Winter warmers to complement casseroles and potjies

WINTER’S chills have arrived, and as meals move from patio to fireside, thoughts turn to red wine alongside roasts, potjies, casseroles and curries. Some recent arrivals in the Vine Time mailbox lend themselves perfectly to these winter warmers, and perhaps inspire a hearty Mother’s Day meal.

Coffee-chocolate pinotage is so last year, but if you’re still hooked, give Tinta Mocha from De Krans a try. Made in port country around Calitzdorp from the traditional port grape, Tinta Barocca, this is a full-bodied dry red, with loads of fruit and a strong (some might say too heavy) hint of mocha- chocolate, thanks to being aged in well- toasted French oak. Expect to pay around R66. Team with a full-flavoured beef casserole.

If coffee flavours in your wine don’t do it for you, head for the cabernet sauvignon or shiraz aisle and look out for Simonsig’s new Mr Borio’s 2011 Shiraz, made in honour of Italian prisoner-of-war Alessandro Borio who built the first cement tanks at Simonsig, still used today to produce their shiraz. It promises a “rich berry bouquet, black fruit, hint of vanilla, a touch of sweet spice and subtle oak”, and should be a good partner to hearty red-meat dishes, especially venison, or flavourful roasted black mushrooms for the vegetarians (R70 from the cellar).

Fleur du Cap are excited about the release of their unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, which brought home a trophy from the Decanter World Wine Awards in London last year as SA’s best red Bordeaux varietal under £10 (it retails around R120 locally). It’s a classic full-bodied, smooth- drinking red, delivering fruit cake, spice and concentrated fruit, and an ideal partner for roast lamb, beef fillet or a fragrant curry.

If you’re planning a traditional roast beef, Yorkshire pud and all the trimmings, why not put your tongue firmly in cheek and celebrate Anglo-Boer heritage by enlisting Boer en Brit’s The General? A “wild” blend of petit verdot, cabernet franc and merlot, this is a big, chewy mouthful of fruit and spice (around R85).

At the good value-good price end of the market, try Obikwa Pinotage – for the price-conscious it’s around R28, and for the carbon-conscious its 25% lighter bottle eases your footprint. Fruity and easy-drinking, chuck it in your winter picnic basket or enjoy fireside with a pizza.

At around R40, Du Toitskloof Merlot is easy drinking, lightly smoky with hints of chocolate and mint – a happy partner for a steak, mushroom dishes or even smoked fish.

If you’re planning an outdoor Mother’s Day meal, Drostdy-Hof recommends the juicy berries and spicy oak of their Winemaker’s Collection Merlot (around R30) to go both in and alongside a Malay-style beef potjie.

Check out Cathy Marston’s selection of feminine-named wines for your mom at www.food24.com

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