“P-A-R-T - why? Because I have to!” That’s my favourite line from ‘The Mask’ and frankly, exactly how I’m feeling at the moment. The sun is shining, the Advent calendar’s opening, my feet are itching to dance and I am sooo ready for the festive season – bring it on!
Here are my suggestions of great wines to lay in now so you’re ready when the time comes – wines which you should buy by the case so you always have a bottle handy to take to a party, to break open when unexpected guests turn up, to go with all kinds of food and all kinds of occasions – good value gluggers to make the season go with a swing!
2010 Villiersdorp Cellars Dam Good White R28 from major retailers
A new range of simple, crisp, easy-drinking wines at a very good price. This is mainly Chenin with 3% Sauvignon and slips down like an ice cube on a hot summer’s day.
2010 Orange River Cellars Dry White R23 from major retailers
A cracking find full of fruit and fun. A blend of Chenin and Colombard, this is a great all-day, every-day drinker which goes amazingly well with food as well. Bargain price too.
2010 Opstal Sixpence Chenin/Semillon R30 from the farm
This is their second label and is designed to over-deliver on the price and the packaging (which I think they may revamp at some point). Nice appley hints with good acidity and depth of flavour – excellent food wine.
2010 Van Loveren ‘Neil’s Pick’ Colombard R24 from major retailers
This has been a star wine of mine for the last 2 years now – a total crowd-pleaser, packed with grapefruit and limes, a touch of sweetness and a lively finish. Never buy just one bottle.
2010 Welmoed Sauvignon Blanc R32 from major retailers
Not the trendiest of labels, but consistently well-made and tasty, so don’t overlook it. Zesty tropical fruit with hints of limes and tingly acidity – does the job very nicely indeed.
2009 Villiersdorp Cellars Dam Good Red R33 from major retailers
The partner to the Dam Good White, this is a Cab/Shiraz blend and is made for a great braai! Spicy black fruit offset by soft, juicy tannins – totally delish and an excellent price.
NV Secret Cellar Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot R29.99 from Ultra Liquors
This is their new range, all of them under R30 (except for the very interesting white blend – more later). A blend of two lesser-known Bordeaux varietals makes for a black-berried wine with soft spice and herbs.
2010 Obikwa Shiraz R23 from major retailers
The 2009 was the surprise star of 2010 and, although this is a little young, it has all the hallmarks of the earlier vintage, suggesting it will also come good soon. Pepper, spice, leather wrapped up in soft, silky tannins.
NV Slanghoek Cuvee Brut R34 from major retailers
Slanghoek Cellars are doing lots of ‘under the radar’ stuff at the moment, but if you can find this one, it’s well worth seeking out. Fresh, fruity, dry with lively bubbles and an appley feel – this is an incredibly good value fizz, well under-priced.
NV Solms-Delta Cape Jazz Shiraz R55 from the farm
This is a total party-party wine! Yes, it’s red, yes it’s sweet, yes it’s frothy rather than fizzy, but I promise you, whatever food you’re having, whatever friends you’re drinking it with – there’ll be none of this left at the end of the day! Enjoy!