Bellevue’s Food and Wine Pairing Guide 

bunch of corks

Much has been written about food and wine pairing, but as an Estate that not only produces great wines but prides itself on the variety of food and wine pairings we offer, we thought you may enjoy our input on some of the more commonly asked questions around this practice. 

We have therefore combined the opinions and comments of our excellent winemaker Wilhelm and our Owner/Founder and Viticulturist Dirkie Morkel to create a series of articles that we like to call Bellevue’s Food and Wine Pairing Guide. 

It covers a range of subjects about food and wine pairing and answers many of the questions that our customers ask us when enjoying a tasting or savouring a food pairing in our restaurant. 

As old as time itself, food and wine pairing has been enjoyed by people in many cultures throughout the ages even if it was as simple as the breaking of bread with a basic blend. As time progressed wine lovers and particularly Connoisseurs began to realise that certain foods paired very well with certain cultivars and so food and wine pairing became something of a fine art. We felt it fitting therefore to first try to answer one of the most commonly asked questions of all…  

Which food should NOT be paired with wine? 

The answer, according to Wilhelm, is that practically nothing should not be paired with wine even though some pairings may be more challenging than others. Almost any wine can be paired with food but Dirkie is quick to point out that with so many different styles of Pinotage, this cultivar, in particular, can be paired with almost every dish! Good news for Pinotage lovers! 

waiter pouring wine

Why do waiters pour a little wine at first? 

This is another commonly asked question about a practice that we can witness in almost any restaurant worth its salt. Our experts agree that it is tradition and etiquette to offer a small taste of the wine ordered to the patron in a restaurant before pouring further, but for very a good reason. This is not just a ritual but is done to make sure that the wine is not faulty. For example, if the wine is oxidised, corked or has a VA, the patron could request that another bottle be opened. 

Can you say no to the wine after tasting it? 

As already explained, absolutely yes, but only if the wine is definitely faulty. 

Woman with wine glass
woman holding a wine glass

What does it mean to say ‘’a wine has legs’’ and what does it represent? 

This is beautifully explained by our Winemaker Wilhelm who says, “When you swirl a glass of wine and it settles down, streaky, transparent “legs” slowly run down the inside of the glass. The amount and viscosity of these “legs” are determined by (amongst others) the alcohol and sugar levels of the wine, but also by the level of glycerol production, during the alcoholic fermentation, that varies, depending on the specific yeast strain chosen.” 

Why do you swirl the wine in a glass? 

This is something constantly practised with many people not knowing why they do it. There is a valid reason for it though which is that it aerates the wine by creating a small amount of controlled contact with air. The oxygen in the air frees up the aromatic compounds in the wine so that you can smell and taste all that the wine has to offer! 

Woman swirling wine

Come and experience the best!  

We hope you have found this edition of the Bellevue Food and Wine Pairing Guide to be informative and fun to read. Don’t just read about it though, come and enjoy some of the finest food and wine pairing experiences in the Cape, from traditional pairings with cheese to Pizza pairings, Burger slider pairings and more. The Bellevue Estate range of critically acclaimed wines offers some of the finest in the Cape, nominated by sommeliers, journalists and experts in South Africa and around the world.  

Contact us today for bookings for functions large or small, or an experience to remember in our restaurant or a variety of tasting areas. We look forward to welcoming you! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.