May 16, 2022 by Arden Montgomery

How I Argaux: Braai (BBQ) with Winemaker Ernst Storm

In preparation for Memorial Day, we interviewed Ernst who is from South Africa, on braai (what we know as a BBQ). South Africans prefer to use wood to cook their meat because it brings out the best flavors in the meat. Ernst talks all things braai, meat, and even shares what he’ll be drinking from Argaux over Memorial Day weekend…

Hi Ernst! Can you introduce yourself? I am the owner winemaker for Storm Wines in Santa Barbara County. I run our little wine brand with my wife Brooke. 

What role does wine play in your life? Aside from being a winemaker, as a consumer of the beverage, what role does it play? Our whole life is influenced by wine. We love everything that goes along with wine. Food, travel and friends in wine to name a few. Wine is the social lubricant.

What was it like growing up in South Africa? As kids we spent a lot of time out in nature, roaming and taking in the beauty. This instilled a deep respect for the natural world which eventually led me to pursue winemaking.

Team Argaux/Amlière has been lucky enough to experience a Braai with you and Chase Carhartt. Can you explain what Braai means to those who aren’t familiar? A Braai is a coming together of friends and family to cook food over coals. It is a time to catch up with family, friends and enjoy some food and wine. 

What is the difference between a South African Braai and what we know as BBQ here in America? A braai is usually over coals where meat is grilled. Never hamburger or hot dogs over gas. 

Is there a best meat used for Braai? Any meat is suitable as long as it is done with intention and if high quality. Even chicken works. 

I remember you made some sort of sandwich for us that was a traditional SA preparation – It was like a fire-grilled cheese. Can you tell us a bit about what that was? It is called a braaibroodjie, which translates to “bbq sandwich “. It has cheese, tomato and onion on it. We also like to add chutney for sweetness.

Is this pretty typical if you go over to someone’s house for Braai? Yes, on weekends one day is always set aside to braai with family and friends. Usually everyone brings a salad or a side dish. 

What are your Braai/BBQ tips? Take your time and make sure you have enough wood and wine! Never braai too close to the coals. Start high and lower the grill as you go. 

Ok. Let’s talk about wine pairings. What are your favorite BBQ wines from the Argaux shop? Starting with some fresh whites is always nice like the Von Winning Riesling or the Cherrier Freres Sancerre Blanc. For reds we always start with something lighter like the Storm SBC Pinot and end with something with a little more meat like the Bernard Cote Rotie. 

If you’re not drinking wine, what are you drinking? Gin & Tonic or a Margarita!  

Shop Storm Wines here.

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