wine and food pairingThere is no such thing as right and wrong with food and wine partnerships, just combinations that are more likely to please than others.

Wine makes food taste better, but when we have an “unhappy pairing”, both food and wine suffer.

How to go about it

The weight of a dish is the most important element to consider and depends as much on the way the ingredients are cooked as on their flavours. Aim to balance the weight of the food with the weight of the wine, so that neither overwhelms the other.

Match the flavour intensity of the food with the flavour intensity of the wine. A dish can be light, but powerfully flavoured. This may be the intrinsic flavour of one item, as in asparagus, or the result of combining ingredients and cooking them in a particular way. Go for a wine that is broadly similar in character, one that offers directness and freshness of flavour, rather than too much complexity. Young wines made from aromatic grape varieties, such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer, usually fit the profile.

Look at the roles of some other key components which can distort and influence flavour. These include the five taste sensations in the mouth, namely sweetness, acidity, saltiness, bitterness and umami.


CONTRAST BETWEEN FOOD AND WINE

Traditionally, food and wine combinations are made on the basis of likeness. This is what is known as horizontal matching: for instance, the smooth texture of a creamy sauce might match the “fattiness” of a white wine; a tannic red wine goes with a meat dish rich in fat and protein; a spicy, meaty red wine with game; a sweet wine with a dessert. But it is also possible to contrast sweet and sour or acid and fat tastes, in what is called vertical or contrasting matching but this approach can be more difficult in producing an ideal balance of flavour.

WINE AND FOOD PAIRINGS

STARTERS

FOOD TYPEWINE
Dried Fruit Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Special Late Harvest
Fruit Salad Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Special Late Harvest, Nederburg Foundation Rosé Mini Beef Kebabs - Foundation Duet, Shiraz, Baronne Nuts - Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay, MCC Brut, Dry Sherry
Pâté Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Special Late Harvest
Tomato Soup Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Nederburg 56HUNDRED Chenin Blanc

MAINS

FOOD TYPEWINE OPTIONS
Asian Dishes Nederburg winemaster’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Riesling
Beef Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Baronne, Foundation Duet, Shiraz
Bobotie Pinotage, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Burgers - Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot
Casseroles Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz
Chicken Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay
Chinese Nederburg Foundation Stein, Riesling
Cottage Pie (with raisins) Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz Blend
Creamy Seafood Chardonnay
Duck Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage Game - Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz
Goat’s Cheese Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Grills Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Baronne
Guinea Fowl Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Shiraz
Indian Curry Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot, Rosé
Irish Stew Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Italian Cured Meats Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz
Kidneys Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Nederburg Winemas- ter’s Reserve Shiraz
Lamb Shiraz/Pinotage Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz
Meat Pasta Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend
Meat Pizza Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend
Meatballs Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend
Mince Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz/Pinotage Blend
Orange Chicken Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay
Ostrich Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz
Oxtail Shiraz/Pinotage Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve ShirazPork - Nederburg Foundation Stein, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Riesling, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay
Rabbit Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot
Rare Beef Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, MerlotRed Meat Casseroles - Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz
Roast Shiraz/Pinotage Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot
Seafood Chenin/Chardonnay Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Smoked Salmon Nederburg Foundation Rosé, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Spicy Seafood NederburgRiesling, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc,
Steak and Kidney Pie Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Steaks Shiraz/Pinotage Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot
Stew Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz, Pinotage
Stir Fry Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chenin Blanc, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Riesling, Nederburg Foundation Rosé
Summer Salads Cabernet Sauvignon/Chenin/ Chardonnay Blend, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Nederburg Foundation Lyric
Thai Noodles Sauvignon/Chenin/Chardonnay Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Turkey Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage
Vegetarian Sauvignon/Chenin/Chardonnay Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Venison Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winter Stews Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

DESSERTS AND CHEESE

FOOD TYPEWINE OPTIONS
Baked Pudding Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Late Harvest
Blue Cheese Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sherry
Camembert Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay, PortChocolate Cake - Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest
Chocolate Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Gruyère Cheese Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay
Mature Cheese Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Honey and Orange Pancakes Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest
Pastries Nederburg Noble Late Harvest, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Special Late Harvest
Pancakes Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest
Strawberries and Cream Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Special Late Harvest, Sherry
Sweet Jam Tarts Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest

WINE FACTS

Did you know that every South African wine carries an “A” number on the label. This enables the buyer to trace the wine back to its origin. A list of A numbers is produced annually by the Department of Agriculture.

Did you know that the winemaking technique “cold fermentation” was pioneered in South Africa by Nederburg. The natural fermentation process produces heat, and this causes some of the volatile fl avour and aroma compounds (those which evaporate and disperse with heat) to escape. The temperature of the fermenting juice is lowered by the use of cooling coils in the tanks, or water jackets surrounding the tanks. Fermentation is slowed down and the delicate fl avours and aromas of the grapes are preserved.

Did you know the term “legs” in the wine industry (also sometimes called tears) are the the drops of wine that trickle down the sides of a glass after the wine has been swirled. Legs can be an indication of a high alcohol content, as in fortifi ed wines like sherry or Jerepigo.

Did you know the shape of a wine glass can have an impact on your experience of a wine, especially its bouquet. The ideal shape is considered to be wider towards the bottom with a narrower opening, so that the glass appears tulip or egg-shaped.

TEMPERATURES: KEEPING YOUR COOL

The temperature at which a wine is served has an immense impact on its taste. Lower temperatures will emphasise acidity and tannins while minimising the aromatics. Higher temperatures will minimise acidity and tannins while amplifying the aromatics. White wines, rosé and light reds are best served chilled, generally below 12°C, while red wines are best at room temperature. The point to remember is that in summer our ambient temperatures can be quite high and sometimes a red will benefi t from a brief spell in the fridge to bring it down to about 17°C.