Summer is here – its official! Well, it certainly feels like it this week so I am going to dig up the lettuce, unearth the salad dressing shaker and get hot and healthy with some great wines to go with salads this weekend. These are the pick of the samples I’ve been lucky enough to receive in recent weeks i.e. the ones I would happily pay for again!
The Woolworths Limited Release Pinot Noir Brut Rosé 2009 No Added SO2 R99.95 per bottle at selected Woolworths stores
This is the first MCC with no added sulphur dioxide in SA and comes from those innovators at Simonsig. It is made from mainly Pinot Noir with a 5% dash of Chardonnay and uses a specially-selected yeast which helps prevent oxidation thus negating the need for extra SO2 . I would pair this with any salad involving goats’ cheese or salty feta – the soft strawberry fruit and lively acidity will cut through the rich cheeses and make for a great match. Try Strawberry and Goats’ Cheese Salad.
Zonnebloem Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc 2010 R60 from selected retailers
This is only made in exceptional years and is a step-up from their normal SB whilst still being a good sight cheaper than many people’s entry level wines. It’s a lively little number with plenty of zippy green and yellow fruit, a tantalising acidity and a good weight in the mid-palate. If you’re feeling poor, buy the normal Zonnebloem SB for R20 less and I think you’ll still be happy! Partner this with a Seared Tuna Nicoise.
Viljoensdrift Driftwood Dry White NV R19.50 from the farm
My glugging summer wine of last Christmas was Viljoensdrift’s Colombard/Chenin, sadly now discontinued (boo, hiss), but replaced with this Sauvignon/Semillon (cheers, cheers!) which has been winning all kinds of awards since its release. This was such an easy quaffer with a surprising richness in the middle of it. I would put it with a light Chicken Salad with Thai dressing or possibly a mild Moroccan couscous instead.
Allee Bleue Chenin Blanc 2010 R39 from the farm
This is a fabulously-food-friendly wine with lots of aromatics and a nice soft edge to it. Winemaker Van Zyl du Toit has included 8% of Viognier in the wine and the whole lot has then spent 6 months in barrel on the lees to gain additional complexity – I can’t believe it undergoes all this careful treatment and still costs less than R40! Try it with something with a bit of spice – a Coronation Chicken Salad with peaches and yoghurt would be perfect.
Ridgeback Vansha SMGV 2009 R45 from the farm
A classic Rhone blend of Shiraz, Mourvedre, Grenache and Viognier comes under the second label of this family farm in Paarl. This wine over-delivers by a country-mile with amazing flavours of spice, juicy red fruit and cherry pie and cream. If you want something to handle a nice meaty salad such as this Duck with Asian dressing, then this is the wine for you.
Jason’s Hill Wooded White 2010 R35 from the farm
This is an oddball wine if ever I tasted one! Made from a blend of Nouvelle, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, the wine has been aged entirely in 100% new American oak – something nobody else is doing in this country. The result is a fabulous mouthful of coconut, banana, peaches and other tropical fruit with layers of vanilla and cream. Try it with this Coconut, Prawn and Green Bean salad and see how it gets on.