WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PAIRING WINE WITH FOOD?

By Elias Luvera, Delaire Graff Restaurant Sommelier

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The true meaning of pairing food and wine is enjoyment. It is an art, more than it is a science, and so there is room to be creative. Most importantly, one should enhance one’s senses of taste and smell. A brilliant pairing of wine and food is an unique experience for each and every person around the table as we all have variances in our senses and perceptions. As a sommelier, we look to inspire pleasure, spark conversation and foster an exploration of the senses through our pairings.

Personally, I feel that food and wine pairings should be a marriage of harmony. Much like a piano, no key should overpower the other, and together they can create a symphony.

Each pairing is a journey, so consider:

  • What mood are you in?
  • Where are you dining and what atmosphere are you wanting to create?
  • Who is joining you around the table?

I would like to share a few of my personal favourite pairings with the Delaire Graff wine portfolio. These are simple to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, without blowing the budget.

DELAIRE GRAFF CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ

Perfect as a lovely sunny day aperitif, the Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rosé is light and fresh, crisp yet elegant. I would suggest pairing this rosé with a blue cheese and pear salad, or a simple buffalo mozzarella salad with olives, fresh basil and olive-oil marinated small tomatoes (cherry, rosa, the choice is yours).

DELAIRE GARFF WESTERN CAPE SAUVIGNON BLANC

This wine is vividly green and grassy, with hints of cape gooseberries and slight undertones of passion fruit followed through with crisp, sharp acidity and a well-balanced mineral edge. For pairing, I would suggest a Greek salad (fresh tomatoes, olives, feta and cucumber) or a fresh and zesty tomato gazpacho. Perfect for warm weather.

DELAIRE GRAFF SWARTLAND RESERVE CHENIN BLANC

Chenin Blanc is a signature South African white grape. The Delaire Graff Swartland Reserve Chenin Blanc is a well-rounded and fruit-forward wine. With flavours of pear and apples, as well as hints of apricots, the wine’s oak exposure brings complexity and brings forward nuanced flavours of honeycomb and a touch of vanilla. Traditionally, seafood and this Chenin Blanc pair perfectly. A simple Waldorf or prawn and avocado salad will bring out the flavor profile of this wine brilliantly. As we approach winter, pair this wine with sticky sweet pork ribs prepared over hot coals, or an oven roasted chicken served with roasted butternut, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini.

DELAIRE GRAFF BOTMASKOP

A classic Boudeaux-style blend, the Delaire Graff Botmaskop has the 5 traditional cultivars of this iconic blend: Cabernet Sauvignon driven, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The wine is well-polished with aromas of cassis and dark berries, and a well-integrated, soft tannin structure that ends in a lingering finish. Ideally, ‘the Botmaskop’, as we fondly call it, should be paired with red meat. For the perfect Sunday lunch, prepare lamb chops with garlic, rosemary and thyme cooked on the braai (barbeque) with spiced lamb kebabs on the side. Serve these alongside minted peas, baby potatoes and grilled smoked bell peppers, and a decanted bottle of Botmaskop – a perfect match. If dining out, the Botmaskop pairs effortlessly with a hearty braised springbok shank and creamy polenta, various grilled vegetables, a touch of garlic and a red wine jus.

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Delaire Graff Restaurant Opening Hours:

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Dinner: Wednesday to Saturday 18h30 to 21h00

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Dinner: Daily 18h30 to 21h00

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