Our Favourite Winter Food And Wine Pairings

Our Favourite Winter Food And Wine Pairings

Winter is a season of cosy nights, delicious comfort food, and, of course, wine. There’s something about the cold weather that makes us crave hearty dishes and the perfect wine to accompany them for a food and wine pairing. In this article, we will explore our favourite winter food and wine pairings that are sure to satisfy your taste buds and warm your soul. From indulgent chocolate treats to comforting tomato soup and classic pizza, we have wine pairing ideas for every winter craving. 

People enjoying some wine and italian food

Winter Wines: What To Look For

Before we dive into a specific wine and food pairing, it’s important to understand the characteristics of winter wines. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy full-bodied, bold red wines that will warm you up from the inside out. Look for wines with higher alcohol content, as well as notes of dark fruits, spices, and earthy undertones. These wines will pair well with the rich, hearty flavours of winter dishes.

Bold Reds for Chilly Evenings

When the cold bites, a bold red wine is the perfect comfort drink and ideal for a food and wine pairing. Seek out those with robust flavours, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Malbec. These wines typically offer a higher alcohol content, contributing to that warming sensation, and their tannic structure holds up well against hearty winter meals.

food and wine pairing - red wine being poured

Full-Bodied Whites for Balance

While reds may dominate the winter scene, let’s not overlook full-bodied white wines. A rich Chardonnay with buttery notes or a Viognier with its aromatic complexity can be just as comforting, as these wines often exhibit a creamy texture, making them ideal partners for dishes with a rich sauce or roasted white meats.

The Rising Stars: Orange Wines

Orange wines present a unique option for food and wine pairing. Made from white grapes that have been macerated with their skins, they offer depth and texture that can surprise and delight. Their bold structure and tannins can withstand robust winter meals, offering a great middle ground between red and white wines.

food and wine pairing - orange wine

Food and Wine Pairing: Chocolate

Winter is the perfect time to indulge in your favourite chocolate treats, and what better way to elevate your experience than by having a chocolate and wine pairing? The key to a successful chocolate and wine pairing is to match the intensity of the chocolate with the intensity of the wine. For dark chocolate, look for a full-bodied red wine with bold flavours, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. For milk chocolate, opt for a medium-bodied red wine like Merlot or Shiraz. And for white chocolate, pair it with a light-bodied, fruit-forward wine like Pinot Noir or Riesling.

Chocolate and Wine Pairing

Food and Wine Pairing With Tomato Soup: A Classic Combination

Is there anything more comforting on a cold winter day than a bowl of tomato soup? A well-thought-out wine pairing with tomato soup can make it the perfect winter accompaniment. The acidity and tanginess of tomato soup pair well with crisp, acidic white wines. Try a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio to complement the flavours of the soup without overpowering them. For a red wine option, go for a light-bodied Pinot Noir or a fruity Merlot.

The Role of Oak 

For richer tomato soups, perhaps with a touch of cream or a roasted depth, an oaked white wine can bring an interesting dimension. A lightly oaked Chardonnay with its vanilla nuances can add a layer of complexity to the pairing, bridging the gap between the wine and the richness of the soup.

Tomato Soup with Toasted Cheese

Red Wine Alternatives

While white wines are often the go-to for tomato-based dishes, don’t dismiss light-bodied reds. A Gamay can offer a fruit-forward contrast to the acidity of the soup without overwhelming it, especially if the soup is served with a cheesy accompaniment like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Spicy Food and Wine Pairing: Finding the Perfect Balance

Spicy food is a staple in many winter dishes, and finding the right wine to balance out the heat can be a challenge when doing a spicy food and wine pairing. The key is to look for wines with a hint of sweetness to counter the spiciness. For Asian-inspired dishes, try pairing them with a Riesling or Gewürztraminer, as the sweetness of these wines will balance out the heat of the spices. For Mexican or Indian cuisine, opt for a Malbec or Syrah, which have a bit more body and tannins to stand up to the bold flavours. An off-dry wine can be a spicy dish’s best friend. The slight sweetness can soothe the burn of chilli peppers and complement the complexity of spices like cumin and coriander. 

Food and Wine Pairing: Pizza – A Match Made in Italy

Pizza is a staple in many households, especially during the colder months. The key to a successful pizza and wine pairing is to match the toppings with the wine. For a classic margherita pizza, opt for a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Chianti. For a meat-lovers pizza, go for a bold, full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. 

food and wine pairing - Pizza and Wine

And for a veggie pizza, try a medium-bodied white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc to complement the flavours of the vegetables. A veggie pizza loaded with mushrooms, peppers, and onions pairs beautifully with a versatile white wine. Consider a Grüner Veltliner or a dry Riesling, which can handle the variety of vegetable flavours while providing a crisp counterbalance to the cheesy goodness.

HER Wines Food and Wine Pairing

Food and Wine Pairing with the Pinotage 2022

This wine leaves a lasting impression on the palate with its luscious, mature red berry flavours and fragrant, spicy undertones. It is medium-bodied with silky tannins, and it pairs well with spicy food and meat platters.

Lady holding HER Wine Pinotage

Food and Wine Pairing with the Shiraz 2022

Featuring a blend of deep dark berry flavours with nuances of vanilla and spice, this captivating and complex wine is medium-bodied with substantial depth. It creates a lasting impression on the palate and goes brilliantly with red meat dishes that are quite robust.

food and wine pairing - HER Wine Shiraz

Food and Wine Pairing with the Sauvignon Blanc 2023 

A fruity, zesty crowd-pleaser, this wine offers flavours of passion fruit, pineapple, and lemon and is best served with grilled chicken or fresh seafood.

HER Wine Sauvignon Blanc with a glass of wine in the background

Food and Wine Pairing with the Chenin Blanc 2023

This bold, flavourful wine boasts tropical fruit aromas and flavours of yellow apple, green melon, and white pear, guaranteed to delight and impress. It is delicious with seafood, chicken, or crunchy salads.

food and wine pairing - HER Wine Chenin Blanc

Buy HER Wines

For your perfect food and wine pairing, our wines are available to purchase in-store at Woolworths and other retailers country-wide, and they can also be found online at Woolworths, Makro and Takealot.

HER Wines Bursary

At the HER Wine Collection, our team of exceptional women is well aware of the obstacles encountered on the journey to professional success. We empathise with the challenges young individuals face while carving out their own paths, which inspires our commitment to support them. This is why we have pledged to donate 2% of our profits to a bursary fund dedicated to nurturing the ambitions of young minds and helping them turn their dreams into reality.

HER Wine Bursary Badge and Pinotage

Our exclusive scholarship is available to applicants from families employed in the vineyards that supply grapes for the HER Wine Collection. Selected recipients will receive financial aid for their education and gain valuable mentorship, guiding them through the complexities of higher education and the pursuit of a rewarding career.

Contact HER Wines

To keep up with wine specials, food and wine pairing advice, and the latest news from the HER Wine Collection, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. For more information, feel free to email us at info@herwinecollection.co.za, call us at 021 111 0210, or message us on WhatsApp at 060 551 5989.

Romantic Picnic Ideas for Valentine’s Day in Cape Town

Romantic Picnic Ideas for Valentine’s Day in Cape Town

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate with your significant other than a romantic picnic for two in beautiful Cape Town? With its stunning landscapes, breathtaking views, and delicious food, Cape Town is the perfect setting for a romantic picnic. In this article, we’ll share some of the best picnic spots in Cape Town, ideas on how to do a picnic set up for 2, what food to bring and how to choose the perfect wine to pair with your food. 

How to Set Up a Romantic Picnic?

A romantic picnic setup for two doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can create a beautiful and intimate setting for you and your partner to enjoy. Here are some tips to help you set up the perfect romantic picnic:

Choose the Right Location for Your Romantic Picnic

The first step to setting up a romantic couple picnic is choosing the right location. There is an abundance of romantic places in Cape Town, from beaches and parks to mountains and vineyards. Consider your partner’s preferences and choose a spot that will be meaningful to both of you.

Romantic picnic - Couple sitting outdoors in the mountains

Create a Comfortable Seating Area for Your Romantic Picnic

To ensure that you and your partner are as comfortable as possible, remember to bring along a comfortable and ideally cushioned picnic blanket that you can lie down on and enjoy your delightful meal. A couple of soft pillows would help to make the setting even cosier and comfortable.

In the case of planning an indoor picnic, where the ambience can be meticulously curated, you have the wonderful opportunity to fashion a truly cosy and inviting seating area using an array of plush cushions and soft blankets.

Set the Mood with Lighting for Your Romantic Picnic

Lighting plays a pivotal role in setting the right mood and ambience, especially when it comes to creating a romantically enchanting atmosphere. For this reason, it is highly recommended to incorporate some elements that emanate a gentle, cosy glow into your romantic picnic arrangement. One option to achieve this is by including a collection of beautifully lit candles or delicately twinkling fairy lights, effortlessly casting a soft, warm radiance around your picnic area.

Romantic Lighting

If you happen to be organising an evening picnic, you might consider integrating a couple of lanterns into your lighting scheme to ensure an added level of brightness and luminosity, guaranteeing that every moment of your romantic picnic is visually mesmerising.

Add Some Personal Touches for Your Romantic Picnic

To enhance the overall experience and make your romantic picnic undeniably remarkable, take a moment to think about including a personalised element that reflects the connection that you and your partner have.

A framed photo of a memorable moment you two shared, a heartfelt love letter, or a thoughtful gift can add just that little bit of extra thoughtful love to the evening.

Romantic Indoor Picnic Ideas

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, or you prefer a more intimate setting, you can plan a romantic indoor picnic. Here are some ideas to help you create the perfect indoor picnic:

Create a Cosy Fort

Building a fort is a fun and romantic way to create a cosy indoor picnic setting. You can use blankets, sheets, and pillows to create a fort in your living room and add some fairy lights and candles for a romantic touch.

Set Up a Picnic Table

If you have a small balcony or patio, you can set up a picnic table for two. You can use a small table or even a coffee table and decorate it with a tablecloth, candles, and flowers, which will create an intimate and romantic picnic setting.

Indoor Picnic Table Setup with Couple

Have a Movie Night Picnic

For a unique twist on a traditional romantic picnic, you can have a movie night picnic. Set up a projector or use your TV to watch a romantic movie while enjoying your picnic, and you can even make some popcorn and bring some movie snacks to complete the experience.

Movie Night Picnic

Outdoor Romantic Picnic Ideas for Couples

If you prefer an outdoor picnic, Cape Town has plenty of beautiful spots to choose from. Here are some of the best picnic spots for couples in Cape Town so that you don’t have to  google ‘romantic picnic spots near me’ or ‘romantic picnic spots in Cape Town’:

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is one of the best romantic picnic places in cape Town; with its stunning views of Table Mountain and a variety of plants and flowers, it’s the perfect setting for a romantic picnic. You can bring your own picnic basket or purchase food and drinks from the on-site restaurant.

Romantic Picnic - Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Signal Hill

Signal Hill offers breathtaking views of the city and is a popular spot for picnics. You can drive up to the top or take a short hike to reach the picnic area. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy a romantic picnic while watching the sunset over the city.

Romantic picnic - Signal Hill

Bloubergstrand Beach

Bloubergstrand Beach is a beautiful and less crowded beach in Cape Town, and it’s the perfect spot for a romantic picnic by the ocean. It also has an incredible view of Table Mountain, so it’s an excellent spot to catch the sunset and snap a few meaningful memories with your significant other. We recommend bringing a beach umbrella if it’s a hot day and a few blankets to sit on.

Romantic picnic - Bloubergstrand Beach

What Food is Good for a Romantic Picnic?

No picnic is complete without delicious food and wine. When planning a romantic picnic, it’s important to choose food that is easy to transport, doesn’t require too much preparation, and is still delicious. Here are some ideas for romantic picnic food:

Finger Foods and Snacks

Finger foods and snacks are perfect for a romantic picnic. They are easy to eat and don’t require any utensils. You can bring a variety of fruits, cheese, crackers, and nuts to create a beautiful and tasty platter. You can also add some delicious dips, such as hummus or tzatziki, for some extra flavour.

Cheese Platter for Two

Sandwiches and Wraps

Sandwiches and wraps are another great option for a picnic as they are easy to make and can be customised to your partner’s preferences. You can make them the night before and pack them in a cooler to keep them fresh. Don’t forget to bring some chips or crisps to go with them.

Don’t Forget Desserts for Your Romantic Picnic

No romantic picnic is complete without a sweet treat. You can bring some pre-made desserts, such as cupcakes or brownies, or make your own. Chocolate-covered strawberries are a classic and romantic option that is easy to make and transport. 

Choosing The Perfect Wine for Your Romantic Picnic

When it comes to choosing a nice bottle of wine for your romantic picnic, the HER Wines Collection offers a variety of options to suit your taste. Whether you prefer a crisp and refreshing white wine or a bold and medium-bodied red, HER Wines has something for everyone. Here is a list of our incredible wines, along with their tasting notes and pairing recommendations, so you can perfectly match a bottle of wine with your chosen picnic foods.

  • HER Wines Sauvignon Blanc is a zesty, fruity, crowd-pleaser with flavours of pineapple, passion fruit, and lemon, which is best served chilled. Pairs beautifully with grilled chicken, crunchy salads and fresh seafood.
  • HER Wines Chenin Blanc is an excellent option for a bold, flavourful wine with tropical fruit aromas and flavours of yellow apple, green melon, and white pear that’s guaranteed to delight and impress. Pairs impeccably well with cheese platters, pasta salads, fresh salads and light curries.
  • HER Wines Pinotage leaves a lasting impression on the palate with its luscious, red berry flavours and spicy, fragrant undertones. Pairs well with meat platters and spicy dishes.
  • HER Wines Shiraz is a medium-bodied red wine that is sure to impress. This offering features deep and dark berry flavours and touches of vanilla and spice, resulting in a captivating, complex wine. It is medium-bodied and possesses depth, leaving a long-lasting impression on the palate. Pairs nicely with a juicy steak or hearty beef casserole.
HER Wine Collection with Wine Glasses

No matter which wine you choose from the HER Wines Collection, you can be confident that it will add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your romantic picnic, no matter what food you choose to go with it.

Recommended Reading: How To Unlock the Potential in Every Bottle of Wine

HER Wine Collective

The HER Wine Collection signifies a trailblazing presence in the South African wine sector as it is the inaugural venture wholly owned and managed by black women. Every step of our enterprise, from cultivating the vineyards to producing, marketing, and distributing our fine wines, is carried out with passion and commitment by black women. We deeply appreciate the strength that comes from idea-sharing, mutual motivation, and building more robust ties within the beautifully varied communities of South Africa.

The HER Bursary

At the HER Wine Collection, our remarkable team of women understands the obstacles encountered on the journey to professional success. We sympathise with the difficulties faced by young individuals striving to carve out their own paths, which drives our dedicated commitment to giving a hand up. This is why we have devoted ourselves to allocating 2% of our profits to a bursary fund created to nurture the ambitions of determined young minds and empower them to turn their dreams into tangible reality.

Her Wine Bursary Stamp

Our outstanding scholarship is exclusively open to applicants from families working on the vineyards that provide grapes for the HER Wine Collection. Selected recipients will receive financial aid for their education as well as invaluable mentorship, guiding them through the complexities of higher education and supporting their pursuit of a rewarding career.

Buy HER Wines for Your Romantic Picnic

Discover the world of HER Wines at your convenience, available for purchase for your romantic picnic at select retailers nationwide, including Woolworths stores, Woolworths online, or our online store. Stay in the loop with all things HER Wine by joining our vibrant community on Instagram and Facebook. For inquiries about our exceptional wines, reach out to us via email at info@herwinecollection.co.za or give us a call at 021 873 3170

How to pair wine with food

How to pair wine with food

Food and wine pairing

You invite friends over for a meal. What wine do you serve? Food and wine pairing can become really complicated and, quite frankly, really snobby, but let’s make it simple.

You want everyone to have a good time, right? Choosing a wine that enhances the food that you’ve spent hours preparing (or buying!) makes for a more enjoyable, memorable evening. Here are a few basics to consider when pairing food with wine.

Food and wine pairing

Food and wine pairing guide:

A good food and wine pairing tip are to choose wines that match the flavour intensity of the food. 

  • A wooded or fruity white wine is often a good choice for spicy curry dishes
  • A robust red wine is a perfect match for a hearty stew, roast or steak
  • A light, crisp white wine will go well with a fresh green salad or grilled chicken
  • A very rich, creamy dish will be balanced out by a more acidic wine, be it red or white.
Food and wine pairing

Food and wine pairing ideas:

Getting your friends involved in discussing food and wine pairing makes for a more interactive, dynamic get-together. Here are a few ideas to liven up a party with some food and wine pairing possibilities.

  • Just because you have pizza takeaways doesn’t mean you don’t need to consider the wine. Something meaty needs a hearty red wine, while something cheesy might need a more acidic white but the traditional Hawaiian calls for a full-bodied, fruity white wine. Why not ask your guests to taste and pick their best combo?
  • Wine and chocolate is not a traditional pairing, but if you’re a chocaholic, this one’s for you. The experts tell us that white chocolate pairs best with sweeter, fruity white wines, while milk chocolate should taste best with a light to medium-bodied red. Dark chocolate calls for a big bold red wine.
  • Wanting to impress someone special? If you’ve got a hot date, make sure you wine and dine in style. Choose a wine with a special story that will impress. Wine prepares the palate for food, so enjoy a few sips while you wait for your food to arrive and you’ll pave the way for a magical evening.
  • Invite your friends over for the big game and prepare some snacks to enjoy in front of the screen. A chilled white wine will go best with salty snacks, but something cheesy will partner best with a fruity red wine. Remember to keep a bottle of bubbles on ice to pop when you win.
  • Quiz nights can become quite heated. A few bottles of fruity red will loosen the tongues and possibly the brain cells.
  • Just dining alone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pair food and wine. Take time to pick your wine, pour some into a beautiful glass, and savour the me-time. 
Food and wine pairing

Putting effort into meals makes a huge difference in the experience. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or take time. It just requires a little thought. Cheers from the HER Wine Collection team.