Going on holiday is often about trying new things and experiencing new moments. What better way to do this than by experiencing some traditional South African culture on your next trip? One extremely popular activity is having a braai, which is similar to a barbecue, but with a South African twist. This is a method of cooking meat on open flames to give the meat a chargrilled flavour.

Knowing What Wine to Pair with Your Braai

Most people enjoy a glass of good wine with their dinner. Pairing the right wine with the meal you’ve prepared compliments both the flavour of the food as well as the wine. Here’s a recommendation of what wine you can pair with your next braai based on the type of meat you’ll be having.

When red meat is on the menu for your social gathering, choose a red wine to compliment the meal. A Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon are both full-bodied wines that pair incredibly well with lamb or matured beef steak. However, Merlot is fast becoming a popular wine of choice, as it’s a lighter, easier drinking wine and pairs well with a variety of South African braai favourites like boerewors (a local favourite translated as ‘farmers sausage’).


When serving white meat you want a wine which isn’t too dense and which is light and fruity. White wine is a firm favourite and always goes well with chicken or fish. A Sauvignon Blanc, well known for its green bell pepper, lime and passion fruit or tropical flavours, is a great pairing with a lemon and herb marinated chicken on the braai.

When braaing in South Africa serving snacks like biltong, fish pate, cheese and crackers and chips (or crisps) whilst the fire is being prepared is common practice. Chenin Blanc is a great choice of wine before a meal with its slightly sweeter tones of apple and floral blossoms pairing well with light snacks and cheeses. Top up your glasses when serving a salad, especially if you are planning to use a creamy dressing.

Take Advantage of The Cape with Explore Sideways

If you’re looking for an exciting braai experience in Cape Town or the Cape Winelands, contact the team at Explore Sideways. We’ll put together a weekend filled with activity for you to fully take advantage of this local tradition based on your preferences. We offer a range of wine tours, traditional wine and braai experiences, wine maker meet and greets and cooking classes in the city and winelands alike. 

You’ll also have the chance to take some of these incredible wines back home to serve with your next braai!