A term I’ve taken to like a duck to water since I’ve got to SA is ‘braai wine’. It just seems to encapsulate fun, friends, relaxing, chilling and pleasure all in one bottle – how good is that? However, the other imperative for braai wine is that it is inexpensive – I want quality for sure, but if I don’t have a decent quantity, I know my braai ain’t gonna be any good! So here are 10 good quality, good value whites which I can highly recommend for those long afternoons in the sun. All prices are from Cape Quarter Tops at Spar and are correct as of 21/02.
Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2011 R34.95
Second label and now stand-alone brand from stellar Boekenhoutskloof, this is an awesome price for an utterly reliable and delicious wine. If you don’t always have a bottle of this in your fridge, you’re missing a trick.
Elgin Valley Yellow Lorry Sauvignon Blanc 2011 R38.99
This was on special when I visited and I hope – I really hope – that it is still on by the time you get to go shopping. This is from uber-trendy Elgin, that cool-climate Queen of Sauvignon Blanc and, if you can find it, I noticed a couple of bottles of 2010 in the shelf display too which are well worth seeking out if you can.
Bon Courage Hillside White 2011 R37.99
This is a great blend of Colombard and Chardonnay and was one of our house wines from The Nose many years ago. It’s a cracking combination – mouthfilling Chardonnay sexed up with a dollop of lively, zesty Colombard – crowd-pleaser to end all crowd-pleasers.
Vondeling Petit Blanc 2011 R35.99
What a great price for this wine! A full-bodied blend of Chenin, Chardonnay and Viognier, this is aromatic and ripe with a lovely linear acidity running down the back. Got anything spicy on that braai? This is your wine.
Villiersdorp Cellars Dam Good White 2011 R34.99
An excellent blend of Chenin Blanc and Semillon, this good value glugger has no pretentions whatsoever, doesn’t have any kind of great packaging, it simply does exactly what it says on the bottle – gives you a great glass of wine at a great price. And that’s fine by me.
Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2011 R39.99
Yes! There is much more to this estate than just delicious fizz! The Malans have a long, strong track record with this variety, including many wins for Best Value Chenin in different publications. Generally speaking, you get more for your money with Chenin than Sauvignon and this is very true in this case.
Backsberg Chenin Blanc 2011 R39.99
Apropos of absolutely nothing, we had such a good time at this estate on Christmas Day that all their wines are leaping out of the shelves at me ever since. Mind you, this one has plenty of good cause to leap, being a combination of good flavours and excellent value – what more do you need?
Landskroon Chardonnay 2011 R39.99
Unsuprisingly for this price, this is an unwooded wine but it has plenty of other flavours – citrus, melons and a hint of tropical fruit. Don’t like the labels – needs a bit of updating – but love the wine and love the value. Great glugger.
Green Shebeen Organic Viticulture Chardonnay 2011 R39.99
Never come across this label before but it’s fun and funky and….(drum roll)…. it’s organic too! Made by Org du Rac, this is a very good value example of a feel-good Chardonnay and is definitely one to offer the self-righteous to make them purr!
Van Loveren Pinot Grigio 2011 R39.99
The UK’s favourite white grape now making in-roads into the South African market as well. This is a good, solid, well-made example of what is basically a relatively neutral variety but one which goes down great with food. Try this with a snoek braai and see what you think.