Alberta. Brace yourself. The Cape Sun Chenin Blanc has arrived!The lovely thing about Chenin Blanc is that it’s possibly one of the most versatile grapes out there. It can be used to make wines which are fresh and fruity, wooded, unwooded, semi-sweet, sparkling and even very sweet dessert wines. This grape of all trades is often blended with other varieties, lending its acidity and adding structure and complexity to the blends.
Although this wonder grape originated in the Loire Valley in France, it has been cultivated in South Africa since the 1600s. Today it is the most widely planted grape in South Africa and brings to the table a New World wine which, thanks to its versatility, can be paired with a vast variety of foods and flavours.
The Cape Sun Chenin Blanc has a wonderfully light straw colour with just a hint of a green tint. With its natural acidity, and fruity aromas such as core fruit, pears, and citrus, it itself has infinite pairing opportunities. So often when pairing food and wine, the focus ends up being mostly on how a certain dish can change a wine, and the experience of drinking said wine. Food and wine pairing should, however, be a symbiotic process. The Cape Sun Chenin Blanc is a perfect example, not only of how food can make a wine taste better but of how a wine, can make food taste so much better than if it were eaten without it.
This is where the fun starts. Unlike some of the bigger, bolder and heavier wines, the Cape Sun Chenin Blanc is a bit more relaxed, and not so intimidating. There are no rules. This wine thrives in a relaxed summer setting. Think dinner parties with friends out on the lawn or the patio. It will fit perfectly into the holy trinity of good food, good wine, and good company.
A glass of Cape Sun Chenin Blanc will add an explosion of flavours when paired with most food groups. Some that stand out are spicy poultry, game, pasta, and seafood. Being a wine with such tropical aromas, think about adding mango, core fruit or citrus to a dish. Fresh salads, spring vegetables, fresh tomatoes. Whatever you like, chances are that it will probably add positively to the pairing.
Two recipes which came to mind when I thought about what to pair the Cape Sun Chenin Blanc with were Jamie Oliver’s Wild Boar Burgers and Gordon Ramsay’s Spicy Shawarma Chicken Wraps. These two chefs are known for making simple food more exciting, tasty and healthy. It’s time to get excited about Cape Sun Chenin Blanc, get excited about cooking a delicious meal with locally sourced products and share the excitement with friends and family.
Try out these renowned recipes together with a glass of Cape Sun Chenin Blanc.Here are the recipes:
Pair Chenin Blanc With Jamie’s Wild Boar Burgers (serves 4)
- 1 lb wild boar (shoulder or belly) – minced
- 2 shallots
- 4 hamburger rolls
- 1 tbs brown sauce
- 1 tbs tomato sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- 2 apples (Braeburn or Cox)
- 76 oz g blue cheese
- 06 oz watercress
- olive oil
- Break down the fat in the mince by working it by hand in a bowl, this way, the fat will naturally make the mince stick together.
- Divide the mince into 4 equal portions and roll each one into a ball. Flatten them to about 1 cm. Put in the fridge for 30 min.
- Preheat your oven to 250˚F
- Mix together the Worcestershire, tomato and brown sauces. Then peel and finely chop the shallots, and stir them into the mixture of sauces.
- Cut the hamburger rolls in half, put them on a baking tray and warm in the oven for 8 to 10 min.
- While the rolls are in the oven, add a drizzle of olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and fry the burger patties for around 4 minutes on each side. Season to taste.
- Now all that’s left is to put your burger together. Spread the shallot sauce on the rolls, add a few thin slices of apple, some blue cheese and a little watercress.
Pair Chenin Blanc With Gordon’s Spicy Shawarma Chicken Wraps (serves 2)Ingredients:
- 4 free range chicken thighs (skins and bones removed)
- 2-4 tortilla wraps or paratha breads
- 2 spring onions – trimmed and finely chopped
- olive oil
- ¼ head pointed cabbage – finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Seeds from 3 cardamom pods – ground in a mortar
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cloves of garlic – peeled
- Juice of a ¼ lemon
- 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Your favourite chilli or hot sauce
- For the marinade, mix the spices, cilantro, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or mortar until it’s smooth. Add 5 tbs of olive oil as well as a pinch of salt and pepper and mix again. Put the marinade in a large dish and add the chicken. Make sure the chicken is completely covered with marinade before leaving it to marinade for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 392˚F
- Cook the chicken in a hot griddle pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. It should be a little charred but not burnt. Transfer them to a roasting tray and bake in the oven for another 5-8 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the chicken rest.
- While the chicken rests, cook the tortilla wraps in the griddle pan with a little oil. It should take around 2 minutes on each side for the wraps to be toasted and warmed through.
- Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place some on each wrap. Add some spring onions, cabbage, mayonnaise and chilli sauce.
- Finally, roll up the wraps and serve.
Nina lives in the heart of the Cape Winelands of South Africa. She is a lover of languages, good food, and good wine. She spends much of her free time touring wine farms in the area and hiking with her golden retriever, Senna.