Festive food & wine pairings.
Festive food & wine pairings.
Image: 123RF / belchonock

Welcome to the festive season, where delicious foods, great wine, good friends and unusual extended family members abound! Although we can’t guarantee that all your relatives are well-balanced, we can ensure that the wines at your table are.

Along with my hand-picked selection of festive wines and spirits, I’ve suggested the food that will go particularly well with each. Of course not every dish need be accompanied by a separate drink, but with a selection of these bottles at hand, there’ll be something to keep everyone happy.

SILVERTHORN THE GENIE MCC 2016 

Why it’s so festive: Traditionally, Rosé Champagne is made from one of two Pinot varieties, but the Genie breaks the rules. Embracing an end of year free-will, Shiraz grapes create a distinct magic in the bottle.

What to pair it with: Festive appetizers like smoked salmon or parma ham and melon skewers.

Silverthorn The Genie MCC 2016.
Silverthorn The Genie MCC 2016.
Image: Supplied

CAPE POINT NOORDHOEK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017

Why it’s so festive: A stone’s throw from the icy Atlantic, the crisp sea breeze makes for very special Sauvignon Blanc. Boasting an impressive 93 points by Tim Atkins, this well-balanced wine is layered with Cape gooseberries, white grapefruit and a hint of fynbos and steely minerality.

What to pair it with: A fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil salad would complement this wine superbly, as would your aunt’s famous 7-layer salad.

Cape Point Noordhoek Sauvignon Blanc 2017.
Cape Point Noordhoek Sauvignon Blanc 2017.
Image: Supplied

GLENELLY GLASS COLLECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015

Why it’s so festive: This classic Stellenbosch Cabernet is youthful, leafy and as pure on the palate as the angel atop your Christmas tree. With blackcurrant pastille fruit, tangy acidity and the fine tannins that are the hallmark of the Glass Collection wines, it’s the perfect balance to the rich foods on the festive table.

What to pair it with: Butter-basted turkey or duck and roasted root vegetables.

Glenelly Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
Glenelly Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
Image: Supplied

WINEMAKER SELECTION RESERVE JOHAN MALAN CHENIN BLANC 2017 (SIMONSIG)

Why it’s so festive: A full-bodied Chenin Blanc from one of the Cape’s finest blocks, Simonsig’s Chenin produces the most intense perfumed fruit. Left in French oak for a year, the result is a wonderful depth of flavour and a layered palate of caramelised apple, apricot and a hint of raw honey – enveloped in a silky texture.

What to pair it with: A real food wine. Enjoy alongside roast chicken, grilled fish or with a sumptuous festive cheese board.

Winemaker Selection Reserve Johan Malan Chenin Blanc 2017 (Simonsig).
Winemaker Selection Reserve Johan Malan Chenin Blanc 2017 (Simonsig).
Image: Supplied

DELAIRE GRAFF SYRAH 2017

Why it’s so festive: Owing to the Cape’s extended drought, this harvest produced a smaller yield with wonderful intensity. Matured for twelve months in old French oak barrels, expect a juicy, ripe and approachable Shiraz with hints of white pepper, lavender and mulberries. Oh-so-smooth and soft on the palate, the finish is savoury and lingering.

What to pair it with: Enjoy beside a fillet steak or slow-roasted lamb.

GROOT CONSTANTIA GRAND CONSTANCE 

Why it’s so festive: A liquid tribute to over 300 years of wine-making history in the Constantia Valley, this is a noble late harvest made from Muscat grapes. With caramel, honey and hints of Turkish Delight on the nose and palate, there isn’t a sweeter way to end your festivities.

What to pair it with: Pair with fresh fruit and pavlova, or alongside the traditional fruit cake.

Groot Constantia Grand Constance.
Groot Constantia Grand Constance.
Image: Supplied

BLIND TIGER GIN 

Why it’s so festive: A small batch gin hailing from Kwa-Zulu Natal and taking the world by storm, this pot-stilled spirit is infused with Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Passion Flower and Lemongrass.

What to pair it with: For all your in-between festive moments… a sunny day spent at the beach or alongside the pool couldn’t end better than with the perfect G&T in hand.

Blind Tiger Gin.
Blind Tiger Gin.
Image: Supplied

YELLOW SPOT 12YO IRISH WHISKEY

Why it’s so festive: A single pot-still Irish whiskey matured in not one or two, but three types of casks, an abundance of peach and apricot with hints of sherry dried fruit and vanilla envelop the nose and palate.

What to pair it with: Swap out the milk and cookies and rather treat Father Christmas to something very special and probably far more welcomed this season!      


Yellow Spot 12YO Irish Whiskey.
Yellow Spot 12YO Irish Whiskey.
Image: Supplied

With something for everyone, may your tables be laden with love, joy and peace!

Shop these products online at wadebales.co.za.


- Wade Bales is the Founder of Wade Bales Fine Wines & Spirits: wadebales.co.za

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