Wining And Dining With Nederburg’s Winemaster Wilhelm Pienaar

written by Jeannette Musembi 26th November 2013

Food and wine have gone hand in hand for centuries with plenty of wine-centric countries and cultures making delicious food and wine pairings from local grapes and local grub in the context of regional culinary creations. Today’s foodie culture has only re-emphasized the dynamic (and delicious) delight of matching up the right food with the right wine.

It is with this reason that Nederburg sent one of their top winemakers -Wilhelm Pienaar-on a short ‘excursion’ to Kenya to educate the masses on what they are missing in the wine world.  It is a project that happens annually  and the Yummy team was happy to be a part of it last year. If you missed it, check it out here.

Wilhelm was quite a charming individual, his passion for wine apparent from the way he delved into the tiniest details when he was talking about his winemaking experiences back in Nederburg. The son of a winemaker, it is easy to see why he has embraced winemaking as his lifestyle.

On a warm evening at the Serena Hotel, various key personalities and media were treated to a session of wine tasting and food pairing with a selection of carefuly selected Nederburg wines. A night of  fun, it was also a great opportunity to learn about the basic intricacies that make certain foods go with certain wines.

Unlike the majority of  wine pairing events where it’s mainly a sit down and a take through of the tasting notes by the wine connoisseur, this one was a bit different.Each guest was given a Nederburg tasting sheet  to jot down their opinions on how well the food paired with the wines, heralding that the session would be quite interactive.

We were required to go round the room tasting and pairing while using our Nederburg tasting sheet as a guide.

We sampled the cuvée brut with cream cheese on mini crackers, the Lyric with mini chicken goujon with a spicy peanut dip, grilled mini fish canapés. The Cabernet Sauvignon with chicken pate,beef satay and mini spicy meat pies.

For the sweet-toothed, the rosé  and the winemaster’s reserve -the special late harvest might just do the trick. For the red wine lovers, the Duet  would be my suggestion. Seems like Nederburg caters for all wine palates. The wines are very affordable as well as i later found out.

I could go on and on as the pairings were quite a number, but probably i can finish by stating my favorite pairing and why.

The 56Hundred Chenin Blanc was my winner. Paired with the lamb sheek kebab and bread crumbed blue cheese cubes, it was a fantastic combination. The saltiness of the blue cheese made the wine taste crisp and fresh. The lamb, tender and juicy, gave the wine a bit of a sweet and punchy finish.

As much as it was sad to see Wilhelm  go back, I am certainly looking forward to next year’s edition.

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