The colder it gets, the more red wine I feel I need to drink to keep me warm. A feeble excuse, I know, but nevertheless one which I enjoy making at any opportunity.
If, like me and everyone else, you’re on a budget, then I’m sure you’re going to want to get the best deal possible, So here are 10 red, good value suggestions to keep you warm this winter.
Riebeek Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (R34.99 from Pick n Pay)
You always get reliable, good-value gluggers from this cellar – normally the ones which people rave about most are the Shirazes but there’s nothing wrong with this Cabernet either, and it’s unusual to get a single-varietal in this price bracket. Juicy black fruit with a vanilla twist.
Van Loveren Cramond 2010
(R34.99 from Pick n Pay)
Where would a budget wine review be without the inclusion of a Van Loveren? I could have chosen even cheaper than this, but I’ve always liked the two Cramond wines – the white and the red – and think they offer great flavours and value. This one is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and gives you black fruit, spice and cream.
Suikerbossie Rooi 2010
(R35.99 from Pick n Pay)
This is a cool, retro red from those fun boys at the Boer n Brit winery. Love the label, love the blend – classic Rhone, Shiraz and Viognier – love the wine and most of all, love the price. I find it incredible that they can manage to make this wine so cheaply, but hey – I’m not complaining too hard! Savoury plums with aromatic spiced notes.
Ken Forrester Petit Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2010 (R38 from major retailers)
This range of wines totally over-delivers on price (I showed the Petit Chenin to my WSET wine course the other day and everyone was super impressed) and none more so than this Bordeaux blend. It has everything you could want from these two grape varieties – black fruit, elegant tannins, cheery positive finish – and at this price, it’s beyond a steal. Loved it.
Stellenrust Simplicity 2011 (R39.99 from Pick n Pay)
And here is another ‘I don’t know how they do that’ wine – cos whatever the name of it may suggest, it is anything but simple to bring so many flavours together at this price! A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz with all the dark, dense, chewy, spicy flavours you’d want, this is a great partner for a hearty winter pie.
Slanghoek Winery Camerca 2011 (R26 from Ultra Liquors)
I showed this to some friends and asked them to guess the price – the lowest guess was R60 which says a hell of a lot about this wine in my opinion! Hate the name which is far too twee, but this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is such a winter winner, I could forgive it anything!
Du Toitskloof Pinotage/Merlot/Ruby Cabernet 2011 (R34.95 from Pick n Pay)
A recent winner of the Box Wine of the Year Awards as hosted by the discerning Spit or Swallow team, the nice thing about this is that it’s the same wine whether you buy the bottle or the box so feel free to upsize if you’re thirsty. A cheery, lively little drink with plenty of sour cherries, sweet black berries and a savoury edge.
Landskroon Shiraz 2010 (R39.99 from Pick n Pay)
Maybe I just got lucky and this might have been a one-off price, but I thought this was very good value for this wine. The Pinotage is currently the same price (I believe) and both wines give you correct flavours, plenty of spice, soft juicy fruit and a long finish. Good winter all-rounders
Fish Hoek Merlot 2010 (R39.95 from Pick n Pay)
It’s not easy to get a good, cheap Merlot - more than almost any other red variety, Merlot has suffered abuses of over-cropping, over-jamminess and over-priced. This one offers good flavours and good value as well – a rare thing. Lots of sweet stewed plums with a belting of tannin and firm finish.
Perdeberg Soft Smooth Red 2011 (R32.99 from Pick n Pay)
Most pundits punt the Perdeberg Chenin Blanc as being the wine to watch – and indeed, it is very good. But their range is bigger than just one wine and there are plenty of bargains to be had here. This wine is a blend of Shiraz, Cinsaut and Cabernet Sauvignon – an unusual combination which nevertheless gives a soft, fruity mouthful of black berries.
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