Keen to turn your winter wining and dining up a notch with our most favoured red blend, Baronne? Look no further. Winemaker Samuel Viljoen and Chef Jerry Kennedy have the following delicious pairing suggestions to transport you from winter slumber to a warm wonderland of full-blown flavour.
How well do you know your Baronne?
Smooth, suave and self-assured, Baronne is one of South Africa’s most successful red blends and a name that for many is synonymous with red wine itself. It celebrates its 47th birthday this year.
The ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend was the brainchild of cellar-master Günter Brözel, who went on to earn widespread recognition and the title of International Wine & Spirit Competition Winemaker of the Year in 1985, the first winemaker in South Africa to achieve this honour.
Back in 1973, Günter wanted wine lovers to have the pleasure of an affordable, elegant, satisfyingly smooth red blend: quite simply an everyday wine that, as he put it, would add nobility to any occasion. “There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about the name but Baronne was settled on for its classical, French association,” he recalls without a moment’s hesitation, even though it was all those years ago.
Forty-seven years on, Baronne has such a following that it is presented in its own right. It is not uncommon for people to refer to the blend as “my Baronne”, “my Baroness” or even “my Baronnista”!
Among generations of wine lovers, who may be divided by decades, culture, language or experience, it still appeals for its clever combination of succulent red fruit flavours (Cabernet Sauvignon) and slight peppery, smoky characters (Shiraz). It’s a very versatile wine that goes extremely well with burgers, ribs and hearty pastas. But it will never be out of place with Chateaubriand or Sunday roast. It can hold its own at Christmas, on birthdays, at graduations and other rites of passage.
Samuel says of Baronne: “It has such wonderful, nostalgic associations for me and I have always loved making this blend.” He calls it the ultimate get-together wine. “It’s just the wine you want for winter bonding, whether you are with the family, watching sport or celebrating an occasion. It’s a fixture in our house and in so many others. I love that you find it in so many parts of the world. When you are far away from home and you encounter a bottle, it’s like bumping into an old friend.”
Meanwhile, chef Jerry has two mouth-watering suggestions when it comes to classic recipes to try with your Baronne this winter: spaghetti Bolognese and oven-roasted lamb shanks.
Simple spaghetti Bolognese
- 25ml cooking oil 1
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 50ml tomato paste
- 500g lean beef mince
- 440g whole peeled tomato
- 4 sprigs oregano, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 250g spaghetti pasta, cooked in salted boiling water
- Parmesan cheese to complete the dish.
- Heat cooking oil in a pan on the stove. Add the onion, garlic and tomato paste and fry until halfway cooked. Add the beef mince and peeled tomato straight after. Let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Dish up with the spaghetti and some grated Parmesan cheese.
Oven-roasted lamb shanks
- 4 to 6 lamb shanks
- Salt & pepper
- 1 cup flour
- 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 50ml cooking oil
- 5 carrots, roughly chopped
- ½ bunch celery, roughly chopped
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 5 sprigs fresh herbs
- 1tsp pepper corns
- 4 bay leaves
- 500ml Nederburg Baronne
- 1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 165˚C. Rub the lamb shanks with salt, pepper, mustard and dust/roll in the flour. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and seal off the shanks until golden crisp all round. Use a deep oven dish, and add the shanks with all raw vegetables, bay leaves, herbs, wine and water. Cover with foil and baked for 3 to 4 hours (check it during the cooking time to ensure that it doesn’t become too dry, and add more liquid if necessary). Once done to your liking, reduce the pan sauces to a gravy or sauce consistency. Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans and/or broccoli.