Creating a contemporary identity for a Chilean classic

Creating a contemporary identity for a Chilean classic

  • Equator
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  • Illustration
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  • Manchester
  • Food & Drink
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits

Amid Santiago’s vibrant side streets and colourful murals, young groups of friends are reviving a traditional Chilean favourite with medieval origins - Pais wine.

Vineyards at the foot of the Andes, just a few hours from stunning snow-capped peaks, have lovingly revitalised this revered red.

A red wine grape with history

Inspired by Pais’ monastic origins, our design team created a contemporary stained-glass graphic label that would put a modern twist on this historically important wine.

Originally brought to Chile by monks for communion wine, Pais is the oldest grape variety grown in Chile, dating back to the 16th century. Now they are grown in the Maule, Itata and Bio Bio valleys.

Creating a contemporary identity for a Chilean classic

Traditionally a well-loved house wine in many Chilean homes, it was kept in family cellars and enjoyed throughout the day. Now Pais is a favourite jug wine among groups of friends on the Santiago bar scene.

From kitchen to camera

Pais grapes are thin-skinned, creating a lovely, light-tasting red wine that complements hearty dishes, especially those containing red meat, duck, chicken, tuna and griddled vegetables. Think Mediterranean meze meets South American street food – from tapas to tacos!

Creating a contemporary identity for a Chilean classic

For an authentic aesthetic, our chef Joe, rustled up some tasty recipes reflecting popular South American street food, including mozzarella and spiced beef empanadas (encased in the glossiest puffed pastry you’ll ever see!) with sweet griddled veg and fire roasted peppers, tangy coriander dip and roasted corn “choclo asado”. Want to create Joe’s empanadas yourself? No problem. You’ll find the recipe below.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g (1lb) lean beef mince
1 green pepper, diced
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
2 large tomatoes, diced
200g grated mozzarella
2 x 375g pack ready rolled shortcrust pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion; cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add the mince and cook until browned.
2. Add the pepper, cumin and paprika; stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes; cook for 3-4 minutes. Season, remove from the heat; allow to cool.
3. Roll the pastry out flat. Using a 9cm (3¼in) round pastry cutter, or a plate, cut out 24 discs of pastry.
4. Put 1 tbsp of filling on 1 half of the pastry circle and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Brush the edge with egg, fold over and use a fork to seal the edges. Brush with egg and put on a baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve with your preferred sauce.

Behind the scenes

Our food styling team paid close attention to lighting for our Pais photoshoot. To re-create the feel of stained-glass in our studio, our props and stylist wonder woman Dawn, cleverly devised a small make-shift window, pieced together from different colours of found glass, to create a rainbow effect.

“We were inspired by the idea of the stained-glass window, but also wanted the lighting to have the feeling you’d just ducked into a Santiago bar to hide from the heat, with the last of the rays of the day streaming through. We love the rainbow of light piercing through the team have captured.”

Setting the scene

Dawn selected earthy terracotta tableware and an eclectic mix of coloured glass inspired by Santiago street art. A chunk of distressed grey wood gives the impression of a well-used table that has seen many get-togethers, while photographer Emma set the dim lighting, casting deep murky shadows and highlighting the rainbow bands beaming through...

... And we all tried not to nibble those golden empanadas until the shoot was over!


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