Q&A: Michael Caines MBE and James Matyear

Profile: Michael Caines

How has your career as a chef and the philosophies that you work by influenced the vineyard project?

It has always been key for me to work well with sommeliers when it comes to matching and pairing wine with food. I have been fortunate to travel the world to learn about wine, to see vineyards and hear stories of local wine. I have always enjoyed wine and learning about the context of what it is that I am drinking, where it comes from, how it has developed its flavour and what food it is usually had with.

I instinctively knew that our vineyard project at Lympstone Manor could happen as I have a passion for it, a great team who share the same passion, and I’ve enjoyed working and sharing that passion with my Operations Director Steve Edwards for over 25 years now, along with our knowledgeable partners who will enable us to get the best from our project. Ultimately we are aiming for a food friendly wine. but equally a wine that’s good on its own too.

What is your ultimate food and drink pairing?

There are so many possibilities, however a good story that I can share with you is about a wine that I tried in Italy – Moscato Rosa made by Franz Haas, which is a sweet red wine, with notes of raspberry, chocolate and rose petals, and it inspired me to create one of our most popular desserts, our White Chocolate Candle, which has flavours of raspberries and rose.

I also wanted to involve our head sommelier Marko Mägi, as he can also share a couple more examples of fantastic pairings of white and red wine with favoured dishes on our menu.

Marko Mägi: – Cornish duckling, orange braised chicory, anise and orange scented jus. Classical flavours, but also very demanding for the wine. Orange sauce and skin of duck need special freshness from the wine and to find orange marmalade character from the wine is a must to integrate the flavours. The pairing wine is 2015 Pinot Noir Coteaux Champenois, Le Rouge de Balnot, Gremillet – a red wine from Champagne which we have specially sourced for this dish and we are the only restaurant in England where this wine can be found.

Exmouth lobster with mango and potato salad, curried mayonnaise, cardamom vinaigrette – Michael’s absolute classic dish. The pairing wine is 2015 Pinot Gris, Wellenstein Foulschette, Mathis Bastian, Luxembourg. The wine has just enough fruit character to compliment the natural sweetness of lobster and mango flavours while the key element is the aftertaste of cooking spices in the wine which just lifts the flavours of cardamom and curry and creates such a unique flavour combination. This wine is sourced for us straight from Luxembourg just for this dish.

In what way do you think your wines will compliment your food?

Caines: We will look for quality most of all, and aim to produce a wine that is developed to be enjoyed with food. A well-balanced wine with good acidity and structure will always be our preferred starting point when it comes to how our wine will complement our dishes. It is difficult to forecast how our wine will be presented as a finished product at the moment, but with the care and attention that our team give to our vines, as well as the focus on quality throughout the process, we should hope to create wines that complement our dishes beautifully.

One Response to “Q&A: Michael Caines MBE and James Matyear”

  1. Stephen Skelton says:

    Am trying to get hold of James Matyear -anyone got any ideas?

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