There is a school of thought which says that you shouldn’t drink wine with soup because soup is a drink anyway. RUBBISH, say I. You should drink wine with anything and everything – the more, the merrier. Of course the traditional accompaniment to soup is dry sherry and it is true that a drop or two will enhance almost any soup, but especially those with a clear broth as opposed to a creamy stock. Get yourselves a bottle of Monis Pale Dry Sherry (R49 from Makro) and see what I mean. And pour yourself a liberal tumblerful to drink with it at the same time. Not a sherry fan? Then try some of these instead.
De Krans Tawny Port from Makro
This is a fabulously nutty, rich port with hints of toffee and caramel. Tawny port is a very underrated style, but it is perfect for winter with its extra alcoholic oomph and its spectacular colour – it even looks warming! Enjoy it with French onion soup topped with a Gruyere cheese crouton – gorgeous!
Neethlingshof Gewürtztraminer 2010 from leading retailers
This is a wonderfully aromatic wine with lots of litchis, apricots, perfume and hints of spice. It’s also a really good food partner for all kinds of things (we loved it at Vin-atics last year!) but especially anything with a bit of heat. Try it with a classic Tom Yum soup and see how the flavours sing.
De Wetshof ‘The Site’ Chardonnay 2009 from leading retailers
Yet another Chardonnay to add to the collection of leading Chardonnay specialist Danie de Wet. This one – as the name suggests – comes from a specific site planted with almost 25-year old vines. It’s been barrel-fermented and then aged for 18 months in barrels and bottles before being released. It’s a rich, creamy wine but with plenty of zesty acidity and hints of nuts. I’d recommend it with a creamy chicken soup or even a lobster bisque.
Knorhoek Chenin Blanc 2010 from leading retailers
A good chenin is an incredibly versatile wine and this is a great example. Packed with bright yellow fruit, lively acidity and just a faint hint of honey and nuts, I’d say this would be a winner with a classic Seafood or Sweetcorn Chowder. Although Chenin and Gruyere cheese is also a match made in heaven, so if you’re not a port fan – give this a go with your French Onion!
Krone Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2012 from leading retailers.
It seems a little strange to be drinking a pink wine in winter but rosé is surprisingly food-friendly, especially when it is just off-dry as this one is. Made from Pinot Noir/Chardonnay and full of soft cherries and berries, I reckon this would be a great match for one of the trickiest of soups to pair with wine – Tomato and Basil. The slight sweetness in the wine should overcome the acidity and any herbs in the soup should be matched by the herbal whiffs in the wine.
Opstal Sixpence Cabernet/Merlot 2010 from leading retailers or from the farm.
This is one of my finds of the winter so far. Sixpence was a shepherd on the Opstal estate for many years and his family live and work there still. This is a worryingly drinkable, soft and juicy wine with plenty of blackcurrants and hints of spice. Since Sixpence was a shepherd, I’ll recommend this with Scotch Broth, but you could easily have it with any kind of meaty soup and it would go to perfection.