I have done two of these posts in the past and I thought I would do another. I made this decision for two reasons. The first is because they are simply fun to write, and secondly because I enjoy poking fun at the hoighty-toighty world of wine, where food and wine pairings are touted as some sort of mystical science, but it’s really just about eating and enjoying more good food and wine.
So, as usual, I am endeavoring to find even more ways to drink wine by pairing them with more than just food.
To spice things up a little bit this time I am going to approach it from the other way round. Instead of listing, as I did before, the activity and suggesting a wine to go with it, for example, Death:
Sherry seems to be the choice for me. A dry one. Savoury and nutty. Which, if I had to give death a flavour, that seems as good as any. The savoury, nuttiness of death.I thought I would list a couple wines, or styles of wine and suggest activities that would go well with them.
I’ll list the type of wine and suggest an activity.
What better way to start off than with wine for which the plug-hole is too good an end. Normally wine infected with TCA should be dispensed with as quickly as possible. However, if you come across a bottle of wine with that signature aroma of wet cardboard and mould, put it aside and organize a dinner party with your favorite wine-snob douche friend. Everybody has one.
You know the kind. The one who cannot stop talking about wine:
“So, Simmons, how’s this weather hey?”
“Yes, darstadly hot, perfect for Sauvignon Blanc. By the way have you tried…”
“Okay. Sure. How’s work going?”
“It’s fine. Like a well aged Cabernet in fact.”
“Right. How’s the wife?”
“Splendid. She reminds me of a Chenin Blanc; fruity, lively, and great value.”
“Great value you say, how charming. The cricket’s been good.”
“Terrific. I have been watching it with this tremendous new white blend…”
In your mind you just want to smash a bottle of anything in your hand over his head.
Nothing pairs better with this sort of frustration than a bottle of corked wine. When your man arrives with his bottle, offer to decant it for him. Slip away into the kitchen and pour your corked wine into the decanter. There are two outcomes here. Either he bemoans the fact the wine is corked and you score whatever bottle he has brought along, or, he can’t tell that it is corked and you get to say off-handedly, “By the way dear chap, don’t you think this is a little off?” Nothing drives these sorts mad like not realizing the bottle was corked first.
A Muscular Cabernet Sauvignon
There’s something about a big, rich, muscled Cabernet Sauvignon. The sort of wine that exists, perhaps, only to garner big scores and separate ‘the men from the boys’. I am not partial to these sorts of wines, but they are perfect for working on your car.
No other wine is better for changing oil, polishing up the side mirrors you found on an obscure motoring website, touching up a paint job, or overhauling an engine. Most would think beer in these situations, but a big full-blooded Cabernet is just as good. The smell of grease and engine oil pairs perfectly with the ripe, alcoholic fumes sent forth by a full metal jacket Cab.
The sea air, oysters, fish, full-bosomed blondes chatting on their phones from a Camps Bay balcony; Sauvignon Blanc may be the most obvious wine for a silly column of this sort, but I think there is one activity that most people are over-looking, and with which there is only one wine to match. Watching TV. Maybe it is just me, but when I am watching a good series or film I don’t like to be bothered. And good wine will always bother me.
Imagine sitting in front of the set happily mesmerized by the lolloping delights of a Bay Watch re-run, when you take a sip of really good wine. If the wine is that good it will make you sit up and give it attention when your eyeballs should be fixed on Pamela Anderson’s wobbling torso. This is not on. Thankfully there is so much affordable, boring, bland and nondescript Sauvignon out there you should easily find one that suits your TV watching demands. For even less interruption chuck in a couple of ice-cubes.
Despite my own belief that, like war, it’s good for absolutely nothing, this sort of wine does work with, oh what was it? Hold on a second, I’ll remember. Err. Well, that’s a little embarrassing. It turns out that I was right. Chocolate/coffee Pinotage is indeed good for nothing at all.
Well Priced Un-wooded Chenin
Chenin has featured quite a bit recently so I thought I should add it here. What to do while drinking Chenin? It’s quite simple really. Breakfast.
Most assume Champagne and Riesling are the quintessential breakfast wines, but no, friends, for the man or woman happy to slurp their wine out of a coffee mug alongside their cornflakes a good old affordable South African Chenin is just right.
I’d suggest a Stellenbosch version myself. With just the right fruit salad flavor profile and enough acidity to wake you up, you can’t beat a Chenin for the first drink of the day.
As mentioned above I have thought the nutty and salty taste of a Fino Sherry would make the perfect match for death. As I – and you I assume – will be putting that activity off for as long as possible, I thought I should give you another option.
The best thing you can do with Fino Sherry – and possibly the rest of the week – is to drink a bottle with a braai full of prawns. Seriously. Cancel whatever else you have to do today, chuck a prawn on the barbie, crack a bottle of Fino open (Monis does a good one) and enjoy yourself. Believe me you will enjoy yourself. It is the only guaranteed food an wine pairing I know. Actually, I’ll give it the highly valued Harry Reginald Haddon guarantee: If you are not satisfied with your braai full of prawns and Fino Sherry, call me and I will finish them for you.
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