Early this summer four of the six Curtice Brothers met in Tuscany to cook the first 5000 bottles of Tomato Ketchup intended for the UK. These bottles, however, never left our warehouse because of a grave mistake that happened during the preparation of the ingredients: almost all of the sugar that is required for a good balance of flavours, the right texture and desired preservability had been omitted.
Even if it was the delicious Tuscan red which we enjoyed the night before that caused our “sugar experts” to be absent-minded, we should rather develop fool-proof procedures than to refrain from the pleasures that two of the greatest achievements of human culture provide: food and wine.
Wine elevates delicious food. Pinot Noir, for instance, is great for dishes with earthy flavors, Chardonnay is delicious with any kind of seafood, Cabernet is fabulous with juicy red meat and, believe it or not, Carmenere is a great companion for Ketchup.
Ketchup, according to Bill Zacharkiw, with “its sweet and vinegary flavor and decidedly herbal, earthy edge … tends to dominate whatever your are eating or drinking [it with]”. Bill and his colleagues tried 14 different red wines and were surprised how many of those wines tasted bad with ketchup. He notes that “any wine with what I refer to as classic “European tannins,” such as Bordeaux and Chianti, became even more tannic and drying” while Camenere – among a few others – even “became more elegant when tasted with ketchup”.
The brothers will meet in Tuscany again in a few weeks. This time we will cook 10,000 bottles and send them to all the restaurants that had been promised to receive them a long time ago. We will drink Camenere and we will not forget to add sugar. And we will send one of those bottles to Bill, for him to determine which ketchup goes best with wine.