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SA Wines Online Blog

The home of fine South African Wine in the UK

  • Sticky Pork Ribs with Warwick Estate's Trilogy


    Warwick Estate have released this recipe for sticky perfection with their award-winning wine, Trilogy.

    With a colour "darker than the purest ruby and richer than a monarch's robe", we are ardently awaiting the release of the 2013 vintage on the 1st October 2016. Delicious from the very first drop, its elegant and classic Bordeaux flavours will keep developing in the bottle for the next 30 years.

    Click here for the Warwick Estate Trilogy 2011 Vintage while we wait...

    20160606-Warwick Food Imagery XM-162-Edit (640x426)Sticky Pork Ribs from Warwick Estate
  • Grilled Aubergine and Black Olive Tapenade Rolls

    We're not sure what the weather is doing- maybe it is fining up?

    Maybe not. 

    What we do know, is a sparkling dry rosé and warm tapenade rolls will make us feel summery whether we are in doors or out!

    Enjoy these Grilled Aubergine and Black Olive Tapenade Rolls with a glass or two of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé.

    Tapenade Rolls½ cup pumpkin seeds - 2 long aubergines - extra virgin olive oil -balsamic vinegar

    For the tapenade: 160g black olives - a small clove of garlic - a large handful of fresh basil leaves-2 anchovy fillets - half a handful of sun-dried tomatoes - pumpkin seed oil - freshly ground black pepper

    Dry fry the pumpkin seeds in a heavy based pan until they crackle. Set aside to cool.

    Slice the aubergines into thin strips lengthways.

    Dry roast the slices on a griddle pan, turning frequently. Pile them onto a plate and drizzle with a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar while still hot. Set aside to cool.

    Put all the ingredients for the tapenade into a blender and process, being careful not to make too smooth a paste – it needs a bit of texture. Once the grilled aubergine strips have cooled completely, lie them on a Simonsig Brut Rose in glassboard and spread with olive paste. Gently roll them up and stack them onto a platter. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil and serve!

    Recipe from: Wines of South Africa's Summer Time recipe book: South African Rosé & Cape Tapas

    Find your own copy in the first 10 Summer Time mixed cases sold here!

  • Juliet Cullinan Standard Wine Festival

    Doors are opening tomorrow!

    The famous Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival is opening its doors again on the 12th & 13th July in Johannesburg, SA.

    Promoting the exceptional for 26 years, the festival is known for showcasing the best and most elegant wines that South Africa has to offer.

    Established to provide a space where wine lovers could taste premium wines and interact directly with talented cellar masters, the selection of wineries at the event is still kept to an exclusive 50 boutique wineries.

    Showcasing in 2016 are:



    Bosman Family Vineyards

    Bouchard Finlayson

    Charles Fox

    Constantia Uitsig

    Creation Wines

    De Wetshof

    The Drift Farm

    Groot Constantia

    Haute Cabriere

    Hidden Valley Wines

    Idiom Wines

    Journey's End


    KWV SA (Pty) Ltd

    Le Riche Wines


    Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines


    Ormonde Private Cellar

    Peter Falke Wines









    Vrede en Lust


    Yardstick Wines



    Those familiar with our wine list will recognise that we already know, love and stock wines from many of the wineries attending the Festival this year.

    Our MD Kevin Gallagher will also be attending the festival, and will continue to meet with winemakers so that we have our finger on the pulse, bringing the best wines to the UK audience. If you are fortunate enough to be attending this year's show, make sure to pop around and say hi!

    This year's theme is a Celebration of Cape Art. Each wine is a bottled artist's impression of the landscape, culture and climate.

    After 26 years of successful festivals, Juliet Cullinan remembers her first small show fondly. “I remember the late Ross Gower doing flick flacks at the event which was also supported by Giles Webb of Thelema, Lowell Jooste from Klein Constantia and by Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson.  I had to laugh because at the end of an intense couple of days the winemakers, after they had packed up their stands, decided what they really needed was a nice cold beer.”


  • Salmon Trout Mousse - Pair with Sauvignon Blanc

    salmontroutmousse450g salmon trout, flaked

    1 tsp fresh fennel or dill, finely chopped

    1 tsp finely chopped spring onion

    salt and pepper to taste

    30ml (2Tbsp) gelatine

    3 Tbsp water

    1 Tbsp mayonnaise

    1 Tbsp tomato paste

    250ml fresh cream, whipped

    optional: caviar to garnish


    Fennel yoghurt sauce

    Mix the following ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve:

    1/4 cup fennel or dill, finely chopped

    2 tsp lemon juice

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp white pepper

    250ml plain yoghurt

    Blend the fish, herbs, spring onion and seasoning. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water in a separate small bowl, waiting for water to be absorbed. Place bowl over simmering water on a low heat and stir until gelatine has dissolved. 

    Stir the gelatine, mayonnaise and tomato paste into the fish and then fold in the whipped cream.

    Spoon the mixture into 8 oiled moulds and refrigerate until firm.


    Serve with the yoghurt sauce and caviar or cracked black pepper, and pair with a full bodied Sauvignon Blanc.


    We recommend the whole-bunch pressed Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc with a bouquet of green figs, hints of green peppers and gooseberries on the palate.

  • Tapas! Venison Carpaccio with a Wolftrap Rose

    Add 1/4 cup of drained capers to 300g of thinly sliced Venison Carpaccio.

    Season with coarse sea salt, freshly ground black and green pepper and a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with some watercress and enjoy with a glass of Wolftrap Rose

    Wolftrap Rose Bottle
  • Decadent chocolate cake with a red wine and chocolate glaze

    Hilton Blazing Hill Syrah cropped Hilton Blazing Hill Syrah

    Perfect match for: Hilton Blazing Hill Syrah 2010

    Soft peppery spice, rich black berry, cherry and coffee aromas help this wine complement dark chocolate desserts just as much a seared steak in butter and garlic.

    Chocolate cake  

    1 cup butter

    1/3 cup flour

    225g chocolate (72% cocoa), chopped

    1 cup sugar

    6 eggs, separated

    1 teaspoon fleur de sel

    Red wine and chocolate glazeRed wine and dark chocolate

    225g chocolate (72% cocoa), chopped

    1/4 cup unsalted butter

    1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    1/2 cup red wine


    1. Preheat oven to 160°C, and prepare an 8" spring-form pan buy buttering lightly and adding sugar if desired.

    2. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, and let cool completel y.

    3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the eggs are thick and pale.

    4. Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture to the eggs to temper it, then pour the egg mixture back into the chocolate and mix well.

    5. Mix in the flour and salt.

    6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites into soft peaks.

    7. Add a small quantity of egg whites to the cake mix before gently folding the rest of the egg whites into the batter until completely incorporated.

    8. Pour mixture into the spring-form pan, and bake for about 35 minutes.

    9. Transfer to a wire rack, and allow cake to cool before releasing pan.


    1. Melt the chocolate, butter and salt in a bowl over simmering water, remove from heat and whisk in sugar.

    2. Heat wine, but remove from heat before boiling.

    3. Whisk in wine, and let the glaze cool slightly for about 7 minutes.

    4. Release cake from the tin and set over a wire rack to allow the glaze to drip onto a baking tray below.

    5. Pour glaze over cake and spread evenly with a spatula.

    6. Allow to set at room temperature for the next 3 hours If not serving immediately, store cake in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.

  • Cocktail Recipe: H.K. ROSE

    H.K. ROSE by Ardesia

    INGREDIENTSrose cocktail circle

    Lots of Ice

    3 ounces dry rose wine 1 ounce rouge vermouth 1 tablespoon lavender-infused honey 1 dash rosewater Garnish: lemon or lime curl

    METHOD Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add rose, vermouth, honey, and rosewater. Stir to combine. Garnish with lemon or lime curl and serve immediately.

    To make the lavender-infused honey, heat 12 ounces of honey and 6 ounces of dried lavender in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for about ten minutes. Let cool. Strain and funnel back into original container.

  • Chenin Blanc with Thai Spiced Fish Cakes with a Cucumber Dipping Sauce

    thaifishcakescircle Pair a glass of Chenin Blanc with the following dish and you have easy first-class gastronomy!

    This week's recipe comes from Post House Wines, and is a match made in heaven with a bottle of their Stamp of Chenin.

    Thai Spiced Fish Cakes with a Cucumber dipping Sauce


    White firm fish

    Minced ginger

    Hint of deseeded fresh chilli

    Two tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander

    Squeeze of lime juice

    Salt & Pepper to taste


    Blend all together

    Make Small rounds

    Pan fry in light olive oil until golden

    Dipping Sauce




    Fresh Mint



    Peel & deseed cucumber

    Blend with yoghurt & mint (quantities to your taste)

    Garnish with coriander and lime wedges and serve immediately

  • Winery of the Month: Ataraxia

    Ataraxia was founded in 2004 by the husband and wife team, Kevin and Hanli Grant. The winery’s vineyards are located on the most elevated section of the Hemel en Aarde area of the Walker Bay wine-growing district. The winery itself is to the west of South Africa’s southern most tip, Cape Agulhas by the Hemel-en-Aarde ridge, in an area known as the Skyfields. Ataraxia, S.AWinesonlineAtaraxia is one of the most southern of South Africa’s wineries, and the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Babylonstoren Mountains produce a mild climate and a variety of soil types ideal for growing many types of grape.

    Ataraxia has used its south-facing slopes and access to the wide soil types to create a quartet of wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Serenity, and the recently developed Pinot Noir. Indeed, Ataraxia’s Pinot Noir is the winery’s most recent addition (bottled in February 2015), and we here at SA Wines think it’s an excellent extension (or rather, completion) to Ataraxia’s small-but-excellent range of wines.

    So, why do we love the fact that Ataraxia is adding a Pinot Noir to their range? Well, simply because their other wines are medium/full bodied, and this Pinot Noir adds a wine that’s a little more svelte and subtle to their already excellent range. Moreover, 2014 was an interesting year, climate-wise. 2015’s El Niño was one of the most powerful on record, leading to heavy rainfall in the winter and a cooler spring. Though this meant that Ataraxia had to be extra careful to prevent mildew, the later cool conditions gave their Pinot Noir grapes an excellent growing season.

    The grapes for Ataraxia’s Pinot Noir were picked by hand into small crates and then sorted, , destemmed, and carefully crushed in Ataraxia Winery’s cellar, followed by a 10 day pre-fermentation cold soak. The fermentation stage was was temperature-controlled, peaking at 28° celsius for a total cuvaison of 22 days. The wine was eventually pressed and racked into carefully selected French oak barrels - of which 21% were new - for 11 months.

    Ataraxia Serenity, S.A Wines Online Ataraxia Serenity

    This has resulted in a red wine with relatively soft tannins (that are most definitely still there). The hue is luminous and reflects rather than absorb light. The nose is rather much like its flavour, with a blend of cherries, pomegranate, and forest floor. There is also a certain spiciness (think cinnamon and a hint of black pepper) and woodiness coming from the French oak. There is a mid-depth palate and the finish is mid to long. This is an excellent wine for salmon and pizzas topped with mozzarella and mushrooms. In fact, we would heartily recommend Ataraxia’s Pinot Noir for mushrooms, as the earthy flavours mesh extremely well together.

    As for the other wines in Ataraxia’s range? Well, they’re all quite brilliant, really, and all have received John Platter ratings of 4 stars or above (quite often receiving 4.5 stars). One of SA Wines’ favourites from Ataraxia is their Serenity. Serenity is a full-bodied Shiraz/Syrah red wine made from a blend of 6 types of Mediterranean grape.

    There’s lots of tannins in Serenity, with flavours of black pepper, dark berries, and mint. The finish is ethereal yet assertive. The cooler temperatures of South Africa mean that this particular Shiraz is balanced between mineral and fruity, and the wine’s structure is also more elegant than many Shirazs from warmer climates. This is an excellent choice of wine for roast beef or lamb.

    Ataraxia’s Chardonnay is also particularly pleasant. In fact, it’s absolutely world class! This white wine is chiseled and focussed, and has oodles of minerality. There is also a subtle fruitiness and a more “neutral” acidity (pH 7.0) in this Chardonnay, making it an excellent choice for fish and other types of seafood cooked in buttery sauces. This wine matches lobster and mussels very well, as well as chicken in cream sauces and roasted turkey.

    Ataraxia, Chardonnay from S.AWines Online Ataraxia Chardonnay

    Last but not least is the Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc. Like with their Chardonnay, minerality rather than fruit is the main focus here, but there is still lots of grassy, herby, gooseberry-like flavours here. The acidity is also higher and the structure a lot tighter, meaning this wine is excellent for briny foods like oysters or acidic dishes like shrimp in a lemon butter sauce. For soul food fanatics, this Sauvignon Blanc is also an excellent accompaniment to fried chicken! The acidity cuts right through rich, oily dishes, refreshing and preparing your palate for the next bite.

    Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc, South African Wines Online Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc

    Ataraxia Winery may have a small selection of wines, but this means that the winemaker (founder Kevin Grant) can focus on producing wine of world-beating quality rather than trying to appease mass market tastes. Ataraxia is an brilliant brand of wine, and we here at SA Wines are only too happy to raise a glass and make them winery of the month. We implore that your try at least one of their wines as soon as possible!

  • Winery of the Month: Morgenster Estate

    When it comes to Bordeaux-style red blends, Morgenster Estate is a star winery. Indeed, all of Morgenster's reds on SA Wines have a John Platter rating of 4.5 stars. This makes Morgenster one of the most interesting wineries around today.

    Such consistent quality is rarely found, so it is no wonder that their mixed cases sell out so frequently! What’s more is that Morgenster also produces some of the world's best olives and olive oil, making this particular winemaker a must-try for wine-lovers and foodies everywhere!

    More unusually, Morgenster have produced a white blend (vintage 2013) made from a mixture of Sauvignon Blanc (51%) and Semillon (49%). morgenster-white-2014Moregenster's white is an excellent companion to their reds, and is extremely versatile, too.

    The acidity and minerality gives their white excellent lime and citrus notes, balancing out the apricot, banana, and butter that can be found in a glass of this special stuff. This means the Morgenster White Blend accompanies goats cheese, seafood (particularly mussels, grilled fish, and salmon), mixed salads, and lots more besides.

    Whilst the Morgenster White is excellent, it is the winery's reds that are most talked about. No wonder, since they’re all fantastic drinks. In fact, we here at SA Wines cannot choose between them! All of Morgenster's reds are great to drink, both on their own and with a meal. Moreover, despite all of them being Bordeaux-style red blends, they are all distinct individuals.

    Morgenster 2003 is a truly sexy, sublime red wine. Comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, the 2003 has flavours and aromas of dark cherries, chocolate, mocha, cassis, and kirsch. The mouthfeel is very viscous, meaning it coats the mouth with a liquid, velvety texture. There is also some acidity and minerality to counteract the robustness, leading to a great, crisp finish. This is an excellent wine for a hearty roast dinner.

    In the same year as the above, Morgenster produced another excellent wine - Lourens River Valley 2003. The same grapes are used, but with the addition of Petit Verdot. This addition has given Lourens River Valley a slightly more 'tobacco' and 'liquorice' aroma, as well as some slight flavours of banana.Morgenster-Lourens-River-Valley

    Plum, cinnamon, and ripe red fruits are also present on the palate. Decant for an hour before drinking to truly appreciate the body of this wine. Goes extremely well with game, roast lamb, mushrooms, and simple rocket salads.

    The two wines above are also available in 2001 vintage. These are both beautiful in their own way, and are prone to being snapped up quickly by wine-lovers. There is a good reason for this.

    The Lourens River 2001 has notes of marzipan, vanilla, toast, cedar, and even strawberry cheesecake! There is great balance between the acid and tannins, and there is a textured mid-weight palate. Morgenster's Lourens River 2001 is made for a good steak. Moreover, this red will keep and improve over the next few years.

    The Morgenster 2001, on the other hand, is oaky, peppery, and spicy. Blackcurrants come through strongly on the entry, and the wine has a complex and dense mouthfeel. This red pairs very well with slow-roasted meats, bold, meaty pastas, and ripe goat's milk brie. Morgenster 2001 is drinking beautifully now at 15 years old, and can handle another few years of keeping if needed. However, it is very well aged at the moment, balanced as it is between youth and maturity. Buy yours today - we know you won’t regret it.

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