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These are the ultimate food and wine pairings for the holidays

It’s our favourite time of year – the time of celebration, gathering, love, and plenty of delicious food and incredible beverages.

By Lutho Pasiya | December 24, 2021 | Category

That said, let’s delve into the world of food and beverage pairing. Below, Elena Venzo, who is the general manager at boutique liquor outlet and e-commerce supplier Dry Dock Liquor, shares some of her delightfully delicious ideas that you can try this holiday season.

Bubbles

You cannot have a festive season without a good MCC. My pick for this year would be Genevieve' Brut' Blanc de Blancs Cap Classique 2016.

This is also an exquisite and sophisticated glass of bubbles — 100% chardonnay grapes from Bot River and aged on the lees for three years.

The effects are undeniable in that this is an MCC that you can drink a lot of, but it also has a bit more depth and complexity if you want to engage with it in that way.

MCC's like this, especially Blancs de Blancs, which are 100% chardonnay, pair incredibly with oysters. But this as your only pairing option is risky, so my other options would be some lovely battered white fish cubes, like hake or cod with a tangy fennel tartar dip, or a beautiful smoked trout salad; with bay rocket, fennel, and fried capers of course.

White wine

Swerwer Chenin blanc! One of my favourite chenins from Swartland! It is a focused and lovely expression of the grape variety from Swartland, an area becoming increasingly famous for the Chenin that it is producing.

This wine has excellent acidity and superb balance! I love the texture and minerality and the intensity of flavours that comes from this wine.

I would pair this with croquet's de Jamon Serrano (ham and chicken croquettes)! A lovely crispy crunchy outer encasing a beautiful creamy cheesy inner with subtle sweet paprika flavours and cubes of cured meat, preferably jamon to top it off.

Red wine

Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon, I have to put this wine forward; it impressed me this year. As a cooler climate cabernet sauvignon, I couldn't believe its elegance and nuanced flavours – the red fruit of cherries and other stone fruit being more prominent than the darker fruit spectrum.

Being South African and loving my red meat (on a braai), I would pair this with a lovely dry-aged T-bone with salt, pepper, and really, really hot wood fire.

Dessert wine

A sorely misunderstood category of wine, my pick for the end of the evening would be the Boschendal Vin D`Or Late Harvest 2018.

I think that the reason people are afraid of these fortified or sweet wines is that these wines are designed for food - we don’t always allow them to stand out properly.

By not pairing these wines with the correct ‘desserts’ - the wines don’t have a chance to shine. This is a combination of Weisser Riesling from Durbanville and Viognier from the Elgin Valley, both un-irrigated vineyards.

This beautiful natural sweet wine is fabulously balanced with an incredible intensity from an extended hanging time on the vines. I would pair this with a good old-fashioned cheese board. Make sure that your cheeseboard has a combination of different textured cheeses.

This originally appeared on IOL