Wine and dine in style

Our wine blogger, Karen Glanfield, set her palate to work to come up with superb wine pairings for our delicious Valentine’s Red Menu. Whether you are a wine pro, a romantic or a quirky prankster, we have a selection of wines to assist your choice for the evening.

Starter: Happy Heart Salad
Tip: offer bubbly as a welcome drink or aperitif, which can also double up as the pairing with your starter.

• What better way to put a sparkle in your evening than with Odd Bins Bin 15 Méthode Cap Classique. Its peach colour follows through to “peach dust” flavours and texture. The refined citrus, apricot and berry flavours will pair perfectly with earthy beetroot and the refreshing acidity of strawberries. A sure winner – from the tickle of the mousse as you sip to the bone-dry finish.

• If you need a talking point for a first date or awkward Valentine’s moment, add some foreign flair to the evening with Dr. Deinhard Riesling from Germany. Despite coming from an estate with over 120 years of history, this wine is guaranteed not to break the bank. An enticing, exotic nose with a depth of flavour to match the diversity of this course. This crisp, dry Riesling will ensure that you begin your evening of delight with an array of lime, floral, peach, pineapple and honey flavours to accompany your salad.

• The beauty of rosé is that it entices the senses right from the get-go with its beautiful rosy hues. Hill & Dale Merlot Rosé displays a warm copper tint for added ambience. These peach, pomegranate and summer fruit flavours will ensure you start your evening on the right note.

Main: Bacon-Wrapped Maple Pork Fillet with Slaw
Tip: drop the misconception of only pairing white wine with white meat, and red wine with red meat.

• Made in a buttery, opulent style, the lees-enriched Plaisir de Merle Chardonnay has complex tones of lime, pear, ripe gold and delicious apples, toasted almonds and marzipan, with an appealing mineral lift at the end. Trust this chilled white to complement the herbaceous flavours of the sage and refresh the palate following the depth and texture of the bacon and pork fillet.

• If you are looking to spoil that someone special, the elegant, dark and seductive Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice. Juicy, succulent, rich and ripe flavours of cherries, plums, vanilla and cedar are supported by structure and will live up to this dish’s accompaniments with a lasting silkiness on the palate. Sigh, what can I say. This will take the evening to new heights.

• Darling of origin, darling by nature. Grown in vineyards described as Shiraz Heaven, Cloof Wine Estate’s The Very Sexy Shiraz seduces with spicy perfume, luscious dark fruit flavours and voluptuous body. Its appealing versatility won’t overpower – rather complementing the dish with its lacy, lingerie texture.

Dessert: Chocolate Love Cake
Tip: as the colour of the dessert gets darker, so should the dessert wine.

• Impress your partner by choosing a style of wine that’s gone from strength to strength and made red wine accessible to new consumers with no preconceptions. The luscious Odd Bins Bin 705 Pinotage shows intense dark chocolate and vivid mocha aromas with ripe cherry and vanilla flavours that will envelope this chocolate dessert like a coulis.

• If you prefer to wind down the evening with a “classic beauty with a modern twist”, try Boplaas The Chocolate Cape Vintage Port. This gold medal Michelangelo award-winning fortified wine immediately appeals on the nose with upfront plum, blackberry and all-spice notes. The wisps of liquorice and the sumptuous cocoa after-taste entice the senses and are sure to leave you satiated.

• Many would consider the Italians the masters of love. If you agree, be sure to add Cantine-di-Ora Lambrusco Dell’Emilia to your evening’s line-up. This deep-red, semi-sweet sparkling wine boasts only 8% alcohol. Fragrant, light and breezy with flavours of red plums, cranberry, red apple and cherry sorbet – just the bottle to end your evening with refreshing, effervescent fun.