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10 Best value braai wines

Cathy Marston's top picks for National Braai Day 2012.

18 Sep 2012

The 2013 Best value Wine Guide hits the shelves this week (find it in your October copy of Getaway or from Ultra Liquors stores nationwide) containing 549 wines under R80 (more than half are under half that amount – R40) which have been deemed to be the best value wines in SA.

Now I love a bargain as much as the next chick and with National Braai Day coming up on Monday, I’ve scoured the pages and chosen my Top Ten wines to go with all things grilled this weekend. Enjoy!

Pulpit Rock Brink Family Chenin Blanc 2012 (R24)
Bargain alert- bargain alert. If you ever needed proof that Chenin Blanc out-performs Sauvignon Blanc at every price point, then this is the wine for you. Tropical fruit, zippy acidity, fresh, zesty – this is an all-day wine and no mistake. Drink with – everything.

Bon Courage Hillside White 2012 (R33)
A favourite from my Nose Wine Bar days, this is a blend of mainly Colombard and Chardonnay. Unwooded, fresh, crisp and lively, it should be a great partner with some braaiied snoek or on its own as a starter.

Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2012 (R33)
Extraordinary good value for an oaked white wine, this is one which I’ve used in many a winetasting to great effect and much surprise at what you get for your money. Soft, creamy yellow fruit with hints of honey, refreshing acidity, soft finish. Chicken kebabs in lemony sauce – mmmm.

Opstal Sixpence 2012 (R35)
Staying in the same valley as the wine above, I highly recommend this blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s fresh and exuberant and not entirely bone dry which balances out the crisp acidity and if you like it, try the new fragrant Mill Iron made from Viognier, Muscat and Colombard as well. Give both a go with spicy prawns.

Saronsberg Provenance Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R60)
Ok, this might not be everyday drinking for most of us, but I had to include it because I am so sad it missed out on the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top Ten last week. This was one of my favourite wines of the day and really is good value for this amount of fruit, elegance and grace. If you want to try another good SB, then the Du Toitskloof at R30 is also a fab bargain. Try them with goats’ cheese salads.

Obikwa Shiraz 2011 (R29.99)
Crowd-pleasing winner which keeps popping up time and time again in the awards – causing much annoyance to other pricier wines! The simple fact is that it’s well-made, tasty, has plenty of varietal character and people love it – what more do you need? A good homemade burger, that’s what!

Allée Bleue Starlette Pinotage 2011 (R32)
I could have actually included all the wines in this Blue Label range in this article but plumped for the Pinotage because I am finding so much good value from that variety at the moment. This shatters all the myths about Pinotage being dry/bitter/banana and is simply a juicy mouthful of black berries and leather. Great with ribs.

Polkadraai Pinotage/Merlot 2010 (R32)
I stocked up on the white version of this earlier on this year when they had a great special and think I shall do the same with this for braai season. It’s the second label of Stellenbosch Hills and is a truly fantastic all-round quaffer. Chill it if you want and hoover it up with lots of fab wors and sausages.

Noble Savage Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009 (R48)
I love the label on this wine – a swooning lady, kicking back with a full glass of wine – and it definitely reminds me of someone! This is an excellent Bordeaux blend suitable for those times when you’re putting something special on the grill – think beef fillet or medallions of game – delicious!

Flagstone Longitude 2011 (R49)
This has been good value for so long that I sometimes forget just how good it is. Luckily I was reminded recently when tasting it for a wine guide and now I think I could just drink it till the end of time. Seriously. It’s that good – juicy, fruity, with structure, elegance and power. And all for under R50 – you wouldn’t get this much pleasure from this little cash anywhere else!

Read more on: cathy marston

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