Top 10 fireside reds

Wines you should be curling up on the rug with this weekend.

by: Cathy Marston | 09 May 2014
recipes wine winter fire

Brrr – it’s a bit nippy of an evening these days! But I don’t care, because we are about to enter wine-ter - the perfect time to drink lots and lots of red wine.

If you need good winter food, then here are two of my current faves – Chicken with tomatoes, anchovies and olives and English Pot roast with root vegetables – yum!

And if you need good wine, well, here are my tips for this long weekend’s best tipples. All wines from Pick n Pay, prices correct as of 23rd April 2014. Not all wines will be available at every store.

Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2012  R30.00

This may well be the Steal of the Year – unless you want to give that title to the partner of this wine, which is a Chenin Blanc and is equally over-delivering.

Made at the Swartland Co-op premises in Riebeeck and interestingly unwooded, this is an amazing price for a very well-made smooth and spicy drink.

Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2013  R32.00
An outrageously-good price for very pleasant drinking wines. Actually – I could have put down the Shiraz or even the Merlot on this list because they’re all on special at the moment in my local store.

Uncomplicated, cheery, screwcapped, easy – sounds like couch-wine to me!

Darling Cellars Black Granite Shiraz 2012  R40.00
I was at a tasting for Wineland magazine the other day and for the first time I came across the Reserve Range from this well-managed co-op.

Unbelievable value for some delicious, absolutely correct wines – if you like this, you should try the Arum Fields Chenin as well. Peppery, spicy, juicy, yummy.

Landskroon Pinotage 2012  R49.00

This is a winery I often neglect, yet whenever I do try their wines, I really enjoy them on an ‘everyday-drinking, crowd-pleasing, enjoyable stuff’ level and this is no exception.

Surprisingly elegant and well-rounded black fruit mouthful with nice tannins. Try it with food.

Laborie Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2012  R49.99

My husband does some work for this beautiful Paarl property and this is one of his fave winter reds.

It’s a cheery little number with no-nonsense black fruit flavours, plenty of character and a nice herbal whiff to it. Definitely a two-bottle-a-night wine.

Cloof Duckitt Cab Sauv-Merlot-Cab Franc 2011  R49.99

I love Cloof wines, not just because their names are fun, but also because they really are extremely well-priced for the quality. Oh and they are nearly all screwcaps too – the last thing you want when you’re lying provocatively on the rug is to have to get up and find a corkscrew.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in a thoroughbred  blend with tight black fruits and a dark chocolate finish.

Alto Rouge 2011  R54.00

I’m loving this latest incarnation of a true Cape classic at the moment and especially now it’s at this excellent price. It’s mainly Bordeaux varieties with 20% Shiraz spicing up the works.

All in all, it makes for a really pleasant glass of good-drinking red. Not so keen on the label, love the contents!

Delheim Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2012  R54.99

Australia’s favourite red wine combo and one that I think we would do well to copy here too. Cheery, chunky, juicy and fruity – it’s a bit of a Russell Crowe of a wine. Which suits me everytime!

Spier Signature Merlot 2012  R56.99

I went to a chocolate-making event with Spier the other day and although this wasn’t one of the wines they suggested we pair it with – I wish it had been!!

Dark, chewy, chocolatey fruit with lots of smoky oak and a soft vanilla finish.

Edgebaston ‘The Pepper Pot’ 2012  R59.00

David Finlayson is making some very good wines with clever names and nice packaging and this is one of them. Mainly Shiraz with some Mourvedre and – unusually – some Tannat, this is spicy and tangy with a smoky finish.

Keep warm peeps, and if you can think of any other wines to light your fires, tell us below!

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