What wine goes with Biltong?

As it’s South African tasting week, I’m featuring an article from the Majestic Woking webpage, written by Charlie. What wine goes with Biltong…?


“I have a confession to make; this week’s wine of the week has been chosen for slightly selfish reasons. Having spent six months ‘finding myself’ in the bush lands of South Africa I picked up an unhealthy addiction to biltong; a kind of meat snack that is marinated in vinegar and rock salt. Biltong is most typically made from beef, but ostrich, kudu, springbok and chicken is also used.”

“But what does biltong have to do with our wine of the week? Well, a few days ago a new South African food shop opened only a rugby balls throw from our store. This leaves me in a very dangerous situation as I will be visiting far more regularly than my wallet or waistline permits. However, it did raise an interesting query for me; what wine would go well with biltong?

“After much deliberation I have decided upon the very South African sounding Kanonkop Kadette. This is the second wine from the extremely well respected Kanonkop estate in Stellenbosch. A blend, made predominantly from pinotage with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc comprising the remainder. The wine is aged in French oak for 12 months to give it a real richness of flavour.

“In the glass, the wine has a deep ruby colour that already seems well suited to the meatiness of biltong. On the nose, the wine has aromas of raspberries and blackcurrants that are accentuated with a mocha undertone, giving it a nice roundness.

“The blackberry flavours continue on the palate and the smoothness of the mocha manifests itself as an almost chocolatey taste in the mouth. What makes it so well suited to biltong is that this wine has a beautifully long finish that keeps those flavours nestling on your taste buds and therefore complement the tasty meaty treat.

“If biltong isn’t your thing then this wine would also be ideal alongside some lamb steaks or perhaps a pastrami sandwich.”

Do you have any unusual South African food and wine pairings to share with Charlie? Comment below or tweet @majesticwoking.

Buy Charlie’s recommendation, the Kanonkop Kadette, online here.

4 thoughts on “What wine goes with Biltong?

  1. Great article Charlie! Been doing some degustation myself here in the Languedoc Roussillon area – some interesting Banyuls around but can’t bring anything back hand luggage on Ryanair!

  2. Hey charlie love the idea of a bottle of kanenkop just cos it sounds exciting, can’t stand biltong though. I remember Susie Breare (Zimbabwean) used to eat it all the time so I shall pass on your tip to her. What should I be drinking with my pheasant casserole tomorrow night (made with apple cream and calvados). A nice snugly red I think. Very well written article Charlie !

  3. Charlie. I enjoyed reading your amusing article and am tempted to sample the Kanonkop Kadette even though I dont like Biltong. As you suggest I will go for lamb steaks instead as I do like wine from Stellenbosch. Thanks for your suggestion.
    Robin Peile Richmond

  4. Wow – what an interesting read. I’m keen to follow up with your suggestion to match a pastrami sandwich (lunch time drinking?) and will be forwarding this link to several Biltong fans. Thank you for the recommendation and look forward to reading more from you.

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