I have always said, I love a good wine that has a story. This is a wine with lots of stories. Douglas Green started his Wine Business in 1942. He was one of the early Negociants. He wanted to sell wine that was true to its variety, and at reasonable prices. Always the Quality to Price ratio. Secondly the grapes are harvested and made in four different Wine Appellations where the wines are made in regional cellars under the supervision of the Douglas Green Oenologists. The wines with their own regional flavour spectrums are then to the Douglas Green Cellars in Wellington where they are blended and then turned into a wine which is greater than the sum of its parts. Then the next story is Chenin Blanc. Legend has it that Chenin Blanc was one of the earliest grapes to arrive at the Cape in the 1600s. Chenin is now the most planted wine grape in South Africa. Our vineyards are now 6 times larger than those of its home, The Loire Valley in France. So I regard this versatile grape as one of our own.
Do watch my Instagram TV video about the Douglas Green Chenin Blanc 2020 – CLICK HERE
As a food recommendation either for Christmas or during the festivities, I offer my Back Bacon with Plums.
Michael’s Back Bacon with plums
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Marinading time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
What you’ll need
1 piece of back bacon, skin off, weighing about 750g
sea salt & freshly milled black pepper
6 ripe blood plums
50g dried cranberries
250ml fruity red wine
2Tbs Demerara sugar
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil – I always use Rio Largo
4 fat cloves of fresh garlic – finely chopped
250ml Verjuice, of 125ml apple cider vinegar and 125ml water
4 bay leaves
6 whole star anise
2 quills of cinnamon
For finishing the sauce
2 Tbs quince, redcurrant, apple or berry jelly
What you’ll do
Score the fat of the bacon in a diamond pattern. Season well with the sea salt and freshly milled black pepper. Take care with the salt as the pork might be sufficiently salty. Place the bacon into a deep ovenproof casserole. Cut the plums in half, remove the stones and place them round the bacon with the cranberries. In a small bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the bacon. Allow to marinate for at least two hours. Preset the oven on 200C. When ready, place the casserole in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the bacon on a dish to stand for about 5 minutes to rest. Meantime, remove the bay leaves and the star anise. Mash the plums into the sauce to make a chunky sauce. Add the jelly, squish it down to melt it and then shake the pot vigourously to create an emulsion, you’ll find it absorbs any oil or bacon fat.
Serve with steamed potatoes and a green vegetable like long stemmed broccoli or thin “French” beans.
Read more about Douglas Green Wines – CLICK HERE