Struggling to separate the plonk from the finer varieties when it comes to wine?
Fine wine merchant Roland Peens, Director of Wine Cellar, makes the choice easier by selecting his pick of the crop.
Festive lunch recommendations
Festive lunch gatherings should be geared around white wines and lighter reds. Of course you could have Bubbles all the way through in our warm climate, but you will need some versatility for canapés and starters. The L’Ormarins is the best value bubbles for the year, while Trizanne’s Sauvignon Blanc from Elim is super fresh and mineral with lots of character from the great 2017 vintage. Fable Belle Flower is one of SA’s finest and offers lots of food- pairing potential. Keep a big ice bucket and a few extra bottles handy and allow guest to find their preference as the lunch continues.
Elegant Pinot noir or a Merlot-based Bordeaux will happily get you through the main course. The Black Bream is made by Gavin Slabbert and heralds from a new area behind Stanford in the Overberg. It is light but concentrated and certainly one to watch. Le Chenade is a sumptuous La lalande de Pomerol and has often been quoted as the best value Bordeaux red!
A half bottle of one of South Africa’s greatest sweet wines will definitely have some takers. The Boekenhoutskloof shows a racy acidity and pure sweetness, giving you the enough energy for a post-lunch stroll.
Festive dinner recommendations
Festive dinners are a time for a little bit of luxury. Celebrate the year with a glass of Champagne, toast your successes and get your taste-buds going with the Drappier Cart d’Or. Known for its dry, Pinot noir based style, it offers lots of complexity and freshness as a perfect aperitif. Rosé is hot at the moment and the style works well with so many dishes.
The region of Tavel in Southern France only produces Rosé and the Chapoutier offers ample depth and texture with lots of flavour too. Restless River is fast becoming one of SA’s best Chardonnays and the 2014 Ave Marie is rich and rewarding with a laser acidity and powerful structure. From the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, it will excite any Burgundy lover or white wine drinker. Then compare two stellar, mature Stellenbosch beauties over the main course to impress your guests.
The Trilogy is a classy and luxurious Bordeaux blend, while the Kanonkop is the king of Pinotage, especially with a decade of extra complexity.
End the evening with the pinnacle of Sweet wines from the Sauternes region of Bordeaux. The Chateau Rieussec will be great with cheese or any fruit or vanilla dessert.