Southern Belles

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.

img_1929If 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.

IMG_1885A 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:

IMG_1933Sainsbury’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!

IMG_1932If 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.

IMG_1937And 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.

And finally, if rosé’s your thing, Sainsbury’s Vine Garden Rosé is tasting fabulous at the moment. This deep pink wine is also Fairtrade wine from the Western Cape and is bursting with ripe red berry flavours but isn’t sweet like some pinks this colour. I know I’ve chatted about this blend of of 47 grape varieties before but as I’m working with a South African vibe at the moment, I thought it’d be perfect to mention. It’s fruity but dry and if the weather’s as good as last weekend, it’ll be perfect to sip with nibbles ahead of Sunday lunch. This pink delight is currently priced at £7.
However you’re celebrating Easter 2017, enjoy yourselves and share the chocolate!