As you fire up the grill for your next summer celebration, pour a glass of wine and enjoy the crisp, fresh flavours of summer.
When the temperatures climb, we tend to reach for easy-to-drink white wines, but bubbly and rosé are also seasonal mainstays. When you are firing up the grill, refreshing red wines are also wonderful for carefree picnics or cook-outs.
This year, raise a glass to the warm weather with one of these five wines to try this summer, all delicious, food-friendly bottles for any occasion.
We asked Themba Mphofu, the food and beverage manager at the Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton, to shares his favourites for summer.
Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc
The Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc is easy-drinking wine. It’s a fresh and vibrant, classic white wine with its lemon and lime tones, best paired with a light salad.
A fresh caprese or Caesar salad would complement the drink best. It retails at R110, and people often get put off wine by the price, but it works out very economically, especially when sharing. I always take the bottle with me when I leave, to enjoy it at a later stage.
Durbanville Hills Collectors Merlot
Like the Diemersdal, the Durbanville Hills Collectors Merlot is a smooth wine that goes well with almost any type of food. It is the red wine equivalent. It pairs fantastically with grilled chicken, a medium-rare fillet, or even a chunky fig and goat’s cheese salad.
A side note: Please do not put ice in your red! If you are after something chilled, I would recommend the Iona Sauvignon Blanc from Elgin Valley near Cape Town. It’s a great wine to create a spritzer with, too. This is also one of the best wines because of how crisp it is. It was made to be enjoyed on a hot day when out with friends.
Paul Cluver Chardonnay
This wine has a wonderful, rich colour to it with green and yellow highlights. In the nose are notes of warm buttered toast. I would pair this with a creamy pasta dish or just have it on its own.
This wine is on the sweeter side and not as dry as some of the sauvignon blancs for the region, due to the chardonnay grapes used.
It could be enjoyed at any time of the day, but I would suggest late afternoon, early evening, as it is a bit heavier than your typical lunchtime wine. A creamy chicken pasta or creamy risotto is a great pairing.
The Cape Portrait Red 2020
The Cape Portrait Red 2020 is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. The wine is soft and generous, exploding with red berry fruits and hints of prune, cinnamon, and black pepper. A delight to share with friends over casseroles, grilled chicken, lamb chops and berry-infused ice cream.
A blend of chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc, the Cape Portrait White 2021 is fresh with crisp acidity, bursting with lime, citrus and tropical fruit.
It’s best served for relaxed dining with dishes such as barbecued chicken, summer salads, simple grilled fish, and pan-fried calamari, a perfect partner to our South African outdoor summer lifestyle.
It can be enjoyed on its own slightly chilled or served with casseroles, plainly grilled chicken and BBQ lamb chops.
Roodeberg Classic Red Blend
This famous red blend shows aromatic layers of fresh red fruit, cassis, and dark fruit with an undertone of sweet spices and dark chocolate.
The palate is elegant and soft with nuances of cedary oak and dark plums, and ends with a vanilla finish and elegant silky tannins.
The wine underwent 12 months of oak maturation in mostly French oak. Some American oak was used for a small percentage of the shiraz and cabernet sauvignon components.
It can be enjoyed on its own, in the company of friends, or with roasted, grilled, and BBQ red meat and chicken dishes.
This originally appeared on IOL