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Favourite Winter Wines

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May 29, 2019

With a palpable passion for all things food and wine related, our Food and Beverage Manager, Robin, shares his favourite winter wines to keep you warm and snug on chilly nights. You’ll also see mention of some of our signature restaurant dishes, as well as pairing dishes you could make at home to ensure the full flavour of each wine is as it should be.

Meet Robin, our Food & Beverage Manager.


“Wine is one of the agreeable and essential ingredients of life.”

Julia Child

Overlooking the vines at Zevenwacht Wine Estate. Image from website.


  1. Zevenwacht Zeven Pinotage


I must include a Pinotage and at the moment this is my favourite. It epitomises easy drinking with loads of ripe berry flavours, a hint of chocolate and just a touch of savouriness. I paired this wine with Chef Sifiso Nsele’s Apricot lamb roulade with beetroot and feta puree, and mint jelly and it works an absolute treat. The sweetness in the dish brings out all the sweet berry flavours.


Image source: https://jamesfouche.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/19_mrt-1.jpg


2. Weltevrede 1912 Cabernet Sauvignon

Light up a fire, haul out a hunk of steak, put on some Andrea Bocelli and pour yourself a glass of this Cabernet. It’s as easy to drink this wine while you wait for the coals to be just right, as it is to enjoy with a great steak. It has awesome fruit flavours and a smokiness that just says braai!

(Braai = South African barbeque on an open fire)


The home of Edgebaston Wines. Image from website.


3. Edgebaston the Pepper Pot


If you love Rhône-style wines, then this one’s for you! I love the spicy, pepperiness of this wine which is held in check by sweet berry flavors. Think venison potjie with dried fruit, carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut to really enjoy this. David Finlayson is the 3rd generation wine maker in his family and to me he epitomizes the new generation of “young” winemakers who really are changing the face of South Africa’s wine industry.

Find out more about the Edgebaston vineyards & Finlayson family here


~ Wondering what Rhône-style wines means? The Wine Mag explains it here


The Goats Do Roam range from Fairview. Image from website.


4. Fairview Goats do Roam The Goatfather


Besides the fact that I absolutely love the story behind this wine with its quirky label featuring Don Goatti, it’s an easy drinking wine. It’s an Italian style wine driven by Sangiovese with small amounts of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The perfect wine to enjoy with our Highlander Pub’s Melanzanne alla Parmigiana with its rich tomato sauce and sweet aubergine! Fairview has to be one of the most interesting wine farms to visit and if you are ever in Paarl, do yourself a favour and pop in. They have a huge range of wine, amazing cheese, The Goatshed Restaurant, their own bakery and the famous goat tower where you may even see Don Goatti.

The story behind the wine…

“The legend goes that some errant members of Fairview’s long-established goat herd once escaped from their paddock into the Fairview vineyards after Charles Back’s young son Jason accidentally left the gate open. The little group happily roamed among the vineyards, showing rare discernment by selecting some of the ripest berries from the vines. Inspired by this tale, we now use these berries in the making of our Goats Do Roam wine. Highly drinkable and superb in quality, the Goats Do Roam range is an intriguing mix of southern French and Italian style blends, rich in complexity and at value-for-money prices.”

Ataraxia Wines. Image from website.


5. Ataraxia Serenity

Blackberries, spice, a hint of vanilla. Made from a blend of Pinotage, Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, the current vintage has a low, for red wines, alcohol percentage of just over 13% and makes for great drinking.

For those of you who don’t know, Pinot Noir and Cinsaut are the “parents” of Pinotage and to me Kevin Grant has gotten the best of all 3 varietals in a really good bottle of wine! I could easily just drink this on its own, but it really has the body and a particular savouriness that makes it a serious foodie wine! Try it with the Thistle Restaurant’s Kudu Fillet with Peppery-Mushroom sauce.  

Experience Robin’s knowledge and expert wine pairing in our Thistle Thursday Food & Wine pairing evenings. Robin serves a different wine with each course, explaining the flavour notes, history of the vineyard and why it’s paired with each dish. It’s an exceptional experience!

Email reservations@rsah.co.za to book. R245 per person.