Classic smoky red wine marinade recipe for Braai Day

Posted by Lorraine Kearney on 21 September 2021

Before it was called Heritage Day and it was a national public day, 24 September was known as Shaka Day in celebration of the Zulu king. In 1995, it became Heritage Day, endorsed by then-president Nelson Mandela, to celebrate the rich diversity of culture in the country.

And then, in 2007, Jan Scannell, or Jan Braai as he is best known, came up with the idea of Braai Day. The idea was backed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was named spokesperson of the day. He said: “There are so many things that are pulling us apart, this has a wonderful potential to bring us all together … We have 11 different official languages but only one word for the wonderful institution of braai: in Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, whatever.”

So, Friday is time for shisa nyama.

Using the iconic South African red, Roodeberg Classic Red Blend, food writer and TV personality Ilse van der Merwe, The Food Fox, has devised a red wine marinade perfect for whole sirloin or fillet on the braai.

This multi-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon-driven blend boasts aromatic layers of fresh red and dark fruit, cassis and hints of spice and dark chocolate. The texture is elegant and soft with nuances of cedar oak and dark plums, supported by silky tannins that linger long after the last sip. The new 2020 vintage is available in a new storytelling gift pack that takes you down memory lane spanning seven decades – all the way back to 1949, when the Roodeberg story began.

Smoky BBQ red wine marinade for steak on the braai


30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, finely grated

250 ml (1 cup) Roodeberg Classic Red Blend

80 ml (1/3 cup) tomato sauce / ketchup

30 ml (2 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar

15 ml (1 tablespoon) Worcester sauce

15 ml (1 tablespoon) smoked paprika

2,5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground coriander

2,5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cumin

10 ml (2 teaspoons) brown sugar

salt & pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, add the oil and fry the garlic over medium heat for a minute. Add the wine, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcester sauce, paprika, coriander, cumin and sugar, and season generously with salt & pepper. Stir well, then bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened – the consistency should be that of a basting sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Use as a basting sauce for steak, sosaties and large red meat cuts, or marinate your whole steak cuts (whole sirloin or fillet) for a few hours in the cooled marinade before grilling).

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