Most people associate red wines with Braai Day – and if you’re one of them, check out my Shiraz selection here. But if you’re sitting in the garden, drinking wine for a lengthy lunchtime, you often need something a bit more light and refreshing. Something you can chuck an ice block into, something with lower (or even no) alcohol, something light, fresh, fruity and fun. So here are a few suggestions of wallet-friendly, easy-sippers for braaing – have fun in the sun! Most of these are widely-available from wine retailers.
Boland Cellar Five Climates Chenin Blanc 2015 R32
I’ve tasted these wines for the Platter Guide for the last 3 years and was delighted to see this win Super-Quaffer of the Year before the category changed. Seriously – if you have R32 you absolutely cannot spend it better than on this wine. If you don’t buy it by the case-load this summer (as I will be), you’re making a big mistake – all the flavour of a great Chenin with lively acidity and a fresh finish.
The Wolftrap Rosé 2015 R40
This whole range fits into the ‘light and fruity’ category, but this is the newest wine and the one I received the other day. It’s made from mainly Grenache – cheers, cheers – as are most of the pinks in the South of France. Grenache is great for rose because it gives lovely strawberry fruit with very little colour making it easy to make, easy to drink, easy to enjoy.
Van Loveren Papillon Alcohol-free Sparkling White R40
I facetiously-asked “why is this not Grapetiser?” but when you see the bottle, you realise it’s actually a whole lot more for very little extra money. This is made from white muscadel – there’s a pink version too – and is fruitily-sweet and delicately-perfumed. On a day when we should all be celebrating inclusiveness, this ‘wine’ can be drunk by kids, pregnant women, non-drinkers and drinkers alike. Enjoy it with everyone!
De Krans Moscato Perle 2015 R49
Another sparkling muscadel, but this time with just a waft of alcohol to liven it up. This is De Krans’s version of the most popular wine style in the world at the moment. It’s sweet (but with nice fresh acidity), lightly-sparkling and low-ish alcohol (8.5%) and if it doesn’t make you want to eat Eton Mess, Raspberry Pavlova and summer sorbets, then frankly – you must have no taste at all!!
Pierre Jourdan Tranquille 2015 R50
This vaguely-pink version of the perennial favourite, Chardonnay/Pinot Noir actually reverses the varieties with Pinot taking the lead and adding a delicate pink to the wine. It’s bone-dry – yes really – and very refreshing – a no-nonsense wine, happy to take a block of ice or a dash of soda and be enjoyed in the sunshine with friends.
- Cathy Marston