Sherry and Port style wines from KWV were very much part of my childhood so memories go back a long way. Driving to Paarl so my Dad could get his KWV Quota, meant stocking up with wines like Roodeberg and sherries called Mymering and always the bottle of KWV Eau de Cologne for my grandmother’s lace hankies.
Today things are different in terms of the Classic Collection Fortified Wines, which are produced with the same care to detail as the other KWV Wines which continue to take top Awards nationally and internationally. Even the Potstill Brandies to a best Brandy & Cognac award at this year’s ISC thumping even the French at their own game.
Today I want to tell you about four of my favourites of their fortifieds.
I have always been berserk for Sherry ever since I visited the Sandeman’s Bodega in Jerez Spain in 1968. And fortunately we have wines very similar to those produced in Spain.
Classic Collection Cape Pale Dry
Made from Chenin Blanc and Colombard, the wine is fortified with neutral wine spirit and then undergoes the traditional Sherry making methods of maturing in 1000 litre French oak barrels in the Criadera
Bottled under screwcap in a special bottle, the wine is deliciously dry with all kinds of flavours packing in, marzipan, soft dried apricots, fynbos honey and a touch of butterscotch.
Bottled in the same way with an elegant label, the wine is a full sweet one with candied orange peel, aromatic spun sugar. Soft juicy with an undertow of toasted hazelnuts.
Classic Collection Red Muscadel
Must declare an interest here – I just love sweet Muscadel. Made from the classic red Muscadel grapes. To make this wine, the bunches were destalked and then crushed and pressed. No fermentation took place and the juice was fortified with grape spirit. 20% of the Muscadel was matured in 5000 litre French Oak Barrels for 12 months. It was then blended back into the tank wine and prepared for bottling.
Bottled under screw cap using the KWV Fortifieds shape. Elegant label. Brilliant red amber in colour, wonderful aromas when you lift the glass closer to your nose. Full red berried palate, mouth filling, fresh and the components beautifully balanced.
Classic Collection Cape Ruby
Classic Port Style wine made from Tinta Barocca, Ruby Cabernet, Souzão and to add a little Cape, Pinotage. Classical fermentation takes place until the desired sugar level is reached and is then stopped by blending in the spirit. The wine then spends anything from 2 to 4 years in 300 litre and 500 litre French oak barrels. In the glass, dark ruby at the core and then paling out to garnet at the rim. Rich aromas of black berries, roadside brambles, toasted hazelnuts and honeycomb. While the French drink this style of wine as an aperitif, or with tonic in a tall glass, and it is good with cheese after the meal, it does go well with meat dishes surprisingly.
The sherry style wines and the Muscadel should be chilled before service. And please serve them in a large glass rather than the teensy little glasses you serve to granny or the vicar when he comes to visit after tea.
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Perhaps with the exception of the Cape Ruby, all of these wines can be enjoyed with food. And perhaps something with a sweet edge to it like Mari-Louis Guy and Callie Maritz’s Pork Neck Chops with Ginger Biscuits from their recently released book One Pot Pan Tray.
Original recipe by Theresa de Vries. Not only our First Lady of Pastry, but clearly also a deft hand with meat dishes.
1 Tbsp (15 ml) flour
salt and pepper
1 kg pork neck chops
2 onions, chopped
3 rashers bacon, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) water ( or stock)
1 bay leaf
¾ cup (190 ml) peach or mango chutney
1 clove garlic, minced
150 g yellow sultanas
4 peppercorns, cracked
2 sweet potatoes, sliced
1 bottle (130 g) cocktail onions, drained
8 ginger biscuits, crumbled
Season the flour with salt and pepper, then dust the pork with this. Shake off any excess.
Place the chops, onions and bacon in a large casserole set over moderate heat. Drizzle with olive oil. Fry, turning the chops every so often until browned all over, about 10 minutes.
Add the water, bay leaf, chutney, garlic, sultanas and peppercorns.
Simmer, covered over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the meat and sweet potatoes are very tender. Check regularly if there is enough liquid in the pot.
Add the cocktail onions and ginger biscuits, then mix through.
Cook for another 15 minutes, then serve.