork is fork tender, about 1 hour. Water may be added if it dries too quickly.
- Slice the tops of the garlic to expose the meat. Season with salt and pepper and one tbsp olive oil. Wrap them in aluminum foil and roast in a 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes.
- Combine the green mango, tomato, calamansi juice, and remaining olive oil. Season with salt, pepper. Set aside.
- Remove the skin from the garlic and combine with sour cream. Set aside.
- Using two forks, flake the adobo meat until they become thin strips.
- Assemble the nachos by placing the chips in a serving platter, topping them with the mango and tomato mixture, the sour cream and the adobo flakes.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!