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Vin-atics Tasting Notes for May

Cathy and Chef Caro match Roodeberg's delicious red wine to 6 fabulous dishes

by: Cathy Marston | 03 May 2011

A word I find sadly underrated when it comes to talking about wine is ‘nice.’ What on earth is wrong with saying that so-and-so is a nice wine when, let’s face it, that is what we are always searching for on every list and every shelf? So when I call Roodeberg 2008 a ‘nice wine’, it should be taken as the highest of compliments because this is exactly what it is – a soft, juicy, ripe and fruity blend of interesting grape varieties, backed up by judicious oaking and available at a price far below its quality level (R69.95 from major retailers). What’s not to like?

For more information on Roodeberg and its history, click here. And in addition to being a darned fine drink on its own, it’s also a great partner for a wide range of foods as well as Chef Caro discovered when we looked a little further. Here are 6 stunning suggestions and why we think they will work with the wine.

We were all so impressed with the food-friendliness of our veggie food last month that Caro immediately looked at something similar for this month. This Mushrooms with Cream recipe sounds as if it should go with white wine, not red, but when mushrooms are oven-baked with soy sauce and balsamic, they produce this rich savoury stew which should pick up the earthy Shiraz notes in the wine to perfection.

Caro reckons her Lamb Knuckles with Red Wine is the perfect winter warmer and – according to her – this will be the best match of the evening for the Roodeberg! The dish combines savoury meat with a touch of smoky sweetness which is echoed in the wine with its small inclusions of aromatic varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

A Classic Carpaccio is a thing of beauty and a straightforward, equally classic partner for a wine such as the Roodeberg. With nearly half the blend made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, this combination of aromatic spices, succulent beef and fresh, tangy pesto should match the herby, perfumed note of the wine in a melange of pleasure!

The Roodeberg itself is a dry red wine but the fruit used was perfectly ripe and definitely gives a little hint of sweet black berries and cherries. That being so, Caro has chosen a Caramalised Onion Tart with Blue Cheese and a balsamic drizzle – a savoury dish with plenty of sweet notes to it as well – She reckons this will pick up the Shiraz element and marry with it fabulously.

Even though this isn’t necessarily the weather for picnics, the Roodeberg is a great wine for al fresco dining so for those occasions when the temperature obliges, Caro suggests pairing it with this lovely winter Herbed CountryTerrine. The heavenly mix of spices used to marinate the pork and livers combines well with the succulent black and red berried fruit of the wine – serve this with some homemade cranberry sauce for the ultimate in perfection.

As we all know, you can’t go wrong with a good truffle and Chef Caro says these Dark Chocolate ones are the easiest in the world!  She likes to add a touch of chilli and occasionally a hint of cardamom as well, but thinks that they will match the wine best if served plain with only the creamy, rich texture matched by the brooding, dark chocolate fruit of the wine. Bring it on, say I!


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