November 7 is International Merlot Day which is indeed a cause for celebration in itself.
Although here at Morukuru Family, we never feel we need need an extra special occasion to open a bottle of wine and simply embrace the saying that life is too short to drink bad wine! Ed Zeeman owner, a dedicated wine lover and connoisseur sat down with us and shared some of his favourite Merlot selections paired with cuisine selected from the Morukuru Family portfolio.
Merlot can be enjoyed as 100% monovarietal wine – which is known as a simple easy drinking red. Sitting here at Ocean House – what would select from the cellar to accompany the delicious pork belly served with apple puree, pommes dauphine celery, sweet glazed carrots and pearly onions?
I would select a bottle of David Frost Merlot Reserve 2000 from Paarl that is part of my private collection housed in our cellar at Ocean House. This wine has smoky, stewed fruit aromas with a great full-bodied mouth feel. Holding out well with a complex, interesting finish that I think will be a perfect accompaniment to the pork.
When you are lucky enough to head north to Madikwe and get a chance to relax at Owner’s House – you can enjoy some robust food paired with a more multi-dimensional Merlot blend. Tell us about one of your favourite Merlot moments experienced in the bush.
One of the dishes I enjoy the most on the menu at Madikwe is Assion’s famous slow-cooked oxtail potjie enjoyed at our site called Ed’s View. This is my favourite spot in Madikwe and has amazing views of the reserve below. An evening enjoyed around the fire with a glass of Meinart Merlot in hand is hard to beat! Another great option for an eveyday good drinking merlot is the Guardian Peak, which is on our wine list at Morukuru Family, and our guests really do enjoy this sitting around the boma fire.
Here in South Africa we have an enormous variety of brilliant, award winning local wines. If you are sitting in the bar at AtholPlace – enjoying a glass of wine. What would you pick from the cellar?
Meerlust Merlot 2014 would one of the choices, with its Intense dark brambly fruit on the nose. Mulberry, liquorice and plum with hints of dark chocolate and spicyness. I would choose to enjoy this after dinner with a selction of south African cheeses in the bar at AtholPlace.
It has been said that Champagne is appropriate for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’m not sure Merlot goes with breakfast – but is a definite option for lunch!
At AtholPlace I would recommend seared fillet with roasted butternut cubes and root veg, served with Pumpkin Puree, crispy basil and a red wine jus prepared by Chef Willie Malhebre, just perfect for a cold Johannesburg winter’s day. At Ocean House the Whalehaven Merlot from Hermanus is a great choice for guests wanting to taste wine from the region. This is a multi-layered wine with both savory and fruity notes that would go well with our grilled ostrich fillet summer salad served with a cumin and mint salad dressing and who knows during July to November you might just be able to enjoy the breaching whales whilst enjoying your lunch!