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Beloved garlic of mine, will you work with my glass of wine?

A Braai Broodjie is a very South African thing. But hot on its heels, for those lazy evenings where you can just not be bothered to peel an onion, thinly slice a tomato and grate some cheese, is the garlic bread! Sold in a variety of forms – from pre-baked ciabatta to baguettes wrapped in tinfoil – you will find some sort of garlic bread everywhere in this country – from deli’s to 24-hour shops.

We were very excited to see this delicious recipe for a home-baked Garlic Bread on! Of course not for the evenings when you are too lazy to slice the tomato, but perhaps for a Saturday afternoon when you feel domestic!

This Ukrainian Garlic Bread might just be what you need to impress those foodie friends!

But as excited as we were about the garlicky goodness of a freshly-baked garlic bread, when we thought about the wine (as we always do!), we were bowled out. We often read and write about tricky wine pairings when it comes to acidic tomato-based dishes and strong and spicy sauces, but garlic?

Luckily food and wine matching expert, Fiona Beckett shares her thoughts on the matter in a way that covers everything from garlic in its most natural form, to slow-cooked in a stew.

“The key issue is how long it’s cooked – if at all. Add a clove of garlic to a slow-cooked braise or stew and you’ll hardly notice it. Use it uncooked in a salad dressing or a garlicky mayonnaise (aioli) and you certainly well.”

Although raw garlic is better known for its health benefits than its culinary charms, try using it in its raw format in salsa, pesto or salad (read more). “What you need with raw garlic is acidity. Just as lemon and garlic are natural bedfellows so are citrussy white wines like Classic Sauvignon Blanc…”, is Fiona’s advice.

And while you are trying out your skills in the kitchen, baking your own garlic bread, why not try your hand at making aioli! According to Fiona a “Strong dry rosé – with the emphasis on dry – works well with aioli or the Spanish allioli” and we therefore recommend our Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir or even the Culinaria Pinot Noir Chardonnay!

“Reds are less successful, in my opinion, with raw garlic”, says Fiona, “but great with garlicky dishes that have been slow-cooked. Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre… Full-bodied Shiraz and Malbec will also take a good whack of garlic in their stride.”

So there you have it, your love for garlic should not stand in the way of enjoying a lovely glass of wine!


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