Friday, February 17, 2006

Two South African wines for a South African feast

I like the distinctive flavors of the South African wines — they offer a combination of Old World elegance and New World fruit-driven style — and I am glad to see that an increasing number of South African wines are now available in the US. So, when a friend of mine from South Africa invited me to a lunch featuring traditional recipes from her family, I offered to take care of the wine pairing.

For the appetizers and the tomato and basil salad, I chose a 2005 Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch. The Mulderbosch Vineyards winery is renowned for producing one of the best Sauvignon Blanc from the leading wine region of Stellenbosch. The wine had a bright straw color and a nose of citrus and green apple aromas. On the palate, it had a crisp acidity and a vivid mineral character on the finish. It was slightly too mineral for the tomato salad but it should go very well with seafood dishes and oysters.

To go with the rest of the meal, I chose a 2002 De Toren Diversity Gamma, a Bordeaux blend from the Cape's Coastal Region. This is a rather warm wine region but the estate vineyards have a southern exposure overlooking the ocean and receive a constant maritime breeze, which cools down the temperature. The De Toren winery also produces Fusion V, a highly rated red blend made with the five traditional Bordeaux grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Diversity is in fact their second wine and is made from different percentages of the same five varieties. The wine was nevertheless delicious with a pleasant nose of black fruit, a rich, full-bodied palate and a mouth-filling finish leaving distinctive notes of Mediterranean herbs. It was a wonderful accompaniment to our roasted chicken and salad of honey glazed roasted root vegetable.

Technorati tags:

No comments: