Warm up with 5 slow food and wine matches
With a while yet before the weather starts to climb into balmier digits, we thought we’d crank up the comfort — wine and food cosiness, that is, and from all around the world. In the mood for a hearty stew? We’ll take you to South Africa. Keen for cassoulet? Bonjour, France. Craving pizza? Italy, obviously. Check out these five chilly-weather pairings that’ll fire you up while the weather's still sultry.
France – cassoulet and Côtes du Rhône
Thought we’d big up Bordeaux? Surprise! We’re going for the Rhône instead. Typically blends of grenache, syrah, and mourvèdre (with occasional cameos from the likes of cinsault and carignan), Côtes du Rhône reds are bouncy, fruity, spicy, and damn delightful.
They’re also positively droolworthy with cassoulet — a rustic, slow-cooked casserole classic from the South of France that packs a whopping punch in the rich-and-flavourful department.
This award-winning Carius beaut oughta do the trick.
Italy – pizza and Super Tuscan
Chianti might be the Italian wine that first springs to mind — and we lurve us a good Chianti — but here at the 'fo, we’re particularly partial to the superhero Super Tuscan.
Super Tuscans have a complicated and rebellious history, but all you need to know right now is that, in addition to Italian stallions such as sangiovese, they can include non-native grape varietals like merlot and cabernet sauvignon. In general, they’re smooth, often complex but fruit-forward, and the logical vino to sip alongside the greatest Italian gift of all: pizza. And we mean any type of pizza — capricciosa, veggie supreme, Hawaiian... you do you.
New Zealand – duck and pinot noir
In the wine world, New Zealand is synonymous with sauvignon blanc (and if you’re not so into reds, totally toss down a Kiwi sav alongside some juicy grilled white fish or rich shellfish) — but in keeping with our current wintry theme, we’ll hone in on the country’s rouge king instead.
Enter stage left pinot noir, and enter stage right duck. New Zealand pinots (especially bottles from Central Otago) are deeper, darker, and more brooding than you might be used to with this typically lighter red, which means they’re tailor-made for fatty, flavourful meats like duck.
South Africa – bredie and pinotage
We just recently profiled the undiscovered wine jewel that is South Africa, and now it’s time to give a warm welcome to a signature South African dish: bredie. A tomato and lamb stew chock-full of juicy, succulent flavour, bredie handily pairs fantastically with South Africa’s trademark red grape, pinotage. Yum.
Australia – shiraz and lamb shanks
If shiraz isn’t the first word out of your mouth upon hearing ‘What’s Australia's signature wine?’ then you’ve got some lengthy liquid learning ahead of you (but we can still be friends if you said cabernet sauvignon). Amongst the biggest, boldest wine powerhouses in the world, Aussie shiraz is renowned for its deeply concentrated red and dark fruit flavours, warming spice notes, and relatively high alcohol.
All of that means it’s straight-up fantastic with equally rich foods. For our money, we’re snuggling up with a lamb shank-shiraz combo. Any shiraz'll do. There are no baaaad choices.