Tokara brings vibrant Reserve Chardonnay to the table

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IT’S suddenly autumn so it’s time to enjoy the last weeks of warm weather with a top tier white wine. Tokara’s acclaimed Reserve Collection Chardonnay ticks all the right boxes when only the best will do.

A wine of restrained power and finesse, Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay 2019 was crafted from 100% Chardonnay grapes grown on the family owned Stellenbosch wine estate by accomplished winemaker Stuart Botha.

The 2019 vintage was one of five Top 10 wines that propelled Tokara to Winery of the Year in the Prescient Top 20 Wines of South Africa 2020. The wine also has the stamp of approval from British Master of Wine Tim Atkin with 93 points out of 100: “This is a brilliant first release from Stuart Botha: mealy, taut and well balanced,” Atkin notes in his highly respected South Africa 2020 Special Report.

The wine is the perfect foil with Drizzle and Dip foodie Sam Linsell’s creamy chicken and mushrooms. Ideal for the lockdown home cook, Sam’s recipe is simple enough for midweek enjoyment yet sufficiently elegant for company with a glass or two of the Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay of course.

The 2019 vintage has all the appeal of a vibrant wine with its fresh citrus character, yet comforts with a layered, creamy texture that stands up perfectly to the umami and creaminess of the dish.

Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay 2019 is available at a cellar door price of R230 per bottle. Pop in at the tasting lounge or buy it online.

SAM LINSELL’S CREAMY CHICKEN & MUSHROOMS

Serves 4

Ingredients:

50g dried porcini mushrooms

3 Tbsp Tokara olive oil

8 free-range chicken thighs (or thighs and drumsticks)

40g butter

1 small onion, 2 shallots or half a large onion, finely chopped

1 large leek or 2 small leeks, washed and sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock

½ cup cream

250g portobello mushrooms (1 punnet) cut into quarters

40g butter

Small bunch parsley chopped to garnish

Salt and pepper

Method:

Cover the dried porcini mushrooms with 200ml boiling water and allow to soften for 20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish or non-stick frying pan and season the chicken pieces well with salt and pepper. Fry the pieces on both sides until golden brown. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Drain off some of the fat if necessary and add the butter, onions and leeks. Sauté over a gentle heat until softened. Do not brown. Add the crushed garlic and cook briefly until aromatic. About 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and allow it to bubble for about 2 minutes before adding the chicken stock.

Drain the porcini mushrooms and chop them up. Add them into the dish with the soaking liquid and the cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken and any juices back into the dish and cook over a gentle heat for about 20 – 25 minutes – half with the lid on and half with the lid off. If you do not have a lidded casserole dish, you could begin the cooking in a non-stick frying pan and then transfer to an ovenproof dish and cover in foil and roast for 30 minutes and a further 10 minutes with the foil off.

A few minutes before the chicken is ready, sauté the quartered mushrooms in butter and stir them through the chicken. Scatter finely chopped parsley to serve.

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