One day to go!! I am so excited, I keep having to have a glass of wine to calm down – any excuse! I think it’s totally awesome that we have all these visitors arriving in our wonderful country all ready to watch football, party like there’s no tomorrow, wear makarapas, blow vuvuzelas and basically get into our proudly South African vibe.
When it comes to throwing a good party, I don’t think anyone can beat us here at Food24. Chef Caro and her team have been making fabulous food suggestions for you over the last couple of weeks and make sure you keep an eye on these pages because she will be following all the matches and giving you further recipes from around the world to suit whichever teams are playing.
So that’s the food sorted, but how about the wine? If you want to see my slightly tongue-in-cheek suggestions for wines to drink as you bellow for Bafana, then click here. But it would be a shame to miss an opportunity to show the rest of the world how truly world-beating our wines are whilst they are here. We often get quite shy in the presence of ‘we-are-not-worthy’ wine words such as Chablis, Rioja and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (let alone be able to pronounce them all!) but let me tell you, we can make wines just as good, you just have to look for them.
For example, anybody craving a glass of Chablis should get themselves to Walker Bay and pay a visit to Bouchard Finlayson. Their Chardonnay ‘Sans Barrique’ (which means ‘without wood’) is a classic example of an unwooded, cool- climate Chardonnay and can stand alongside a Chablis Grand Cru any day of the week.
A fan of Southern Rhône wines? Then you are going to be more than happy with a visit to the Swartland where the likes of Sadie Family Vineyards, Mullineux Wines, Lammershoek and Badenhorst Wines will delight and surprise. Restaurant editor Cath Shone’s new hot wine tip of the week comes from Adi Badenhorst – ‘The Hedonist’ red blend which is a dead ringer for Chateauneuf. She drank it at La Bohème – more on our fab supper there soon.
Missing La Dolce Vita? Well you can taste some awesome Sangiovese (the grape variety in Chianti) at Idiom Wines, a wonderful Barbera at Altydgedacht and a top-class Nebbiolo at Steenberg. If Portuguese wines are for you, then head out to the Klein Karoo and taste our sublime 'ports' from Boplaas and De Krans – even if we’re not allowed to call them ports anymore! And Spanish wine-drinkers should check out the Tempranillo/Tinta Amarilla blend at Druk my Niet – see my article here.
I could go on – Zinfandel, Verdelho, Tannat, Riesling – but I think the examples above definitely show that SA rocks when it comes to making our own version of other countries’ wines. And we still have an ace up our sleeve in Pinotage, our own unique grape. The awesome De Waal Pinotages, the elegant Ashbourne from Hamilton Russell or the hugely popular choc/coffs from Diemersfontein all show that we don’t need to follow the rest of the wine world – they should be following us instead! Now all we have to hope is that Bafana Bafana show the rest of the footballing world the way as well!