Okay - so we’ve only had a sniff of summer down here in Cape Town, but it’s coming - I know it’s coming. So in anticipation of outdoor eating and drinking, summer concerts and sundowners on the beach, here are some great wines which I’d recommend to take with you.
All of them are screw-cap, which is hugely important in a picnic wine for several reasons. Firstly, it’s far too easy to lose/forget to bring a corkscrew which would be highly annoying, but not as irritating as trekking all the way to your perfect sundowner spot and then finding your wine is corked. Not cool! So for picnics, it’s screwcap all the way.
Winters Drift Rose 2011 (R46 from the farm)
I received a 3-pack of wines from this new and very interesting winery in Elgin and could easily have also included the Chardonnay and the Sauvignon in this review. But I’ve gone for the pink which ticks so many boxes:
- red fruit (it’s 100% Merlot)
- nice packaging
- good price.
Will recommend the others soon and I’ll be keeping an eye on this farm. Think there is more to come here!
Haute Cabriere Pierre Jourdan Tranquille NV (R45 from the farm)
This ‘still champagne’ is made from 50% each of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, hence the delicate pale onion skin colour. It’s a crowd-pleaser of note with a hint of sweetness rounding out the fresh citrus fruit and a low alcohol of 11.5% making it a great lunchtime wine.
Obikwa Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R28 in most retailers)
This is a case wine, not a bottle wine. Something that's always good to have a few of in the fridge for any occasion. The Lightweight bottle means you can carry quite a few to your picnic destination and the friendly, easy-drinking, tropical fruit and limes means that everyone is bound to love it when you’re there.
La Motte Organically-grown Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R100 from the farm)
Not all outdoor eating needs to be on a budget, and if you’re planning a luxury seafood fest or some haute cuisine on the lawn, then match it with something a bit special. This is an elegant and concentrated wine with lots of green peppers, zesty citrus fruit and a long finish.
Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc 2012 (R50 from the farm)
Everyone’s favourite restaurant wine is just as good in the outdoors as well. This year is a particularly good vintage as several new vineyards come on line bringing an abundance of top quality fruit. Fresh, limey and zesty and worryingly easy to drink. Take two bottles. At least.
Hillock Barrel Roll 2012 (R43 from the farm)
An interesting and quirky second vintage from this farm in Ladismith. Chenin, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The first two varieties barrel-fermented, and the latter in tank. This is a great mixture of zest, citrus, creamy yellow fruit and delicate floral aromas. A great food wine. Especially with chicken salads.
Kloovenburg Unwooded Chardonnay 2012 (R50 from the farm)
Forget Swartland Shiraz. We should all be drinking Swartland Chardonnay, especially if it’s like this! A lovely summery wine without any oak or malo-lactic fermentation to distract from the fresh, zippy, lemony flavours, a great price, nice balance of flavours and a good summer glugger.
Garden Route Shiraz 2011 (R80 from specialist retailers)
Branching out from Calitzdorp, renowned port specialist, Boets Nel, has found a little pocket of cooler climate at the bottom of the Outeniqua Mountains. This is a lovely Shiraz with plenty of peppery notes and fresh acidity suggesting it will be a great partner for a summer deli platter of cold meat.
Seven Springs Pinot Noir 2011 (R114 from specialist retailers)
This is the first Pinot from social media maven Tim Pearson at Seven Springs – and it’s a goodie. Winemaker Riana van der Merwe hasn’t tried to overwork delicate young vines or over-burden the wine with new wood and the result is a juicy, fresh and irresistible mouthful of red fruit just crying out for summer food.
Villiera Tradition NV (R90 from major retailers)
Okay, so this doesn’t have a screwcap (thank God for that!) and I suppose there is a risk that it may be corked. But I don’t care cos a picnic without fizz, ain’t no picnic in my book! You can choose this white version of Tradition or the pink one if you’re having a strawberry salad, but either way, it’s a delicious fizzy, frothy, fresh mouthful of citrus fruit and toasted croissant.
Bring on summer!