Pair Woolworths Wellington Merlot 2015, R44.95 with Smashed burgers with caramelised onions
The smashed hamburger is succulently scrumptious and although it does not have intricate flavours, it has a wonderful zesty tang from the onions, gherkins and provolone cheese. This medium-bodied Merlot is similarly uncomplicated, yet equally enjoyable, in both taste and texture. The raspberry and youngberry freshness lifts the tanginess of the patty and imparts a pleasing juiciness to match
the texture of the food.
If you like this, try: Porcupine Ridge Merlot 2015 (approximate retail price R49)
Middle of the road
Pair Fairview Shiraz 2014, R79,95 with Maple-and-balsamic duck skewers with charred corn salad
To successfully match the demands of this challenging dish, a wine must have certain essential characteristics. The dense, concentrated red fruit of this Fairview Shiraz suits the strong flavours of the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar; its crunchy spiciness marries well with the coriander and the Parmesan; the light oak toastiness works well with the charred effect of the corn in the salad; and the lush, fleshy texture matches that of the duck chunks on the skewer.
If you like this, try: Zandvliet Shiraz 2015 (approximate retail price R79)
Best to impress
Pair Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2014, R169.95 with Rib-eye with café de Paris butter
A posh plate of food deserves a posh wine. The Delaire Botmaskop is a classic blend of all five Bordeaux varieties, led by Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep layers of dark berry fruit, spicy hints and polished oak echo the sumptuous juiciness of the rib-eye steak. The class of the wine shows in its plush, sensuous texture, ripe tannins and creamy finish, which make for a memorable mouthful with the rib-eye and café de Paris sauce.
If you like this, try: Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2014 (approximate retail price R135)