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10 wines for 10 occasions

10 great wines for times when you really need them.

by: Cathy Marston | 24 Jul 2013
wine drinks

Wine is to women what duct tape is to men – it fixes everything.

Actually, I think wine fixes most things for men as well, whilst duct tape is highly overrated as a means of getting you to dance on the tables and send dodgy text messages.

So with that in mind, I have compiled an emergency aid kit of 10 different wines which have come my way recently and which should be suitable for most traumatic events. For those times when NOTHING else will do, try one of these. All prices are cellar door.

1. The Mother-in-Law is coming for dinner

Actually, I don’t have to worry about this too much cos my M-in-L lives in the UK and I quite like her anyway. But for those of you who have a fire-breathing dragon who thinks her darling little baby is completely wasting him/herself on you, you unsuitable, spotty, jumped-up little tart, I’d suggest First Sighting Shiraz 2011 (R70). It’s got plenty of pepper and spice, but also has a calm, rich, soothing smoothness which will tame even the scariest of monsters-in-law.

2. The Mother-in-Law came for dinner
Deep breaths – in, out, in, out – you made it through dinner without braining her with the Le Creuset. Now open a bottle of Two Oceans Pinot Grigio 2012 (R35), fill your glass to the brim and suck down a vast mouthful of apples and pears with crisp refreshing acidity. And now open a second bottle because at this price – you can.

3. I’m sorry
I’m a big believer in apologising – if more people did it, I think we’d all get along a lot better. So if I’ve messed up, I want to make it up so I’m going to give something special. Lismore Chardonnay 2011 (R165) is handcrafted in Greyton by Samantha O’Keefe and you can taste the love that’s gone into this wine. A touch of oak, a fresh acidity, creamy rounded citrus fruit – hell, I’d forgive me too!

4. Oh god, I forgot it’s my anniversary
I got married on the 11th day of the 11th month, of the year 2000, specifically so that I would remember the date. I’ve never managed it yet, so this year when I forget again, I shall make it up to my husband by giving him a bottle of Eikendal Charisma 2011 (R72). This nifty little wine cleaned up at the Old Mutual Show winning best Red Wine and is a delicious blend of Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese, chewy, fruity and fresh.

5. I need to impress the new fella/lady
My dating days are behind me (but hey – never say never, right??) but if I wanted to charm someone with my innate good taste and sophistication, I’d give them the Opstal Carl Everson Chenin Blanc 2012 (R120). This is a new release and storms right out of the blocks, both in terms of the intrinsic quality of the wine and raising the profile of the Slanghoek region. It is creamy, fresh, complex, elegant and if it doesn’t get you a second date – nothing will.

6. I’m going to kill that child if he gets out of bed one more time
My husband and I once returned our son to bed 67 times in one evening before he finally stayed there. We took it in turns and, between trips to the bedroom, fortified ourselves with copious amounts of wine. If I had to do it again, I’d choose Boschendal Reserve Collection Shiraz 2011 (R140) to sustain me – deep, velvety rich black fruit, soft juicy tannins and a long finish. Built for the long-haul, and with a kid like ours, you need it.

7. Go ahead – make my day, you asshole boss
The worst bit of being a freelancer is that you actually have any number of bosses and when they set unreasonable deadlines, come back for the 14th set of corrections or change the goalposts at the last minute, you should drink Blaauwklippen Zinfandel Reserve 2011 (R310). Big, robust and packing quite a punch of elegant black fruit, it’s a wine that doesn’t put up with anything less than the best.

8. I’m taking this bottle and I’m heading to the bathroom. Do not disturb
I had a friend who went back to work halfway through her maternity leave. When asked why, she said she just wanted to pee on her own and with the door closed. If you’re also craving solitude, light the candles, run the bath, chuck in the expensive bath salts, lock the door and open a bottle of chilled Magnum Cream Liqueur (R120). It’s a blend of Scotch whisky and fresh cream and drinking it feels incredibly self-indulgent and naughty. What the hell – you’re worth it.

9. Thank you kind neighbours for looking after the cat. And for clearing up the dead rats before I got home
My cat looks like a little furry angel, but inside that innocent exterior lurks the heart of a ruthless, marauding slaughtering machine. My neighbour not only feeds her whilst we’re away, but she even removes any corpses before we get home and for that, I reward her with the latest Simonsig Sunbird Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R65). A beautiful blend of Stellenbosch and Darling grapes combines to show zippy acidity balanced by a rich mid-palate. Plus – you couldn’t ever keep a bird in our house with that cat around anyway!

10. This day is perfect and I want it to last forever
Who can say what makes a perfect day? Mine might be a cloudless sky, an extra hug before school time and a tomato and feta omelette cooked and served by my husband, but whatever makes up your idea of perfection, you will only increase it with a bottle of Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc 2008 (R205). Salty, savoury, creamy, decadent deliciousness.

What is your go to wine?

Follow @CathyMarston on twitter.



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