Oldenburg Vineyards, high up in the Banghoek Valley, always surprises. Their brilliant new range of single variety and blended wines are named for Rondekop, an enchanting little hillock in the midst of almost Alpine Mountains. It has ferricrete soils which add deep flavours to the grapes grown on it. Rhodium is a precious metal used in the making of jewellery, most of the Rhodium used in the world is mined in South Africa. The Oldenburg Vineyards Rondekop Rhodium 2015 is a child of the greatest vintage of the century and also on of a year of drought.
The blend of grapes for the Oldenburg Vineyards Rondekop Rhodium 2015 is a classical Bordeaux left bank style with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Hand harvested and then carefully sorted in the cellar, before destalking and crushing. The grapes were cold soaked for three days before fermentation. Once fermented, and pressed the wines were matured in new 300 litre French Oak Barrels for 20 months. It was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed under natural cork. The label depicts Rondekop in the middle of the surrounding mountains. In the glass, the wine is an opaque purple tinged blood plum red which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are of ripe plums, and roadside brambles. These ease in from entry into the palate together with a golden thread of refreshing acidity, the supportive oak with its concomitant spice and vanilla. The aftertaste has the fruit, the acidity, the oak and tannins all interwoven making a great glass.
The Oldenburg Vineyards Rondekop Rhodium 2015 is made for food, made for hearty stuff, classical winter food. My Pork, Apricot & Green Bean Curry is a good match.
Pork, Curried Shoulder Chops with Apricots & Green Beans
What you’ll need
4 Tbs sunflower oil
4 Tbs butter
2 kg pork shoulder chops, trimmed of excess fat before weighing
3 onions, two chopped and one sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
150g carrots, finely chopped
150g celery, finely chopped
4 Tbs Curry Powder, I used Woolworths Cape Malay Curry
1 tin 400gm chopped Tomato – use Woolworths Italian
1 tin 400gm Coconut Milk – Used the Woolworths one
250ml Chicken Stock – NOMU
2 Tbs Tomato Paste – use Woolworths Italian, in a tube
1 Tbs scrunched dried curry leaves
6 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
250g Soft-dried Turkish Apricots
250g fine Green Beans, steamed to al dente
What you’ll do
In a large oven proof casserole, heat over medium heat the oil, when hot add the butter. Season the chops well and brown them on both sides in the oil and butter mix. You may have to take several times, but patience is a virtue. Remove the pork chops to a plate, they will throw off some liquid, you can add this when you add the chops back to the curry mix.
Now, add the onions and cook slowly over about 15 to 20 minutes until the onions start turning golden. Add the garlic and stir fry for a while. Add the carrots and celery and stir fry to heat them through. Add the curry powder and the Turmeric. Stir fry for a couple of minutes to release the aromas. Add the tomato, coconut milk and the chicken stock, the tomato paste and the leaves. Season to taste with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rather under-season, you can adjust the flavours later. Return the pork to the casserole. Please a heat mat under the casserole, drop the heat and when simmering gently, place the lid on top and cook for two hours, checking in every now and then to ensure that all is well and that there is no burning on the bottom. Check for seasoning. Add the apricots and the beans. Allow to simmer for another hour. Leave the lid aslant if you want to reduce the sauce.
When ready, serve with steamed Basmati Rice, Fruit Chutney, Desiccated Coconut and sliced bananas sprinkled with lemon juice. You may like to include a tomato and onion salsa, both chopped finely, seasoned and a slug of lemon juice and olive oil.
This works as well with lamb, or chicken.
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