In two weeks the 18-programme reality TV series MasterChef SA begins airing on M-Net, and is likely to grip South African viewers on Tuesday evenings over a period of eighteen weeks, from 20 March at 19h30.  To celebrate the new programme, sponsors Woolworths and Nederburg have collaborated in producing two new wines which are Nederburg-dominant branded, with the Woolworths branding smaller, and a sticker linking the wines to MasterChef SA.

Created by Nederburg award-winning winemaker Razvan Macici and Woolworths’ wine selector Allan Mullins, the new Nederburg Grenache 2010 is a first for the winery, and also the first Grenache to be sold by Woolworths.  Grapes came from Paarl and Klapmuts, and the wine was aged for eighteen months, creating ‘an intense but graceful wine with a velvety soft texture, it is brimming with peppery notes, succulent black and red fruit, a hint of liquorice and leather, and very subtle oaking’, says the Nederburg media release, adding that it is ideal to serve with ‘savoury tapas’, as well as with red meat dishes.   The MasterChef SA hopefuls will certainly not be preparing tapas dishes, so the pairing is not likely to be designed for the prospective chefs, but rather for the viewers at home.

The second new MasterChef SA wine is the Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc (60%) Chardonnay 2011 blend, with Sauvignon Blanc grapes sourced from Darling, and Chardonnay from Simondium and Durbanville.   Recommended to be served with poultry, seafood, and ‘pasta made with creamy sauces’ , the wine is described as ‘A crispy elegant and refreshing blend with a lovely green colour that is tinged with gold, it shows traces of peach, pear and tropical notes, and a hint of vanilla.  It is zesty and creamy-textured, with a satisfyingly full mouth and is very food friendly.’

The MasterChef SA collaboration will also see the Nederburg’s Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot wines stocked in Woolworths stores until July.  The white wines will be sold at a reasonable R49, and the red wines at R59.

It will be interesting to see if the MasterChef SA series will encourage foodlovers shopping at Woolworths to add a bottle or two of the Nederburg wines stocked.  The MasterChef SA sticker is not very visible, especially on the white wine blend bottle.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage