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How to put together an epic Easter weekend wine box

Have that bottle opener at the ready! Wine guru, Cathy Marston shares her top picks for a wine-fueled month of long weekends.

by: Cathy Marston | 28 Mar 2018

(image: iStock) 

ALSO READ: Wines to pair with your Easter weekend fare

I’m saying this is for Easter but actually, we have so many public holiday long weekends coming up, it could be for any one of them! Whenever you enjoy it, here are my recommendations for wines to cover all eventualities when enjoying time with family and friends during the next few weeks.

The fizz: Mariëtte Chardonnay MCC 2013 (R225)
This is a delicious MCC from Chardonnay left for a fabulous 30 months on the lees, picking up oodles of yeasty, tangy, salty flavours to match the creamy yellow apple fruit. There aren’t all that many MCCs coming from the Breedekloof but when you realise that the illustrious Graham Beck gets lots of its fruit from there, you know that Stofberg Family Vineyards winemaker Mariëtte Stofberg is onto a good thing!

Everyday red: Darling Cellars Cabernet/Merlot 2017 (R29 or thereabouts)
No – you didn’t misread the price, this really is that cheap! Well, it was last week when I bought it from the supermarket but actually, I’ve been buying this wine (priced around the mid R30s) for some time now because I honestly believe it to be an over-deliverer of note. Plenty of typical black fruit flavours in a great soft and juicy mouthful which cries out for you to open the 2nd bottle.

Everyday white: Garden Route Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (R70 cellar door)
You might not have heard of this label but it’s a new venture for port aficionados De Krans in the Outeniqua mountains. This is made in a very col area – helped by altitude and the crisp, fresh yellow and green fruit are given body by 6 months lees contact. A really nice wine that everyone will enjoy with everything. 

Special occasion red: Diemersdal Private Collection 2016 (R160 cellar door)
I do love me a good Bordeaux-style blend especially as winter kicks into gear – hopefully bringing lots and lots of rain. And when it does, not only will I be dancing for joy at the end of the drought but also at a great excuse to indulge in this wine indoors, by the fireplace. This is a 5-way blend with just over 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and it comes from older vines bringing a delicious, earthy concentration to the fruit with a lovely vanilla tail. 

Special occasion white: Perdeberg Endura Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2017 (R200 cellar door)
Mmmm – lots of interesting stuff happening with this wine! It’s from a single vineyard block on the Paardeberg mountains and it’s been dry-farmed which means that the vines have really been struggling in the recent drought years. However, what fruit they have managed to produce is wonderfully-concentrated and flavoursome with flavours of wrinkly yellow apples and dried mangoes. Made in clay amphorae and aged in old oak, it’s a wonderful special occasion wine. 

Sweet endings: Paul Cluver NLH Riesling 2017 (R250 half bottle cellar door)
This is the first release of this utterly-delicious sweetie-darling in three years. Quality simply wasn’t good enough for exacting cellarmaster Andries Burger. Worth the wait? Oh yes – this has to be one of the Cape’s finest sweet wines with a wonderful balance between sugar and acidity and layer upon layer of flavour – mangoes, honey, apricots and molasses. Heavenly with puds, divine with cheese – all you could want at the end of a meal. 


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