In celebration of Pinotage day on the 13th October, I paired up with Groot Constantia to make a delicious dish to perfectly pair with their award-winning Pinotage.
Pinotage is a renowned South African cultivar developed by Prof. Perold in 1925, successfully grafting together Pinot noir and Cinsault. Which back then would be known as Hermitage. This is where the name Pinotage originates from. Prof. CJ Theron then took it upon himself to preserve the grape varietal and original seedlings to evaluate the possible success of the varietal. Since then, Pinotage has become a cultivar to be reckoned with both nationally and internationally, with so many local winemakers crafting outstanding creations of this local robust red wine.
I recently attended the internationally recognized WSET course, starting with level 1, in which we were lectured on all the basics of an introduction to wine, storage and service of wine, (my favourite) how to pair food with wine and of course learning a basic WSET systematic approach to tasting. While I do not claim to be versed in pairing just yet, I thought I would experiment and give it a go. Oh, important information I forgot to add, I did indeed pass the course with 80% 🙂 Level 1 is completed in one day, course and examination. Thereafter examination papers are sent to London to be marked by the official WSET markers. After two weeks you then receive your results, a certificate and a lapel pin (if you have passed) corresponding to whichever level you have completed. I am totally impassioned with learning more about wine, and of course tasting as much as I can, I feel I still have so much to learn and discover which excites me further.
Okay, back to Pinotage day! As you may know Groot Constantia is one of my favourite wineries, the cool Constantia valley climate lends to their wine a unique taste and signature to most wines we may know and have tasted. I recently visited their beautiful wine estate for a bit of everything that they have on offer. A wine tasting at the bottom cellar, was of course one of many highlights of my trip. This was when I first had a taste of their pinotage. As mentioned above, because of their location which affects how the grape develops and tastes, this pinotage had intriguing fruity notes of strawberry, black cherry and oak which imparts an intense vanilla after-taste. Incredibly smooth and enveloping in smoky oak and black stone fruit, I think I might have found a favourite Pinotage!
I made a classic Cape Malay bobotie with a bit of a twist to bring out the flavour of both the wine and food. Instead of using beef minced meat, I used Chicken minced meat. An experiment that not many would be happy with in terms of pairing white meat with white wine, but nevertheless it works and marries so well together! The saltiness of the chicken stock and of of course salt added to the chicken gives this tanninc wine the perfect boost and complement. I love how the tart and sweet flavours of the fruit used in the bobotie paired with the mild spice also makes the Pinotage sing.
- 1 kg Chicken minced meat (or any minced meat of your choice)
- 2 small- medium onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 100 g raisins
- 100 g dried apricots, chopped finely
- 3 eggs
- 2 slices of stale bread
- 350 g buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of bobotie spice
- pinch of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- 2 bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 2 tablespoons of Mrs Balls original chutney
- 1 tablespoon tomato jam (or apricot jam as traditionally used)
- a knob of butter to fry
- Salt and white pepper to season.
In a large pan or pot, melt the butter and add the chopped onions. Cook until translucent. Then add the chicken mince and turn up the heat to brown and give the mince a caramelisation for flavour purposes.Season with salt and white pepper. Whilst the mince is browning, in a bowl, tear the slices of bread into chunks, add 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and 1 beaten egg. Mix to combine then add to the pot of mince.
In another bowl, mix the raisins, chopped apricots, curry powder, bobotie spice mix, 2 bay leaves, chutney and jam. Mix together then add to the pot of mince and stir to combine. Take off the heat.
For the egg mixture, beat the remaining two eggs with the remaining buttermilk with turmeric. Using a flat large spoon even the bobotie mix to be leveled, then pour the egg mixture on top, add the bay leaves in whichever pattern you wish and place the pan/pot(keeping in mind the pan or pot has stainless steel handles, or alternatively place in a casserole dish to be baked in the oven) in the oven at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes until the top is cooked until golden brown. Serve with a fresh salad of wild rocket, pickled beetroot and raisins, with a side of savoury rice and of course enjoy with a perfectly paired glass of Groot Constantia Pinotage!
Enjoy and Happy Pinotage day!