The art of wine pairing

With a guide from Durbanville Hills.

13 Jul 2015

With the days being cooler, bringing with them thoughts of roaring fire places and warm, hearty meals enjoyed with good friends, we at Durbanville Hills turn our attention to the perfect pairings which spring up seamlessly between our exceptional reds and the succulent dishes which bring out their full-bodied flavours, transforming every meal into a feast for kings. When recommending dishes which best complements our reds, we make sure to take careful note of three considerations:

• The weight of the wine. Balance your red’s weight with the food accompanying it, so that neither overwhelms the other.
• Match the flavour intensity in a wine with the degree of flavour in the recommended food.  
• The roles of food components which can influence the flavour of the wine. These include the five primary taste sensations in the mouth, namely sweetness, acidity, saltiness, bitterness and umami.

So let’s start the matchmaking…

Durbanville Hills Merlot & Rhinofields Merlot

Soft and easy-on-the-palate reds:
• Apart from the standard red meat pairings for which the Merlot is excellent, this wine will also be a good partner to tuna and salmon and softer-textured meat dishes such as poultry and pork.  
• This Merlot pairs well with simple, everyday dishes from a ploughman’s lunch to cottage or shepherd’s or steak and kidney pie.
• The wine is also a great option for the vegetarian. Fennel, eggplant, radicchio, spinach and broccoli pair well with the Merlot’s green character.  
•  It pairs well with hard cow’s milk cheeses of the Cheddar type.

Durbanville Hills Pinotage, Rhinofields Pinotage & Cape Blend

These versatile wines are best served with:
• Roasted red meats and game and equally good with rabbit, pigeon or squab (plainly roasted or baked in a pie), woodcock, and pheasant.
• Whatever you are barbecuing or gammon steak, roast turkey and duck
• Robust, rich and meaty pastas, stick-to-the-ribs stews (Irish or dried bean), and grilled sausages.  
• Serve with hard yellow cheeses that have a bit of sharpness, such as Cheddar, Cheshire, Colby, Double Gloucester, or a Tomme de Savoie and matured Gouda. No wine on earth matches Dutch Gouda as well as Pinotage, and this one is no exception.

Durbanville Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

• This wine’s bold personality demands ample food with considerable character. Steaks, chops, and other red meats are classic pairings for this very reason – especially when grilled.
• It pairs well with Beef Wellington and Chateaubriand.
• Also very good with venison, and calf’s kidneys and lamb’s liver.  
•  It has its uses with Indian cooking such as a red-hot Madras and chicken tikka masala.
• Three hard cow’s-milk cheeses will pair most successfully with this Cabernet:  Mimolette, Cheddar, Red Leicester, and Emmenthal.

Durbanville Hills Shiraz & Rhinofields Shiraz

Food that this robust wine would reach for:

• Casseroles and slow-cooked whole shoulder of lamb or braised lamb shanks, roast chicken, turkey, duck and quail.
• This is the wine that does not blink an eye when confronted with sauces and complements most food cooked on the braai.   
• Serve with many ethnic dishes such as chilli con carne, Indian shami kebab, Moroccan lamb, Szechuan beef and Japanese teriyaki, though not particularly spicy, rises to meet the berry flavours of the wines.
• Among cheeses, the best matches are with harder, strong cheeses: Swiss Appenzell, mature Cheshire or Cheddar, Double Gloucester, Gruyère, or a French Tomme.



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