Non-alcoholic wine pairings for Winter

With the cooler weather settling over South Africa recently, it’s the ideal time to restock your NOLO wines. After all, what could be cosier than relaxing by the fire with a glass of de-alcoholised red? But don’t let the fun stop there; it’s the perfect opportunity to try your hand at some delicious food and wine pairings.

There’s no denying that the cold makes us crave ‘stick to your bones’ types of meals. Winter calls for comfort foods like rich stews, hearty pies, and decadent desserts. Since these heavier meals are more full-flavoured, they require robust wines to complement them.

If you’ve never paired de-alcoholised or alcohol-free wines with your meals, you’re missing out. Just because they’re lower in alcohol content doesn’t mean that they can’t hold up to bold flavours. Selecting wine pairings seems daunting at first, but with practice you could become a budding sommelier.

Consider this basic principle: delicate foods pair well with lighter wines while heavier foods pair better with rich, full-bodied wines. It’s for this reason that red wines are typically popular in wintertime. However, if you’re willing to get creative in the kitchen, other non-alcoholic favourites like Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc can also shine.

Now that you know where to start, let’s get into our pairing suggestions. We’ve partnered some brilliant NOLO wines with recipes from renowned South African food bloggers and authors for the ultimate celebration of local talent.

Leopard's Leap Natura de-alcoholised Classic Red

Leopards Leap Natura De-Alcoholised Red

This outstanding red is made from Cinsaut and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. You can expect red berries and sweet spice as the primary tasting notes. We suggest pairing this smooth and full-bodied wine with heavier red meat. This hearty Beef Pie by Alida Ryder is the ideal option as it uses chuck steak as it’s protein. What a delicious recipe for a chilly weekend spent indoors.

Darling Cellars De-alcoholised Shiraz

Darling Cellars De-Alcoholised Shiraz

This deep ruby Shiraz hints of ripe red fruit, crushed black pepper and candied cherries with well-integrated French Oak tannins. These warm and fruity flavours pair beautifully with mild curry dishes, slow-cooked roasts, or rich stews. We recommend trying Di Bibby’s North African Lamb Knuckle Bredie. It’s a flavour bomb that’s sure to impress your guests.

Norah's Valley Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc, Silk White

Norah’s Valley Silk White

While Sauvignon Blanc might not be the typical choice for a winter meal, we think it’s a shame to let this gem of a wine stand by for a whole season. The palate of this silky white is generous with pineapple and winter melon. Serve chilled between 7°C and 10°C with food pairings such as chicken, seafood or goats’ cheese. Sam Linsell’s Caramelised Onion Tart with Whipped Ricotta and Goats’ Cheese  is the simple appetiser your next dinner party needs.

Darling Cellars De-alcoholised Rosé

Darling Cellars De-Alcoholised Rosé

Don’t let the stereotype of Rosé being a summer wine hold you back from trying this award-winning Darling Cellars wine. Made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache, it’s a medium-bodied wine that holds up well to bolder flavours. Pair this off-dry Rosé with salmon dishes, mushrooms, or Italian foods with red sauces. We suggest trying this Roast Napoletana Pasta by Di Bibby that requires little effort for a quick weeknight meal.