I appreciate all types of food, but I have a certain nostalgic connection to good, wholesome home cooking. I was grateful for an opportunity to take some time from my busy day and create a heart-warming meal with Vondeling Wines and their award-winning Monsonia 2016.
I recently received a recipe box on my desk from Vondeling Wines. If you know anything about me, you will know that recipe boxes fill me great delight and joy. My love for food started at a young age, long before social media. This love affair started with the process of cooking. I relish in the methodical cutting and dicing of ingredients, the therapeutic, continuous stirring and folding; the companionable sizzle of frying onions. The steaming warmth of a boiling pasta pot and measuring spoons scraped level with all sorts of spices.
Whenever I feel the need to slow down from the hustle of the world, I always return to my kitchen and the philosophy of food. I guess a tiny part of me believes that a wholesome meal coupled with a glass of good wine is the start to fixing things that are somewhat broken.
Vondeling, meaning ‘foundling’, lies on the slopes of the unspoilt and undiscovered Paardeberg mountain, approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. It was granted to Swedish immigrant Oloff Bergh in 1704, and a three-centuries-old winemaking tradition began. Today, an environmentally sensitive approach to farming and minimal intervention during the winemaking process ensure wine with a distinct fingerprint of origin.
Vondeling’s flagship wines, Vondeling Babiana and Vondeling Monsonia, are named after rare species of fynbos that are endemic to the Paardeberg mountain, the home of Vondeling Wines (https://www.vondelingwines.co.za/monsonia-2016).
Easy beef stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff is a dish from the heart of icy Russia with it’s origins in the mid-19th century. Traditionally it’s prepared with strips of tender beef in a cream sauce, with dollops of smetana, or sour cream. With many cultural variations on the original recipe, it remains a firm favourite across the world today in restaurants and homes alike. It’s easy, fragrant, simple and nourishing.
Preparation was a breeze; except for a bit of chopping, mixing and frying, I was done with all the necessary prep in less time than you can say, “priyatnogo appetita!”
One very interesting thing I’ve learned – you can make your own sour cream with cream and lemon juice!
Ten minutes later and my beef stroganoff was bubbling away and thickening into an aromatic, creamy stew. I popped my rice in the microwave and then sat back with a glass of wine, waiting for the magic to happen.
A stunning blend of Shiraz (67%), Mourvédre (21%), Carignan (8%) & Grenache (4%), Monsonia 2016 is a highly complex, textured red. It is filled to the brim with all those dark, rich characteristics I love so much. Each layer whisks you away on a different sensory journey; ripe plum fruit on the nose with nuances of earthiness and spice. A vibrant palate of berries and chocolate. A gorgeously lush finish.
Tasting notes: The wine has a vibrant ruby red colour with a dash of purple. The nose is refined opulence personified. Bright violets are infused with dark fruit with just a hint of earth and wood smoke. Sweet spices abound, rich in cloves, subtle nutmeg and aromatic coriander. The palate is alive with red berry fruit and has a chocolaty richness with undertones of wild herbs. The wine has a full, viscous texture and a lingering finish.
In the vineyard: The Shiraz vines grow in ancient, well-weathered granite soils on southeast-facing slopes . Highly selective hand-picking guarantees that only the best fruit arrives at the winery.
In the cellar: Only large format French oak barrels are used, with about one-third new and the rest 2nd and 3rd fill. The wine is allowed to mature for 16 months before a final barrel selection, blending and bottling takes place.
Cellar door price: approx. R225
A pleasing pairing by Vondeling Wines. The slight woodiness of the mushrooms complimented the earthy feel of the wine, whilst the creaminess of the sauce lifted the beautiful spice notes right to the front. A great all-rounder red blend, for when you need the wine to do all the talking. Monsonia 2016 is a conversation piece, and encourages the making of memories long after the meal is done.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.