Bubbles go with oysters and smoked salmon, right? Weeeeeell often yes, but not always. If you want to surprise your other half this Valentine’s Day try pairing your fizz with some slightly off-the-wall food to dazzle and delight.
1. Pierre Jourdan Brut 375ml (R57) goes with: breakfast
If you don’t think you should drink fizz in bed, then I’m afraid we can’t ever be friends. But just to soothe the sensibilities (and to make sure that, in the words of the Bard, it doesn’t ‘provoke the desire, but takes away the performance’) go for a half bottle of this always-favourite fizz and match it with this unbelievably-more-ish breakfast cake. Watch out for those crumbs…
2. Kleine Zalze Brut NV (R110) goes with: beans on toast
I may or may not have drunk rather a lot of this over the Christmas holidays, helped by an excellent price from my local supermarket and from this wine’s absolute and total drinkability. I’m recommending this with beans on toast but really I mean any mid-week supper, on a tray, in front of the TV, curled up with your loved one. Add some spice to the occasion with these quick and easy beans on toast.
3. L’Ormarins Brut Classique Rose NV (R120) goes with: cheese
Hold on – I thought it was red wine which was meant to go with cheese? Well yes, but there’s no reason not to try out this charming, refreshing pink fizz as well. Lovely packaging (of course – it’s L’Ormarins), really lovely flavours and most importantly, a fresh, tingly acidity to cut through rich cheeses. Try this pomegranate, feta and herb couscous salad – full of delicious rubies for your good companion.
4. Allée Bleue Brut 2013 (R164) goes with: Nando’s
A serious amount of time on lees – 36 months – followed by a further 12 months on cork, this is one savoury glass of wine! Packed with salty, yeasty flavours with crisp acidity and a lengthy finish, the perfect accompaniment to this umami-fest is some umami-laden food so yes, you could definitely head down to your nearest Nando’s for a tangy fix or you can try out this Asian-style roast chicken with honey, miso and ginger glaze on the braai this Wednesday – bet it works perfectly.
5. Krone Night Nectar Demi-sec 2016 (R120) goes with: caramelized popcorn
What’s your secret vice? I love kids’ sweets – strawberry fizzers, gummy bears, sour worms – and above all, I love caramelized popcorn. And if your fizz has a touch of sugar to it – as this fragrant and floral example from Tulbagh’s Krone does, then it makes the perfect pairing with sweet foods. If I wanted to do it properly, I’d probably match it with something utterly decadent like this raspberry and rose ripple bombe Alaska but if simplicity is called for, pass me the caramelized popcorn – I’m done.
(image: constantiavalley.com) There’s only one city that can lay claim to having the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest wine route on her doorstep. With her proud vinicultural beginnings dating back to 1685, it’s Cape Town of course. Barely 20-minute drive and you’d have left the cityscape and welcomed into the leafy vineyards of Constantia.