Monday, October 11, 2010

Value in the Winelands

I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Wine Magazines Best Value Wine Guide 2011. I have over the years collected this little book with military precision, so to be invited to the launch was great. When my own interest in wine first blossomed and with a limited budget I was forced to try and discover exactly these sorts of gems. Wines that are well made, without acids so harsh that you loose the enamel on your teeth and wines that are "clean". These are good drinking wines, with a hint of complexity, crowd pleasing and won't cost you a weeks wages. I can't tell you just how valuable this little guide is. Lets face it we have all been there, you need a bottle of wine, you go to your local store and you buy what looks best or a brand that you "know"....wrong! This little guide has more than enough winners under R60, do yourself a favour and get your hands on this years addition, its free with the November addition of Wine Magazine.

Wines in the guide that I wouldn't miss are:

Goedverwacht Shiraz Rose 2010 @ R37.50 per bottle
A great Rose, strawberries, hints of pepper, crisp fresh palette. Perfect picnic wine.

Swartland Cuvee Brut @ R31 per bottle
Not the real deal but just as good. Buy by the case load, without looking at the bottle most people wouldn't tell the difference.

BC Chenin Blanc 2010 @ R17,50 per bottle
A real fruit salad wine with plenty of acidity. At under R20 per bottle you should drink this every day instead of mineral water.

Koelenbosch Houtverouderd Chenin Blanc 2009 @ R35 per bottle
Another Chenin, but a more serious example. More structure and mouth feel from a kiss of wood. Great with food, spicy Asian or curries. Wines like this often cost three times as much.

Lutzville Cool Climate Sauvignon Blanc 2010 @ R24.20 per bottle
Everybody loves a good Sauvi! And this is a good one. Loads of tropical fruit backed up with fresh acidity, nice long finish. Drink out of your finest crystal glasses and feel like royalty.

Van Loveren Cape Riesling 2010 @ R24 per bottle
I thought of Kylie Minogue when I drank this. Sexy little stunner. Lots of fruit, nice length, add a few blocks of ice, one for the ladies.

Orange River White Muscadel 2009 @ R31.85 per bottle
Mango, litchis and raisins, sweet syrupy decadence that finishes fresh and dry. Lovely stuff. Please people don't only drink sweet wines in winter, chilled muskadel is great in summer.

Glen Carlou Tortoise Hill Red 2008 @ R45 per bottle
A juicy, soft, blend that will go well with variety of food. Great dinner table wine. Look out for the
Tortoise Hill White a stunning white blend that will really impress for the price.

Riebeek Pinotage 2009 @ R30 per bottle
Our national grape and no braai would be complete without a glass of Pinotage. Goes well with marinated ribs, steak, chops, boerewors...anything on a braai. Loads of plush red fruit and silky smooth tannins. Be patriotic, braai and drink a bottle of Pinotage at least once a week.

Koelenbosch Sangiovese 2009 @ R28.50 per bottle
Sangiovese, say it like an Italian mama. Red cherries, hints of smoke and spice. This Italian grape as expected goes well pasta and pizza. A light bodied wine, would also be great slightly chilled, just says open another...and another...

So there you have it. My choice of great value for money winners, most of these wines available from Ultra Liquors, or try your local supermarket.


PS: The launch was at one of my favourite Wineland pit stops Joostenburg Deli. If you haven't tried their chicken pies your missing pie nirvana.

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