I love a good sausage, support the Bunnings sausage sizzle (sans onions) and always buy a ‘democracy sausage’ on election day. These are not the best sausages on offer but my local smallgoods store Cured has some excellent examples of the craft.

Pork & fennel chipolatas + 2018 La Prova Sangiovese, Adelaide Hills, A$25

There’s something delightfully tactile, almost naughty, about using your finger and thumb to ‘snitch’ a small sausage and pop it in your mouth. Take a sip of a nice savoury red and repeat. A tincture of homemade peach chutney or a swipe of Dijon mustard the only additive required. Pork and fennel seems quite Tuscan, so why not a glass of sangiovese? Sam Scott’s La Prova is an easy drinking gem. Ah, the simple things of life.

South African style Boerewors sausage + 2015 Chamonix Greywacke Pinotage, Franschhoek Valley, South Africa, A$40

Stefan Birmili has decamped to Orange, opening Cured, a branch of his long-running German butchery to the delight of the locals. Birmili makes an excellent Boerewors sausage – it’s dense and incredibly meaty with lots of spice but no great heat. I don’t often get to taste top South African wines but sourced this punchy pinotage to pair with the Boerewors. It was a brilliant match as the Greywacke was made in the Veneto ripasso style with loads of dried sour cherry flavours; its succinct tannins swiftly dealt with the potent protein.  

Bratwurst + 2017 Yalumba Vine Vale Grenache, Barossa Valley, A$36

Bratwurst could be my favourite sausage with its gutsy pork flavours, assortment of spices and a gentle German mustard. Every recipe is different but the common theme is flavour, flavour, flavour. Given its Germanic origins, try this old-vine grenache from the hands of Kevin Glastonbury. Full flavoured yet amazingly adroit, its finely polished tannins cut through the protein richness of the bratwurst.

Morcilla blood sausage + 2017 Peninsula Viticultores Sierra de Gredos Cadalso Garnacha, Madrid, Spain, A$32

This garnacha is more earthy and savoury than the pure fruited Yalumba and, as such, makes the perfect companion to Spain’s take on blood sausage. I encountered morcilla on my first serious Spanish trip in 1999 and especially like those that have rice peppered through the dark mahogany blood sausage. The Sierra de Gredos has an intense umami flavour that equals that of the morcilla.  

Boudin blanc by Damian Pignolet + NV Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé, Epernay, France, A$130

The AIDS crisis seems long ago in our current health and financial turmoil. Despite the severity of the outbreak, there were fun times. I could tell a long story of an amazing, over-the-top fundraising dinner. The short version is lots of Perrier-Jouët and an entrée (for 150) of a single, plump fleshy boudin blanc made by Damian Pignolet. The combination was as extraordinary as the night. Cook it at home, send GT WINE a photo and I’ll add some spicy notes.

Maggie Beer’s Chicken & Tarragon sausages with Cumquats + 2018 John Duval Plexus Marsanne Roussanne Viognier, Barossa Valley, A$30

Chicken sausages make a delectable change from red meat and Maggie Beer’s recipe is easy-peasy. Alongside the juicy chicken meat and the tarragon’s bittersweet spice, the cumquats are the hero of the dish. Their tang of citrus and bitter edge calls for a substantial white and what better to pair a recipe from the queen of the Barossa than a wine from the (winemaking) king, John Duval. This Rhône-style white has the punch to match the dish with a ping of acidity to refresh the palate.


BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Packed with protein, sausages taste great with a big red, so it’s well worth the trouble of hunting down wines from Spain and South Africa.