Perhaps the saying ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ is true. My corona-cloud’s silver lining was definitely wine. My husband and I are avid wine drinkers, travellers and apparently as the lockdown would show, also wine-hoarders (which turned out to be a good thing). Another saying that comes to mind is ‘desperate times call for desperate measures.’ When all our everyday drinking wine was depleted, we delved into what we call the ‘keeping for a special occasion’ wines. And so, our lockdown became one long special occasion. We soon were reminded that South Africa is home to incredible wines, many coming from small family owned wine yards. With the summer holidays around the corner here are some great wines to add to your shopping list.
Stormhoek Moscato NV
As a rule, I don’t drink sweet wine, but Stormhoek’s Moscato NV is the exception to that rule. I found this full flavoured wine very fruity on the nose and palate and surprisingly not too sweet. Although Moscato is considered an ideal dessert drink to be paired with fruit tarts, we enjoyed it over Easter weekend with freshly baked hot cross buns and homemade curry fish. A match made in heaven!
Kanonkop Kadette 2012
This Pinotage Cabernet Sauvignon blend, with a spot of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, has a beautiful deep ruby colour. With its berry and mocha flavours on the nose and palate we enjoyed it with a piece of steak on the braai. I do not regret letting this one lie for a while.
Stellakaya Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
It was our first-time drinking wine from this family-owned specialist red wine boutique cellar, and we enjoyed it very much. It is a good solid South African Cab with cedar, blackcurrant, and a hint of cranberries. We enjoyed it with delicious braaied sheep tails, or Vaaldam prawns as some like to call them. I can’t wait to try some more Stellakaya wines.
Rickety Bridge Shiraz 2017
I received this bottle as a gift just before lockdown. We had not tried any wine from the Rickety Bridge winery before and it is the most exciting wine discovery we have made in a long time. A dark fruity shiraz with notes of dark chocolate and cloves it paired well with our homemade curry lamb sosaties. Looking forward to visiting this Franschhoek wine estate and its restaurant, Paulina’s, as soon as possible.
Iona Chardonnay 2013
In 2014 we visited the Elgin area. We went bumbling down a dirt road which led to another dirt road, and suddenly there it was – Iona winery. I remember sitting near a roaring fire tasting wonderfully crisp white wines. What made the visit even more memorable was the beautiful art you are surrounded by when visiting the farm. Iona’s vineyards are planted on a mountain plateau that is 420 meters above sea level. The cool Atlantic Ocean breeze causes the vines to ripen approximately two months later than other vineyards in the Cape, giving Iona’s wines their perfect flavour. Their 2013 Chardonnay is probably the best chardonnay you can drink now. It has a peachy-grapefruit flavour that is very pleasing on the nose and pallet.