There is something special about the first winter roast of the year, choosing your meat, prepping it the day before, sticking it in the oven at breakfast time and then savouring the desperately-tantalising smells all morning until it’s time to eat.
Mmm – I’m salivating as I speak. And, of course, you need great wines to offset your culinary masterpieces. Here’s a few I’ve had recently.
Wines with Lamb
I’m a bit traditional when it comes to wines to go with lamb and like to stick to a great Bordeaux blend to complement the savoury, umami-laden goodness of the slow-cooked meat. The Constantia Glen FIVE 2009 (R270 cellar door) is just sublime.
Interestingly, it’s Petit Verdot-lead which is an unusual choice but one which provides lots of lipsmacking tannins and generous helpings of black fruit.
The Anthonij Rupert Optima 2010 (R140 cellar door) has been one of my favourite wines since I tasted it for the Platter Guide and I think it’s getting better and better. Ripe and robust, yet elegant and with a lovely finish of tobacco leaves, black berries and a hint of cream.
Wines with Pork
Crispy crackling, meltingly-tender meat, rich brown gravy – what’s not to love about pork?
Currently, this is my favourite Sunday roast meat and particularly when I pair it with my husband’s new, absolute favourite wine – the High Road Director’s Reserve 2010 (R250 cellar door). I don’t think I’ve ever heard him rave about a wine like he did this one and if you try it, I daresay you’ll rave too. Soft black berries, smoky hints, elegant and integrated tannins – truly delicious.
My other choice would be for that much-maligned grape Merlot. The 2010 from Hartenberg (R125) has just won bigtime at the Concours Mondial and is definitely one of SA’s best. Aromas of super-ripe black berries give way to a balanced and poised mouthful with supportive tannins and a fresh finish.
Wines with Chicken
White wines can be wintery too you know! Here’s a couple of delicately-oaked beauties to try with a crispy, fragrant roast chook. The Wintersdrift Chardonnay 2013 (R97 cellar door) is actually only partially oaked so retains lots of lemony flavours, backed up by a creamy texture and a refreshing spritz of mouth-tingling acidity.
The Carl Everson Chenin Blanc 2013 (R125 cellar door) from Opstal Wines also uses minimal oak (all 3rd and 4th fill) but it’s just enough to round out the spicy and rich caramelised pineapples and pears. Lively acidity finishes the wine off deliciously.
Wines with Beef
Hearty roast beef – whether it’s primerib, sirloin or ribeye – is the perfect Sunday roast in the minds of many. Try yours with something equally hearty and robust such as the Fleur du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (R75 cellar door). This is an excellent price for a modern, more-ish wine with sweet black berries and soft, juicy tannins.
Or go for something a little more unusual such as the Oldenburg Cabernet Franc 2011 (R200 cellar door) which pairs elegant tannins and soft black fruit with a fresh tea leaf and tomato edge. Savoury, warming and lovely.
Wines with Game
Both my choices for roast venison or slow-cooked kudu are Syrah, both are examples which go for spicy grace over power. The Woolworths Radford Dale Reserve Syrah 2012 (R99.95 from most stores) is an elegant accompaniment which emphasises the peppery side of Syrah whilst still backing it up with black and red cherry fruit.
Lovely with a springbok shank. Or try the La Motte Syrah 2011 (R139 cellar door), recently name-changed from Shiraz to help customers understand the style of wine. And very stylish it is too – clean fresh red and black berries with ladles of sweet spice – pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Very pleasurable indeed.