Make your Heritage Day Braai even better with Frans Smit, Spier Cellar Master’s Top Tips… 

Frans Smit, Spier Cellarmaster talks Heritage Day Braai

Spier Cellar Master Frans Smit, loves a braai almost as much as he loves wine! He shares a few time-honoured fireside tips.

Grass Fed Steak on the braai

Source responsibly
“Just as the quality of our wine begins with careful tending in the vineyard, so the deliciousness of your braai is hugely impacted by where you source your meat from. Aim for quality not quantity (a good approach when drinking wine too!). Ideally, your meat should be humanely reared on pastures, without hormones or routine antibiotics — like the chicken, pork and beef Farmer Angus produces at Spier. It’s better for you, and for the animals, and for the planet — and tastes incredible too!”

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc

Pair as you please
“It might be braai time, but that doesn’t mean red wine should hog the limelight. Our rich and ripe 21 Gables Chenin Blanc pairs well with fatty meats (especially pork belly, but it can hold its own with something like beef short rib too). Match the Seaward Chardonnay with sosaties and Creative Block 2 with aged cheddar and tomato braai-broodjies. Lastly, while you wait for the flames to lower, I recommend toasting SA’s incredible heritage with a glass of our crisp MCC.”

Bring the heat
“Instead of using briquettes in my Weber, I much prefer using authentic charcoal (though it’s important to make sure it is sustainably sourced). I find the smoky flavours it imparts are much more intense and natural. I use direct heat over the coals for thinner items (such as Farmer Angus ribeye and his amazing boerewors), and indirect heat for big roasts.”

Rooikrans Braai Wood

Wood is good
“I love a classic wood braai too. For me hardwood (ideally a thirsty alien like rooikrans) is the best as it burns more slowly. Make sure the logs are properly dried out from any spring showers they might’ve been caught in.”

My best braai knife, The Opinel, made in France – with corkscrew

Trust your gut
“There’s a lot of braai gadgetry for sale such as thermometers which I think are totally unnecessary; humans have been braaiing without them since the beginning of the time. Rather, stand by the fire with a glass of wine, keeping an eye on the meat, and if you’re not sure if it’s done, make an incision with a knife to find out. Daarsy!”

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