Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens – this selection of wines is as sweet and fluffy as a Sound of Music song, but without giving you any headaches the day after.
Without getting too technical, sugar in wine is pretty much all converted into alcohol if the wine is dry. With most of these wines, the alcohol has been kept low and so some sugar remains which makes them still fresh and fruity, without the searing twang of too much dry acidity and with reduced alcohol levels.
Happy Spring sipping.
Obikwa Pinotage Rose NV R28 from most retailers
This range of wines is definitely not meant to be too serious but can deliver lots of drinking enjoyment if you like a touch of sweetness on your wine. Flavours of raspberry and strawberry jam with a hint of caramel, the winemaker suggests it’s the perfect picnic wine which is just off-dry. I’ve been known to put the Sauvignon from this range through a Soda Stream to fizz things up – might be fun trying it with this one too!
Badsberg Perlé Moscato 2013 R34 from the cellar
I’ve always liked this cellars who provided our house merlot to The Nose for many years and I’m thrilled to see them producing this kind of wine. I cannot tell you how popular sweet, low-alcohol slightly sparkling Muscat is in the UK, Australia and the US at the moment, and SA should really be capitalising on all the Muscat we’ve got to make sure we get our slice of the pie. Frothy, fun, delightful and easy-drinking, at 9% abv, this is going to rock this spring.
Fleur du Cap Natural Light 2013 R39 from leading retailers
Just tipping into the ‘off-dry’ category, this wine is mainly Chenin Blanc with 10% Sauvignon to freshen and entice. It’s generally considered one of the finer low-alcohol efforts and this year is no different with enough peachy/fruity/tangy flavour to mean you don’t miss the extra gram or two of booze. At just under 10%, it’s good enough for you health-wise without being preachy – works for me.
JC le Roux Non-alcoholic La Fleurette Sparkling Blush R46 from major retailers
I still find it a bit confusing as to why they make this into an alcoholic wine and then remove the alcohol instead of just carbonating grape juice but - whatever! If alcohol is a total no-no for you, you can still take part in celebrations with a glass of this. Proudly pink, charmingly-sweet and full of berries and cherries, it’s a fun match for desserts or for clinking on a special occasion.
Simonsig Gewurztraminer 2012 R65 cellar door
This is a little more serious than some of my other suggestions and is very worthy of consideration by wine fundis of all levels and tastes. It’s more off-dry than properly sweet and gives a lovely mouthful of classic litchis, rose petals and some dried apricots. Try it with tangy mature cheeses like Healey’s cheddar or Klein Rivier Gruyere or even with a relatively fiery Thai curry to balance out the aromatic notes.
Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2013 R80 from leading retailers
I haven’t seen the analysis on this wine (although I suspect it probably comes into the ‘dry’ category by rights), but it has so much fruity, tasty appeal balanced by crisp lively acidity and a nice low 12.5% alcohol that I thought it would fit in well here. This is surely the ultimate restaurant wine – crowd-pleasing, popular and well-priced – it’s an all-day, everyday glugger of note.
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