For me, Easter Sunday is synonymous with Roast Lamb. All the trimmings- roast spuds and parsnips, fresh baby carrots and new peas with lashings of mint sauce – yes, it was a Spring lunch and no mistake.
Obviously, Easter falls at a slightly different time of year here in the Southern Hemisphere but we still have some of the finest lamb in the world and some of the most amazing recipes to use it with. So here are some fantastic wines which have come my way recently, each one matched to a great Lamb dish which I recommend you enjoy this weekend.
Simonsig Adelberg Cabernet/Merlot 2010 R44.99 from leading retailers
This is one half of a new, good-value duo from Simonsig, already home to one of the best and best-value Chenins in the country. It’s a soft, juicy little number with lots of cheery sweet black fruit – definitely a good one to glug with a tasty, tangy, sweet Lamb Fillet with Soy Marinade.
False Bay Shiraz 2011 R55 cellar door
Ooh I do love a good second label. All the know-how, all the techie-equipment, half the price. This is a great example of why we should buy second labels – lots of fruity spicy goodness, sufficient tannins, smooth finish – in fact so smooth, we’d finished it before we started cooking! Think it would have gone really well with Lamb Chops on the Braai, but unfortunately, we didn’t get chance to check!
Allée Bleue Cabernet/Merlot 2010 R78 Cellar door
The classic combo for Lamb is a Bordeaux Blend so if you want to go traditional, then perhaps you should try this wine. It’s got a nice tweak of mint in the middle which makes it an ideal partner and when you add in lush black fruit and a hint of chocolate, it’s kind of a meal in a glass. Try it with this Feta-stuffed Shoulder of Lamb and savour the flavours.
La Jeunesse Delicat 2011 R80 Cellar door
Seems like reds you can chill are like buses – you wait for ages and then three come along at the same time! This one is a very classy example from top red winemakers, De Toren. It comes from parcels of fruit which don’t fit into their very structured red wines so they’ve made it in this fun, fruity, easy-drinking style, to be served from the fridge. I immediately thought of mildly-spicy food when I drank it – how about these Moroccan Lamb Riblets? Yum.
Mulderbosch Faithful Hound 2009 R120 cellar door
If you want a stunning location for lunch this Sunday, you’d struggle to do much better than visit the new, revamped Mulderbosch. It’s definitely going to be the scene of much chilled, relaxed lunching for me in future, although their delicious pizzas aren’t going to cut it for me for Easter. Try this good, reliable stalwart with a classic Roast Lamb. Sometimes you don’t need to revamp and reinvent – the old ways are the best.
Zandvliet Kalkveld Shiraz 2007 R139 Cellar door
This comes from the top site on the farm – the Hill of Enon - named after the soil combination of limestone, pebbles and clay. It’s a bit of a brooding monster albeit with elegant tannins and whiffs of perfume and pepper. Needs a hearty dish so I would go with one of my all-time favourites here – a meaty Casserole of Lamb with Tomatoes & Anchovies.
Swartland Idelia 2008 R180 cellar door
This wine was a bit of a secret when it was first released – cellarmaster Andries Blake wanted the flexibility to be able to change from year to year so didn’t name the ingredients. But time has proved that it is always going to be a Cape Blend and now that the 2009 has won big at the Pinotage Trophy, he’s decided to come clean. Dense, dark, chewy, spicy – the perfect SA answer to an SA Lamb Potjie.