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The perfect pairing – Matching Ukrainian food and wine with chef Yevhen Klopotenko

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The renowned Ukrainian chef creates modern dishes based on his country's traditional cuisine, and they pair perfectly with Ukrainian wines.

In partnership with Beykush WineryBig Wines and SHABO


Ukraine’s vast size and rich history endows it with a distinct culinary identity. Although each of its oblasts has its own culinary traditions, there are certain dishes that transcend these and are held dear as national favourites.

Ukraine’s famous borshch – the preparation of which has now been added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage – is one such dish, a hearty, sour soup coloured deep crimson by beetroot. Halushky is another universally loved dish: thick, soft noodles or dumplings with accompaniments varying from oblast to oblast, from sheep’s milk cheese to cabbage and onions At his restaurant, just a few steps from the iconic Andriivska Church in Kyiv’s Podil district, Ukrainian chef, innovator and activist Yevhen Klopotenko is taking a modern approach to traditional Ukrainian cuisine.

Using ingredients sourced locally, he is reimagining the Ukrainian classics of yesteryear, reviving and reinterpreting symbols of national identity and pride to preserve the country’s gastronomic heritage. And what better accompaniment for these national dishes than local wines? Ukraine’s diverse range of wines, produced from both local and international varieties by a range of newly founded wineries and the well-established larger players, are the perfect match for Yevhen’s reimagined traditional dishes.


Yevhen Klopotenko’s perfect pairings

Starter

Salted dunaika

Salted dunaika
Tender salted dunaika, or Danube herring, is served with a smoked carrot oil and confit potatoes. Its saltiness is balanced with a buttery, creamy sauce and sharp guslianka cheese. The dish is topped with herring caviar and sprinkled with a charred herb dust for added texture. The combination of flavours pairs perfectly with a dry sparkling wine.

Bisser, Kolonist Winery, Bessarabia NV

Paired with
Bisser, Kolonist Winery, Bessarabia NV

This classic-method sparkling wine, made solely from Chardonnay grapes in the Blanc de Blancs style, offers light floral notes on the nose, followed by aromas of freshly baked brioche. On the palate, it boasts buttery notes, plenty of body and good acidity, complementing the saltiness of the fish.

Soup

Borshch

Borshch
A firm favourite in every Ukrainian household, this national treasure is given a fresh twist in Yevhen’s kitchen. He adds sweet plum jam to match the sourness of the beetroot, which is baked in a wood-fired oven for a touch of smokiness. This multi-layered, meaty dish needs a muscular, complex wine to stand up to its powerful flavours.

Odesa Black Big Wines Big Art, Ivan Marchuk Limited Edition, Big Wines, Odesa 2020

Paired with
Odesa Black Big Wines Big Art, Ivan Marchuk Limited Edition, Big Wines, Odesa 2020
This expression of flagship red variety Odesa Black offers blackberries, blackcurrants and white pepper on the nose. The black fruit delivers on the palate too, which adds plums, violets and a vanilla sweetness from time in oak. Robust and multi-layered, it stands up to the borshch’s hearty heft and spicy flavours.

Main course

Vereshchaka ribs

Vereshchaka ribs
Marrying two Ukrainian favourites, these pork ribs are baked in a wood-fired oven in a sauce made from kvass – a local fermented drink made with beets, bread and sourdough starter. The mix of smoky, sweet and sour flavours works well with a fruity red.

Kara Kermen, The Historical Series, Beykush Winery, Mykolaiv 2018

Paired with
Kara Kermen, The Historical Series, Beykush Winery, Mykolaiv 2018
This equal blend of Saperavi and Tempranillo is made using the appassimento method and is softened by at least 36 months in American oak. The 2018 vintage has wild berry fruitiness whilst notes of smoke, leather and truffle lend complexity. The perfect match for smoky pork dishes.

Dessert

Buckwheat praline

Buckwheat praline
This cleverly crafted dessert invokes both the forests and the fields of Ukraine with a crunchy and slightly nutty buckwheat praline, served with ripe cherries, fresh thyme and fir tree oil. The dessert’s many layers of flavour call for a complex wine.

Ice Wine, SHABO, Odesa 2021

Paired with
Ice Wine, SHABO, Odesa 2021
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, this award-winning dessert wine is vibrant red in colour, with distinctive wild berry character. The palate offers refreshing acidity, beautifully offsetting the subtle nuttiness of the praline.


Discover more about Ukrainian wine

Ukraine’s terroirs: an eclectic range of styles, varieties and traditions

Wineries leading the way – Meet the key producers revolutionising and championing Ukrainian wine

 

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