The collected wine-tastings & wine-ramblings of one who prefers to describe wines with metaphors, not percentages

Moroccan wine and food in Marrakech

Three women in colourful Moroccan dress walk along a road shiny with recent rainfall

I return to your screen, dear reader, revitalised by a brief sojourn to the city of Marrakech. A city where the streets are narrow and the mopeds are fast.

Composite image. On the left, a man rides his moped through a crowded Moroccan souk; on the right, a narrow Marrakech street

This is not the place for an exhaustive travel diary (indeed, there is no place for an exhaustive travel diary. Because that crap is boring as hell.) So I’ll limit myself to the tastes of Marrakech.

And what tastes, what tastes.

I think of bitter lacings of the chargrill, the zing of salt and lemon, the matt tang of cheese. Cinnamon, sugar, prune and lamb. Thrilling collisions of sweet and savoury.

An array of Moroccan starters in beautiful, multicoloured earthenware bowls

And the wine? Well.

Wine ain’t all that easy to come by in Morocco. Religion’n'all, y’know? But most any restaurant seems to have a few bottles around.

A golden-labelled bottle of Medaillon wine, as served in a Marrakech restaurantSo, during our stay, we sampled Medaillon Sauvignon Blanc, Medaillon Cabernet Sauvignon and a Syrah the name of which I foolishly neglected to note. All were Moroccan.

Impressions? Curious beasts, the lot of ‘em — the white perhaps most odd of all (a slight tingle of fizz, stewy fruit, decaying blossoms), but all far from usual. A common feature seemed to be a whopping old dose of residual sugar (both reds had a mild whiff of communion wine to them), meaning that all three were far sweeter than you’d expect.

Finesse-wise, they were sorely lacking. But, you know what? In the context, they were damn nice. Perhaps simply because, after a day of being harangued, near-run-over, sun-beaten and bewildered, an alcoholic relaxant was delicious in any form. But also, I suspect, because Moroccan cuisine is so impressive in its marrying of the sweet and the savoury that many finer wines would’ve been entirely out of their depth. Paired with the food, all that sugar actually made a lot more sense.

And, y’know, sometimes (yes, it may sound heretical, but I’ll say it) — sometimes, the wine is just a backdrop.

Anyhow, normal reviewing service will be resumed shortly. Meanwhile, I cordially invite you to peruse my photographs of Marrakech, should you so desire…

2 Comments to Moroccan wine and food in Marrakech

  1. April 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just eaten, but this post is making me hungry..

    • Rib's Gravatar Rib
      April 8, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Yes, I could even do this for breakfast right now.

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