Summer is officially upon us in South Africa, and as the sun comes out, so do our braai tongs! South Africa has 11 official languages and many more cultures, but there’s one thing that unites us: getting together with friends to cook over hot coals. But what exactly makes a ‘good’ braai? Lamp chops, boerewors, pap? Potato salad, roosterkoek or garlic bread? ‘I love Cape Town’ had a chat with Groot Constantia’s winemaker, Boela Gerber, to find out the perfect pairing for any braai:

1. BUBBLES AND ROSÉ TO START

Sip on some bubbles and rose’ while you and your crew are waiting for that fire to warm up, and the coals to burn down. “A chilled Rosé is a wonderful choice to accompany a braai on a warm Spring day,” says Gerber. “The fruit flavours of strawberries, raspberries, melon, and a hint of jasmine, compliment most dishes, particularly those crisp side salads.” 

rose

2. SAUVIGNON BLANC AND SPICY CHICKEN

As most of us already know, white meats are paired with white wine, and there is nothing better than a crisp sauvignon blanc to compliment spice. “If you enjoy a lightly spiced chicken braai then a Sauvignon Blanc is the ideal wine pairing option,” says Gerber. “It goes great with potato salad too.”

white wine and chicken

3. SHIRAZ WITH STEAK AND CHOPS

Our personal favourite, lamb chops (and beef steak) are very popular braai cuts. They pair incredibly well with good, full-bodied red wines like Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines pick up the smokiness of the meat and the tannins compliment the fatty cuts.

white wine

4. A RED BLEND WITH RED MEAT

A red blend is a great choice because it pairs well with mostly anything, and won’t overpower any of the delicious flavours on your plate. “Whether you are preparing braaied vegetables, chicken or red meat you can’t go wrong with the Groot Constantia Lady of Abundance,” says Gerber.

red wine and meat

5. END ON A SWEET NOTE

You could definitely put your dessert over the coals! Try a braai pie, or some S’mors. Groot Constantia recommends pouring a glass of their iconic Grand Constance. “This full-bodied sweet wine with caramel and dried fruit flavours will complement the sugar content of any sweet dessert,” concludes Gerber.

braai desserts

Thank you I Love Cape Town and Groot Constantia for these great pairing tips!