Tofu or not tofu

Max Crus
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Views over a vineyard in South Australia

Views over a vineyard in South Australia [©Winepros/VisitVineyards.com]

“Would you like to join us for dinner”? I asked of the vicar and his family.

“Will we be having tofu again?”, enquired the eldest with all the social grace of Aspergers.

There should be a word for it, perhaps Demetriou-itis, because I certainly felt like the proverbial Demetriou. You know; he built the pyramids, the Parthenon, the palace of Versailles, but is he known as Demetriou the pyramid builder?

I cannot lay claim to any achievement as grand as the Parthenon and well, actually I have managed to bugger up tofu a number of times but is it that hard to shake the shackles of shocking cooking?

I’ve never had much time for tofu but lately I see its worth. Indeed it is little different to pasta or rice in that it takes the flavour of whatever surrounds it, although of course rice and pasta do in fact have flavour, so really tofu is out on its own. Chokkos could challenge.

But no, tofu’s real worth is in social intercourse...”have you tried the latest wholemeal tofu”, or “have you heard they’re experimenting with a low fat version, it tastes exactly like the full bean version”. Well, hey, nothing from nothing?

No, seriously, you have to have tofu these days otherwise some guests will go hungry, which brings us back to the vicar’s daughter.

How was I to know there were 47 different types of tofu? Okay, I should have, given the things it is expected to replace, but gee, for a tofu virgin, getting it right the first time is about as likely as for any virgin.

All the above notwithstanding, tofu has one redeeming feature, by virtue of its flavourlessness, you can drink whatever you want with it. Indeed you have to drink with it.

Try these:

Thorn-Clarke 2004 Barossa Quartage (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Malbec/Petit Verdot), $24. “Smell the coffee, the chocolate, the berries, the toast...”. “Come out of the kitchen, Max”. I am sure proper winewriters would waffle in such fashion. 8.8/10.

Elgo Estate Strathbogie Ranges Riesling 2004, $20-22. 2004 is pretty old for a new riesling, although maybe I just forgot about it for a year. Didn’t hurt its cause one bit. 8.5/10.

Conte Estate McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004, $20. A bit on the raw side, but after a day in the fridge it really began to grow on me. Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep those shirazzes rollin’, Rawside! Hurry while stocks last (250 cases). 8.5/10.

Lost Valley Cortese 2002, $32. Cortese the killer? One would hope not, but it does sound exotic? This year’s seems more like a riesling than previous versions, but we did have a riesling open at the time, so maybe I got mixed up. 8.6/10.

Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2005, $16. This was a bit funny. It had all the usual bits of NZ sav blanc but it all seemed a bit thin. NZ sav blanc wearing a bit thin generally? Nah. 7/10.

Kirrihill Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002, $22. Some nights you have to have a cab and some nights you are rewarded handsomely. This was a delight over three nights. Amazing it lasted that long. 9/10.

Wines reviewed:
Lost Valley Cortese 2002
Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2005
Kirrihill Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002
Thorn-Clarke 2004 Barossa Quartage
Conte Estate McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004
Elgo Estate Strathbogie Ranges Riesling 2004

© Max Crus

Column of tofu friendly wines published week beginning November 27th 2005.

Published in Cairns Post/Rockhampton Morning Bulletin/Northern Star Lismore)/Daily Examiner (Grafton)/Wagga Daily Advertiser/Geelong Advertiser.

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