2009 Flat Roof Manor Pinot Grigio R34.45 from Makro
Italian grape variety which has enjoyed massive success in the UK and is starting to find friends in the New World as well. A fairly neutral wine (as are all Italian whites) with flavours of apples and pears, good acidity and a fresh, creamy finish.
Did you know: that Pinot Grigio is also known as Pinot Gris, particularly in New Zealand where people predict it will be more successful than Sauvignon.
Chef Caro says: This is a fresh and fruity wine with plenty of acidity so it should easily be able to cut through the richness of this divine Angel Hair Pasta with Bacon and Sage.
2010 La Capra Viognier R45 from most major supermarkets
Grape variety from the Southern Rhône, often used to blend in with red wines but also makes outstanding wines in Condrieu and Château Grillet. Growing in popularity in SA, this version has delicate apricot and peachy fruit with balanced alcohol and acidity.
Did you know: Fairview were amongst the first people in SA to plant this grape variety and have been the most successful with it in international competitions. This is their new second label, named after their famous goats.
Chef Caro says: Viognier is a very versatile food-matching wine and goes particularly well with the fruity aromatics in Cape Malay cuisine. Try it with Smoor snoek with Moskonfyt – yum!
2009 Neethlingshof Gewürztraminer R42 from Ultra Liquors
This is a German grape variety which is also used in Alsace as well to make a variety of different styles of wine from dry through to luscious Noble late harvests. This example is an elegant version with spicy aromas of cloves and tea leaves giving way to yellow stone fruits and rose petals.
Did you know: Gewürztraminer vines produce bright pink grapes! These make the wine a deep golden colour, sometimes with a coppery tinge to it.
Chef Caro says: This wine is just off-dry so I have gone for a dessert of Cardamom Panna Cotta with Spiced Apricots, but you could just as easily pair this with spicy Thai or Indian dishes.
2010 Kleine Zalze Gamay Noir R37.99 from Aroma Cellars
Gamay Noir is the main grape variety in Beaujolais and makes a range of different styles from the very light and fruity Nouveau style through to more serious versions with a good tannic structure. This is more the former - lots of soft, ripe, juicy berry fruit with shy tannins and good acidity. Best served chilled.
Did you know: Beaujolais Nouveau day is always the 3rd Thursday in November and traditionally there was a car race to get the new vintage from Burgundy to London on the same day it was released.
Chef Caro says: This recipe isn’t actually one of mine! Ross Sleet, marketing manager of Kleine Zalze says that his wife, Jan makes the best food match for this wine, so here you go - Jan's Warm Duck Salad with Black Cherries.
2009 Merwida Barbera R68.50 from Wine Concepts
Barbera makes great wines in Piedmont region of Northern Italy – it is particularly prized for its naturally high acidity which makes it a great grape for hot climates. This version is ripe and supple with black fruits offset by a gravelly tannic structure and a relatively dry finish.
Did you know: that Italian Barberas were rarely put in oak barrels until the 1970’s when the fashion for it was started by Emile Peynaud?
Chef Caro says: A nice, lively wine which can handle a rich, warming dish - I have chosen Italian Lamb stew with Anchovies, Tomatoes and Olives and I think the flavours will marry perfectly!
2007 Tierhoek Grenache R81.99 from Aroma Cellars
Grenache Noir, to give it its full name, is the principle ingredient in Côtes-du-Rhône wines and is increasingly being planted in SA to blend with Shiraz. This version has distinctive cherry fruit with lots of spicy licorice notes as well. Hints of cloves and mulled wine although this is another red which is nice chilled.
Did you know: Tierhoek is the only winery in the Piekenierskloof ward and its label reflects the fact that leopards still roam the mountains behind the vineyards.
Chef Caro says: This is a great summer wine so I have gone for an equally summery dish of Strawberry and Baby Spinach Salad with Goats’ Cheese Crostini.