South African Red Ideal with Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

We cooked an old favourite from Supercook and had forgotten how delicious this recipe is.  It’s called pork chops with mustard sauce.

The pork chops are seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika and served with a sauce made from shallots, garlic, mushrooms, French mustard and double cream.

We served with sauté potatoes and green beans with melted garlic butter.

We paired this superb meal with a bottle of Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, a full-bodied red from Naked Wines.2016-01-05 17.50.02

We detected black fruits on the nose and flavours of sweet chocolate, blackcurrants, and plums, with an intensely savoury, smooth, slightly spicy finish. We even detected coffee notes.  This lovely wine was an excellent match with the pork.

A South African Shiraz is Very Good with BBQ Beef Ribs

For a quick meal we heated some Tesco slow-cooked cayenne and chilli glazed BBQ beef short ribs.  The ribs were melt-in-the mouth and we served them with salad.

We wanted to drink a red with the ribs and opened a bottle of The Chocolatier Shiraz 2011, a South African wine from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

This wine has received very mixed reviews on the Laithwaites and Sunday Times Wine Club websites, with some saying it’s bitter and acidic.

We thought it tasted of black cherries with a subtle spiciness and a smooth, milk chocolate sweetness, but it was not overly chocolatey. We were pleasantly surprised and thought the wine’s taste improved throughout the meal.  A very good match with the food. 2014-04-04 19.54.12

South African Sauvignon and Shiraz are Good with a Durban Chicken Curry

In St Nicholas Covered Market, Corn Street, Bristol there is a shop called Kalahari Moon that sells South African produce.  We bought Werners Original Durban Curry spice mix from there.

The mix contains various masalas, turmeric, cinnamon, bay leaf, black pepper, cloves, cardamon, garlic, chilli powder and ginger. Each packet comes with a recipe and serving suggestions to make an authentic Durban style curry. Our recipe included chicken, potatoes and tomatoes and we served it with plain boiled rice.  It was a fairly hot and very tasty curry.

Fittingly, we thought it would be good to pair this dish with a South African wine and we opened a bottle of First Cape Sauvignon Blanc 2012, widely available from supermarkets. We thought this white was citrussy, with appley tones and refreshing with no edges.  It was a good match with the curry.

You will note from the photo that we enjoyed the leftovers with another South African wine, this time First Cape’s First Selection Shiraz 2012.   This widely available and IMG_0251.JPG (2)very good medium bodied red delivered dark berry fruits and spiciness.  It stood up to the strong flavours of the curry very well.


A South African Red Blend is Good with Boeuf Bourgignon

We cooked one of our favourite Supercook recipes, the classic Boeuf Bourgignon, which is full of rich flavour from the onions, bacon and red wine sauce.

The traditional partner is red Burgundy, but we have found Cabernets or Bordeaux-like blends work very well.  We opened a bottle of Cape Weaver 2010, a full-bodied South African red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  The Club recommend decanting this wine first and letting in breathe for a while, so we did.

The main grape is Carignan and we tasted blackcurrants, red fruits with a chocolaty, vanilla sweetness and a smooth finish.  A very good wine and a very good match. IMG_0158.JPG (2)

An Average South African Merlot is a Good Match with an Average Pork Goulasch

We did another Slow Cook Book recipe – Pork Goulasch.  The pork is cooked in paprika, ground caraway seeds, cider vinegar and stock. Tomatoes are added at the end.  It tasted OK, but was nothing special.  We paired it with a bottle of Stellar Organics Merlot 2010, a South African red that was a gift from some friends.  A fairly ordinary wine but a good match with the Goulasch. There were plenty of redcurrant flavours, coffee notes and a jammy, spicy finish.

A Powerful Rioja Better Than Medium-Bodied Shiraz with Barbecued Steak

We had friends round and enjoyed yet another barbecue.  We cooked some Sirloin steak and served it with a Diane Sauce.  Our friends brought a bottle of Namaqua Diamond Coast Reserve Shiraz 2010, a South African red from Tesco.  We also happened to have a bottle of the same wine and opened that too.  It is medium-bodied and described as soft, ripe, with juicy red berry flavours and a hint of spicy oak.   A warm climate Shiraz is usually good with barbecued steak.  In this instance, we thought the wine was OK, but not particularly inspiring.  Something with a little more depth was called for.  We opened a bottle of Antano Rioja Gran Seleccion 2008 also from Tesco. This Spanish red is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha and was more powerful and full-bodied.  The summer berry flavours were far more concentrated and lingered more on the palate. The wine was a much improved match with the steak.

Spanish and South African Reds Nothing Special with Herb Roasted Lamb

We had visitors for dinner and had a Herb Roasted Lamb recipe from Delia. We opened a bottle of Don Elias Garnacha 2008 from Sunday Times Wine Club.  A few months ago we had a Don Elias Gran Reserva 2000, a Catalunyan red  (see 24th October 2010), and thought this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Garnacha, matured in oak for three years before bottling was a great match.  However, the 2008 Garnacha was medium-bodied and while we all thought it was a pleasant match with the Lamb, we felt a full-bodied wine would have been much better.  We also opened a Namaqua Diamond Coast Reserve Shiraz 2010 from Tesco.  Described as a soft, ripe, full red wine with juicy red berry flavours and a hint of spicy oak on the rich, warm palate.  Medium to full-bodied, this was a marginally better match, but not outstanding.