In this popular series we feature selected sommeliers from top restaurants around the world. Each chooses his or her favourite Creation wine, tells us why and recommends a matching dish. This week we welcome Mike Buthelezi from the eclectic yet elegant Signature in Sandton.

Mike says:

At Signature our much-awarded wine list comprises the finest of local and international wines to cater for the most discerning palate. Among these are the wines of Creation which I hold in very high regard for a number of reasons. One of these reasons is the Creation team’s work ethic and attention to detail; it is reflected in their wines and of course in the success they are enjoying.

First a few words of praise for the Creation Merlot which I chose for this exercise. It has great structure and pronounced tannins yet is delightfully smooth. Its earthy notes combine with whiffs of spice, plum and blackberry and there is an intriguing touch of tobacco in the background. The finish is seductively soft yet with beautiful length. What’s more, it is positioned in the middle of the red wine spectrum with not too much acidity, which allows for pairing with most delicate meat dishes and therefore made it fun for our chef to “play along” and create an interesting dish for pairing.

The dish in the form of Biltong-crusted Venison (Kudu) served with ‘Pap’ and Spinach is not only ideal for these chilly winter days and nights but also perfect with the Creation Merlot. It is quite salty as well as spicy but does not overpower the wine. In fact, the spiciness of the dish echoes the spice in the wine while the umami elevates the fruitiness, bringing to the fore the dark berry flavours in the wine.

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