It was while I was on holiday earlier this year with some good friends of mine from Cape Town, that I realised I’ve slightly neglected South African Wine of late. It’s been a few years since I visited the South African wine lands and I’d love to go back. So with this in mind I’ve decided to up my research into affordable SA wines. Here, ahead of Easter I’ve chosen a few southern sips to accompany your Easter festivities this weekend.
If you’re going white with your Good Friday fish supper, you can’t go wrong with Journeys End Honeycomb Chardonnay from Marks & Spencer. It’s currently reduced to £8 a bottle which is a complete bargain for a wine of this quality. There’s a ‘peaches and cream’ feel to the nose with a hint of toasty almonds. Its robust peachy notes are luxurious and lengthy on the tongue too. A little French oak balances out this elegant wine and makes it the perfect partner for your Easter Sunday roast if you want to go with a white. Because it’s richer than a lot of ‘easy drinking’ whites, it’s able to match up to all the Easter trimmings on that plate. But don’t think it’s a stuffy, claggy Chardonnay. not at all – It’s fresh and vibrant too.
A wine that I’ve also got to mention is Zalze Vineyard Reserve Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2015. This unoaked beauty which uses grapes from both Paarl and Swartland is full of crisp green apple charm and has a rounded freshness that is just perfect to sip before all the chocolate comes out! It has a beautiful minerality and clean appeal and if a light Good Friday fish dish is on the menu, the chances are that this will go with it perfectly. You can grab this fun little number at the Co-Op for £8.99.
I’ve got a few reds that I’m keen on at the moment, so see what you think of these:
Sainsbury’s have a great red from the Western Cape that’ll work brilliantly with your Easter lamb. Their Taste The Difference Fairtrade Shiraz is a relatively full bodied wine and gives off aromas of crushed black currents and ripe cherries. And when you taste it, it’s softer than I imagined it would be, with savoury undertones. Yes, it has that intense berry flavour that you’d expect – and it’s tangy, but it also has a gentle note to it which leads to a spicy finish. All this can be yours at the delightful price of £7!
If you fancy something rich but with a dash of sweetness, Chocoholic Pinotage is for you. It has quite a savoury smell – Well, it instantly reminded me of damp bark and leather belts, but don’t let this put you off. Pinotage’s trademark funky nose leads you to a wine that is more palatable than you may originally think. There’s a rich, sweet tang of hedgerow fruit bound together in a leather purse. If you are having older lamb, hogged or mutton, this wine would be superb. Also, if you’re doing any sort of read meat curry, the mix of sweet and savoury will go down a storm. Chocoholic Pinotage is available at £9.99 in the Co-Op or £10 when you buy from Tesco’s online wine shop.
And if the weather warrants a BBQ this Easter weekend, you need to look no further than The Legend of Big Bill. No, this isn’t a Western Movie. William ‘Big Bill’ Millar was in fact a war hero, Springbock rugby captain and a boxing champion, no less, and the inspiration for this punchy red blend. Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are all present here in this deep, peppery red wine. When you smell this spicy beauty, it’s like actually being in the vicinity of a BBQ. It’s gutsy and rounded on the palate with no harsh tannins. It’s soft and juicy with hints of plum and cherry and is begging for red meat The Legend of Big Bill is £5.99 at Aldi.