The Bernard Series’ must-have reds to warm a fine winter menu

Bellingham’s The Bernard Series red wines provide the perfect winter comfort against the shivering cold, and even more so when paired with sumptuous gourmet cuisine. These wines were made with food in mind, after all. Bellingham founder Bernard Podlashuk pioneered many firsts in the South African wine industry, but more than that, he understood the magical symbiosis between fine wine and food. This flamboyant man and his wife, Fredagh, perfected the art of entertaining and their dinner parties at the Bellingham homestead were legendary for their opulence. In their honour, we’ve assembled a winter menu to show off the wonderful food-enhancing qualities of The Bernard Series red wines.

Starter: Bush Vine Pinotage with seasonal pumpkin and ricotta ravioli  

The general association is to think red meat when hearing the word Pinotage, but did you know that this proudly South-African grape variety also lends itself superbly to enjoyment with vegetarian dishes. The earthy savoury notes of the Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage echoes the same comforting flavours in this delicious pumpkin and ricotta ravioli, tied together by the addition of rustic sage. Recipe credit: Amanda Higgins,  

Main course: Basket Press Syrah with glazed spiced venison, wild mushrooms

The rich Basket Press Syrah with its incredible depth of flavour and peppery oak spices is a perfect match for glazed venison in a spicy rub, and this harmony is further enforced by the umami of the wild mushrooms and richness of the sweet potato mash. A food and wine combination that will linger on your palate long after the last bite! Recipe credit: Donal Skehan,

Dessert: Small Barrel SMV with dark chocolate pannacotta and red-wine poached plums

While desserts and dessert wines are usually considered a match made in heaven, there is definitely a place for red wine at the dessert table. Especially with a less sweet dessert like this dreamy dark chocolate pannacotta and red-wine poached plums, an excellent partner for the fragrant, spicy plums and mocha notes in the Small Barrel SMV. Recipe credit: Claire Aldous,




So what makes a good food and wine combination?

Ideally, the food and wine should each bring out the best flavours and textures of the other, with neither dominating the taste or detracting from the whole. Also, match quality with quality. As with food, you have to use the finest ingredients to create a wine masterpiece, that is why our team of viticulturists have scoured the Cape Winelands for unique vineyard sites that yield characterful, expressive grapes for The Bernard Series wines.