Spring is here which means it’s time to haul out the braai tongs again. Our favourite? Lamb tjoppies! Just like wine, not all lamb is the same. Meat from different regions takes on a unique flavour owing to the food available when grazing, the climate and the kind of animal that is farmed. You could call it ‘lamb terroir’ perhaps?

Karoo lamb has gathered a following for the flavour and texture of the meat that is influenced by the fact that all the lambs are veld raised in the wide open spaces of the Karoo where they feed on Karoo bossies for the duration of their life. While Karoo lamb is leaner than product from other sources and regions, it still has a relatively high fat content and deep flavour. Pair it with a glass of vino, and this means you want a wine that is equally ‘heavy’ (but in all the right ways).

Wade Bales picks his three favourite wines to wash down tjops. We recommend you try it with this delicious recipe for Mint and Cumin Crusted Karoo Lamb Chops.

Glenelly Grand Vin de Glenelly 2009
Stellenbosch Glenelly’s winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain is super proud of the Grand Vin de Glenelly, the signature red blend of the estate. This intense wine certainly earns its bragging rights. While the palate has a great intensity it also has fantastic freshness which lead to a long luscious finish.

Saxenburg Guinea Fowl Red 2012
Saxenburg’s winemaker Nico van der Merwe needs no introduction to the lovers of fine Cape wine. This medium-flavoured wine (45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Shiraz) offers wine lovers great value, without skimping on quality.

Vriesenhof Kallista 2005
The 2005 Kallista was aged in 2nd fill barrels for 18 months with further maturation in 4 000 litre barrels for an additional 18 months. The wine shows a complexity of flavours on the palate with flint, leather, spice and fruit. A blend of Merot (37%), Cabernet Sauvignon (36%) and Cabernet Franc (27%), weather conditions were perfect when these grapes were grown – and it shows.

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