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Raise your glass to Pinot Noir…

Did you know today, August 18,  is International Pinot Noir Day? We didn’t, but now we do, we’re going to raise a glass to this beautiful cultivar, while we tuck into a slow-roast pork belly.

We’re celebrating with a glass of,  and toasting  Muratie Estate, South Africa’s first producer of Pinot Noir.

It is George Paul Canitz, after whom the Muratie Pinot Noir is named, whom we have to thank for the Cape’s first Pinot Noir. GP Canitz (famous artist, avid horseman, bon vivant and former owner of Muratie), together with prominent viticulturist, Professor Abraham Perold (who created Pinotage), planted the first Pinot Noir grapes at Muratie in 1927, and produced the first ‘Burgundy’ in Stellenbosch. “Muratie Burgundy is bottled sunshine; it gladdens the heart and loosens the tongue!” Such were the words of the charismatic Canitz,  who had a fine palate for Pinot.

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A lot has changed since then, including new owners of the farm, but what hasn’t changed is the fact that a glass of Muratie Geroge Paul Canitz Pinot Noir 208 still ‘gladdens the heart’.  A heady combination of strawberries, cherries, plums and aniseed greets you on the nose, all underpinned by hints of truffle, exotic mushrooms and spice. Then you’ll taste a smooth, velvety, elegant mouthful of fruits – preserved raspberries and cherries – with hints of spice … think cinnamon and sandalwood.  You’ll find the wine for around R370 at muratie.co.za/wine/buy-wine/

A rich and warming wine, it is best enjoyed with game or a robust mushroom risotto. A classic pairing is duck confit, also ideal with roast chicken, salmon (roasted, seared or grilled) and Brie, Camembert, Gruyère, and goat cheese. And absolutely delicious with slow-roasted pork belly.

Here’s Kim Melck’s slow-roasted pork belly recipe … the perfect home-cooked Sunday lunch.

  • Take a nice thick pork belly and have it scored in squares or thin strips – this will make the carving easier when cooked.
  • Pre-heat the oven 180˚ C.
  • Using medium coarse salt and white pepper, season on both sides – be generous with the salt.
  • Place half a cup of water in the roasting pan – this prevents the belly getting stuck to the pan and burning.
  • Place in the middle of the oven and roast for about two to three hours depending on the size and thickness of you piece of meat.
  • The top should be beautifully brown and the crackling fit for a king.

Kim likes to serve it with a butternut puree and seasonal vegetables. And of course, a glass of MURATIE GEORGE PAUL CANITZ PINOT NOIR.

BUTTERNUT PUREE RECIPE

Peel and cube butternut (1.13kg) and peel and dice carrots (145g). Put into a pot with Chicken stock (5000ml, used with one stock cube) and boil until soft. Stir in 10 g paprika, 5g each salt and black pepper and let it rest until it reaches room temperature, then add 30ml cream. Puree in a food processor (or hand wand) until smooth … it should have a lovely vibrant colour.

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