Winter, a time for camp fires, hot water bottles, and great food to warm the belly from within. Hot chocolate, full bodied wines and good food! Hot soups, oxtail, stews, casseroles, roasts and potjiekos!
Below we list five of the great winter warmers we’ll be serving in our Relais and Chateaux camps paired with the perfect wine for those cold evenings:
Nutmeg Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Cashew Nut Soup
This is a thick and creamy soup, that is deliciously warming for winter. The cashew nuts add a slight nuttiness which compliments the smoky taste of the cauliflower. When you serve this soup, drizzle a little Rio Largo olive oil over and some cracked black pepper. Easy to make and freezes well!
Perfect pairing: Graceland Merlot 2011
This wine hails from the slopes of the Helderberg in Stellenbosch and Graceland Vineyards and is a very small family run operation with Sue (viticulturist, winemaker and marketer) and husband Paul McNaughton (admin and finances). Sue waits for her dogs to tell her when the grapes are ready to be harvested, when the dogs start eating the grapes, it’s time!
Baron Jean Baptiste Regnault’s famous painting of the tastefully intertwined “Three Graces” from the Louvre has been used to adorn the front of the bottle. Legend has it that they were the physical embodiments of Beauty, Joy and Charm which symbolise the essential characteristics of Graceland wine.
Graceland takes a very natural approach to wine making and all their wine is unfiltered and egg-white fined.
Plush red berry and plum opulence. Ripe fruit, melt in the mouth tannins and a long finish.
Londolozi Style Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Cinnamon and Sumac
Tagine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry, or fish together with vegetables or fruit. The Tagine is a great dish from North Africa that is named after the type of earthenware pot in which it is traditionally cooked. At Londolozi we slow cook the Tagine in a heavy bottomed saucepan, slowly for a long time – up to six hours.
Spices, including ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron, nuts, and dried fruits such as apricots are also used. For Vegetable Tagine – paprika and chili work well. Tagines are served with couscous or bread.
Perfect Pairing: Rijk’s Pinotage 2009
120 km North West of Cape town lies a town called Tulbagh, named after Rijk Tulbagh, governor of the Cape from 1751 to 1771. Steeped in history, the beautiful Church Street has 32 National Monuments, more than any other street in South Africa.
In honour of Rijk Tulbagh, this wine comes from a farm named Rijk’s Private Cellar. Rijk’s specializes in Chenin Blanc and Pinotage and the winemaker Pierre Wahl is known in the wine industry as “the Pope of Pinotage”.
An orchestra of red berries, cherry and plum aromas are present, while backed by pure Pinotage fruit. These red fruit aromas carry through onto a rich palate supported by a good concentration of tannin and well-integrated oak.
Slow Cooked Lamb Shank on Butter Bean Mash
An all-time winter favourite at Londolozi! Slow cooked lamb shanks combined with flavours of tumeric, ginger, nutmeg and chili.
I love to bulk this dish up a bit, so add some chopped carrots and celery to add more flavour and by serving it with a creamy butter bean and garlic mash – you can be sure to have a deliciously warm feeling in your tummy!
Perfect Pairing: Rust en Vrede Estate 2011
For over 300 years Rust en Vrede has stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch. Through centuries there have been periods where wine has been produced and where it has been left dormant. But for the last 36 years the Engelbrecht family have specialized in producing only red wine with the focus on Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot. The family and their ancestors have been grape growers since the early 1700’s and by moving to Rust en Vrede, became wine producers for the first time.
In 30 years Rust en Vrede has had only two appointed winemakers, namely; Kevin Arnold and Louis Strydom. In 2007 Coenie Snyman was appointed winemaker responsible for Rust en Vrede but as part of a bigger team. At Rust en Vrede only 20 000 cases of wine are produced per year of which 65% is exported to more than 30 countries around the world.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot, aromas of cumin and cassis are supported by fresh blueberries and notes of shortbread on the finish. Well integrated tannins with lush red fruit give the initial impression. Red liquorice and savoury flavours carries through on the palate with ample grip on the finish.
Pinotage Slow Cooked Oxtail with Baby Onions and Parmesan Polenta
‘A Poor Man’s Meat that is Rich!’ This is often how people refer to oxtail. I find there is nothing better than a slow cooked oxtail on a cold winter’s night with a massive roaring fire. We are very lucky to source our oxtail from Chalmar Beef, so we can rest assured that the oxtails will be perfectly tender with a decent portion of meat on each. The addition of Pinotage is truly South African, however, any good bottle of red will work.
Perfect Pairing: Luddite Shiraz 2008
The Verburg & Meyer families founded Luddite Wines in November 1999 with the sole aim of making world class Shiraz.
Every bottle of Luddite Shiraz is numbered by hand and as the label reads: “Luddism reflects our belief of winemaking where they choose to practise their craft conscientiously and thereby retain their individuality. Technology and mechanization will never be a substitute for passion”. Or as Niels says, “It’s about knowing that when you buy a bottle of Luddite, what’s inside is genuine and made with integrity.”
The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817. The stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms introduced during the Industiral Revolution threatened to replace the artisans with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work.
A deep purple, vibrant and youthful colour while spice and dark fruit dominate the nose with hints of liquorice. Plums and spice on entry, concentrated fruit sweetness with cloves and cinnamon. Great balance of fruit and tannin lead to a long dry finish.
Traditional Malva Pudding with Hot Caramel Brandy Sauce
Malva pudding is a sweet pudding of Cape Dutch origin, served hot with Caramel Brandy Sauce or Custard (should you prefer). The use of apricot jam in the recipe adds a spongy caramelized texture. The pudding’s name is derived from Malvasia wine from Madeira. The dessert and dessert wine used to be served together after the main course at Cape tables. It is of distinct Cape Dutch origin – the other variants of Malva Pudding are Cape Brandy Pudding with the addition of dates and brandy.
Perfect Pairing: Axe Hill Cape Ruby Port 2006
What better way to warm oneself up than with a glass of Port! Port originates from the Duoro region of Portugal and is a sweet wine created by the fortification of wine. Fermentation in port is stopped by adding alcohol to the wine while it is fermenting, resulting in left over sugar for sweetness and high alcohol.
Axe Hill was started by the late Tony Mossop and his wife Lynn, on the outskirts of Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo during 1993. The name of the vineyard originates from the stone hand tools found on the farm and used by pre-historic man over a quarter of a million years ago.
Calitzdorp is acclaimed for its fortified wines and is known as the Port Capital of South Africa. The climate is dry and the conditions arid which add to the overall concentration of true Portuguese varietals.
This is a ruby port which shows nutty fruit and spice.
What is your favourite winter meal? What is your favourite winter wine?
Written by Kim Drake & Anna Ridgewell