It’s #WorldBookandCopyrightDay today (23 April). We don’t know about you, but we’ve been catching up on some fantastic reads during the lockdown down-time and are bursting to share our wine and book pairings with you!
From classic to contemporary, the well-known and awarded to the more obscure, but all equally interesting and applaudable, here they are:
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Paired with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Motorcycle Marvel
Günter Brözel, the winemaking legend after which this deliciously complex Rhône-style red blend is named, delighted in entertaining guests in the magnificent 1800 Nederburg manor house during his years here as cellar-master from 1956 to 1989. A maven and a maverick, he brought international acclaim to Nederburg, and was known for his exacting standards, driving around on a BSA 250cc motorcycle and checking that everyone and everything was working according to plan. His love of glamourous entertaining, into the early hours of the morning, reminds of Jay Gatsby, portrayed in this universally loved classic book, as a self-made millionaire who pursues wealth, riches and the lady he lost to another man with stoic determination.
2. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Paired with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Beautiful Lady
An aromatic Gewürztraminer that recalls Nederburg owner and cellar-master/winemaker (1937 to 1956), Johann Graue’s wife Ilse, who brought beauty, grace, hospitality to Nederburg. A doting mother to the Graue’s only child, Arnold, she was also a very loyal wife, who helped Johann label his wines in the early years. She would go with him to try to sell the unknown brand to hotels in Cape Town. We thought this display of beautiful love and devotion between a winemaker and his wife, fitting to match with The Notebook, the multi-million-copy international novel by bestselling author Nicholas Sparks. Known as “the love story to end all love stories”, it depicts the life of Noah Calhoun and the beautiful girl of his dreams, Ally, who captured his heart like no other.
3. Youth by J.M. Coetzee
Paired with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Young Airhawk
The Young Airhawk, made from barrel-fermented Sauvignon blanc, remembers the son of Johann and Ilse Graue: talented young winemaker, Arnold Graue, who died an untimely death in a flying accident in 1953. He introduced various technical innovations at Nederburg and won many prizes during his career. He was also a keen young pilot, who loved to explore the wide-open skies of Africa. This wine captures the spirit of this professionally driven young man with a huge appetite for life, and reminds of Youth, by JM Coetzee, the a South African-born novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. In his acclaimed novel, set against the backdrop of the 1950s and 1960s South Africa, he explores a young man’s struggle to find his way in the world with tenderness and a fierce clarity.
Read more here.
4. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Paired with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Anchorman
The Anchorman, a wooded Chenin blanc, commemorates Nederburg’s founder Philippus Wolvaart. He established the farm in Paarl in 1791, and planted Chenin blanc, amongst other varietals. Doing so must have called for a massive leap of faith, as times were hard. But, he was a man of vision and courage, saw the great potential of the land itself and was prepared to put down anchor. In some ways it recalls the story of Nelson Mandela, one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.
5. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Paired with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master
A Bordeaux-style red blend, The Brew Master honours Johann Graue, a tea specialist, brew master and pioneering winemaker. He revolutionised winemaking in South Africa with his clonal selection efforts to isolate top-performing vines for reproduction and introduction of cold fermentation techniques. He acquired Nederburg in 1937 and is believed to have created the foundation for excellence followed by his successors. Just like the fruit of the vine is transformed into wine, one of Franz Kafka’s best-known works, The Metamorphosis, tells the story of salesman Gregor Samsa who wakes one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a huge insect, subsequently struggling to adjust to this new condition.
6. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon
Expressive, exuberant and delicious, this Cabernet Sauvignon exudes personality and full-blown flavour in every sip. The velvety-soft red wine is bold, ripe and juicy with abundant aromas and tastes of blackcurrants and cherries and notes of vanilla. A full-bodied, bold and stately wine to put you in the mood for royal mystery packed with secrets and thrill such as The Girl on the Train, the runaway bestselling psychological thriller by Paula Hawkins. This is one of those novels that you can’t put down, letting you dive deep into its pages, wanting to know the story of Rachel, who catches the same commuter train every morning and inextricably become part of some of the lives she’s watched from afar on her train journey, as she passes a row of back gardens every day.
7. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Sauvignon Blanc
Tangy and lipsmackingly delicious, Sauvignon Blanc has to be the ultimate summer wine. Its aroma can be like a highveld thunderstorm with that flinty, grassy smell – but as refreshing as the drops of water hitting the hot earth in its bright, zingy lemon, kumquat flavour and acidity. That balance of acid vibrance with the fruit, and the riper tropical granadilla notes, is what makes it one of the most popular wine styles around. Therefore, a great match with bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, in which the crisp, elegant and somewhat acidic sense of humour of author Elizabeth Gilbert is greatly brought to life. The book shows the result of a bold decision to quit a job and travel the world to find oneself through love, fun and self-discovery.
8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Shiraz
Imagine taking a walk in a plum or cherry orchard, with fynbos underfoot and a mug of coffee in hand. The sensory overload of a gentle whiff of coffee bean, the herbal/fynbos notes and the backdrop of the ripe, succulent, juicy plum or cherry – and a touch of leather from the boots or shoes all combine. But it’s also about the texture and mouthfeel – velvety, sleek and silky with a light grip of tannin from the oaking, almost like a well-judged handshake ... neither limp and soft nor too forceful. A great example of this type of intricate balance can be found in The Lord of the Rings, the epic three-part masterpiece by J.R.R. Tolkien, that offers readers a careful equilibrium of mystery, fantasy, bravery, brotherly love and the fulfilment of an immense task.
Purchase the three-volume boxed set here.
9. Jock of the Bushveld by James Percy Fitzpatrick
Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Pinotage
Pinotage, South Africa’s home-grown grape was created in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, when he crossed Hermitage (aka Cinsaut) and Pinot noir, but it took almost another four decades before a wine made from Pinotage vines was launched commercially. Although there are now many examples of Pinotage made in many parts of the world, the cultivar is considered as uniquely South African as the timeless South African classic, Jock of the Bushveld. First published in 1907, this much-loved true story is based on the real-life experiences of author Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his Staffordshire bull terrier, Jock.
10. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
Paired with Nederburg The Winemasters Noble Late Harvest
Legendary Nederburg cellar-master, Günter Brözel, is perhaps best known for one particular innovation. He pioneered the making of noble late harvest wines in South Africa, creating his maiden Edelkeur in 1969. Earning widespread recognition for Nederburg, and the title of International Wine & Spirit Competition Winemaker of the Year in 1985, he was the first winemaker in South Africa to achieve this honour. It reminds of the highly innovative achievements by Elon Musk, who grew up in South Africa, and has become known as Silicon Valley’s most audacious businessman. An industrialist whose relentless drive and ingenious vision brought about PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity. He has dedicated his energies and fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching, just as Brözel did for Nederburg many years ago.
To find out more about this book, click here.
11. Platter’s By Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2020 by Jean-Pierre Rossouw
Paired with Nederburg Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon
Known as the ‘King of Red Grapes’, Cabernet Sauvignon is probably the world’s most famous red wine cultivar. And a great match, we think, with none other than South Africa’s most popular, long-standing and authoritative wine guide: Platter’s By Diners Club South African Wine Guide, compiled by Jean-Pierre Rossouw and featuring many expert contributors. Nederburg has twice in the past been featured as Platter’s ‘Winery of the Year’, in the 2017 edition, and in the 2011 issue. That’s not all. The 2014 vintage of Nederburg’s Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon, one of our most special wines, was named ‘Red Wine of the Year’ in the 2018 edition of the guide.
To purchase the 40th anniversary edition of SA’s indispensable wine guide, click here.
12. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Paired with Nederburg Baronne
Smooth, suave and self-assured Nederburg Baronne, one of South Africa’s most successful red blends (Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz), and a name that for many is synonymous with red wine itself, was born in 1973 to give wine drinkers the chance to add some nobility to any occasion. Just as this well-priced wine has become an integral part of the South African landscape over the years, so has much-loved South African comedian, Trevor Noah, one of the country’s proudest and most successful exports, who is currently the host of The Daily Show in the US.
Let us know if you agree with our wine and book pairings, and have more to add! We’d love to hear from you.
(Photo credit: Jeff Siepman, Unsplash)