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Meerlust pulls out all the stops

By Timeout | 2011-12-02 11:50:55.0

ARGUABLY Meerlust's most successful year, 2011, has seen the release of its most outstanding wines.

Included are the long-awaited Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Pinot Noir 2010. Widespread praise and recognition has been heaped on owner Johannes Albertus Myburgh, cellar master Chris Williams and the team at Meerlust.

Browns hosted an illuminating evening pairing these award-winning wines with executive head chef Wilfred Mtshali's hand-crafted dishes. My favourite dish was the smoked springbok carpaccio and a shot glass of consommé paired with the 2004 Pinot Noir as a starter.

Pinot Noir is known as the "heartbreak" grape because it is so difficult to make it right. The 2004 vintage is the first time that the wine maker feels he did this wine justice. This time the grape really came into its own. He managed to make a wine with a light ethereal character which is adaptable to a huge array of foods.

The Meerlust Rubicon is one of South Africa's iconic wines. I was very surprised to find out that it had never received five stars in the John Platter wine guide before. For the first time in history the 2007 received five stars in the 2012 wine guide. The wine has a deep youthful colour and a classic Rubicon nose of violets and plums. The 2007 was served with the main course and this wine pairs very nicely with food because of its big bold flavours.

Guests were also treated to an older vintage of 2001 Merlot with the cheese course. Showcasing this 10-year-old wine allowed the guests to see why it is worth laying down a wine to allow the fruit flavours to develop and the different taste elements to evolve.

  • Tutu is a winemaker.

THE wine that one enjoys drinking is a personal preference but certain types of wines pair perfectly with specific foods:

  • Sauvignon Blanc goes with tart dressings and sauces as these tangy foods won't overwhelm zippy wines.
  • Chardonnay is delicious with fish like salmon or any kind of seafood in a rich sauce.
  • Off-dry Riesling pairs with sweet & spicy dishes. The slight sweetness of many Rieslings helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes.
  • Dry Rosé is for rich, cheesy dishes. Some cheeses go better with white wine, some with red; yet almost all pair well with dry rosé.
  • Pinot Noir is great for dishes with earthy flavours made with ingredients like mushrooms.
  • Shiraz is big and bold enough not to be overshadowed by sweet-spicy barbecue sauces.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is fabulous with juicy red meat such as steaks or chops.
  • Champagne and dry sparkling wines is perfect with anything salty - Food &