International wines to try this Summer

29 Jan 2015

“Why should we?” I hear you all cry. Don’t we have perfectly good wines here in SA? Well, yes we do but sometimes it’s good to check out the opposition and see if we can pick up any tips on new grape varieties, new techniques and new wine styles. And now that the supermarkets are starting to carry interesting wines, it’s easier than ever to try something different. Here are a few suggestions to get you going.


Lamberti Pinot Grigio 2013 R59.95 from Woolworths
Country – Italy. Grape – Pinot Grigio. One of the most popular white grapes around and increasingly found in SA as well. This is light, crisp and fresh with soft apple and pear notes.

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde R59.99 from retailers
Country – Portugal. Grapes – Trajadura, Loureiro, Arinto, Azal. The wine that inspired Graca comes from a winery which inspired Fairview’s goat tower! Crisp and zesty and great with seafood. 

Torres Viña Sol 2013 R69.95 from Woolworths
Country – Spain. Grapes – Garnacha, Parellada. A fresh and clean unwooded wine made from grape varieties which are good at withstanding the heat. Lots of peachy freshness and good concentration. 


Fantini Farnese Montepulciano d’Abruzzo R59.95 from Woolworths
Country – Italy. Grape – Montepulciano. People might get put off this wine by the unpronounceability of the name but they shouldn’t cos it’s a really friendly, dark, black-fruited chewy wine that cries out for a good pizza. 

Côtes du Rhône Les Menines 2013 R59.99 from retailers
Country – France. Grapes – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and more. This wine comes from the southern part of France where Grenache ripens fully giving soft, juicy, ripe-fruited wines. Easy-drinking with soft, well-integrated tannins.

Torres Sangre de Toro 2013 R69.95 from Woolworths
Country – Spain. Grapes – Garnacha and Cariñena. This wine is incredibly popular in its home country and looks set to do as well here – especially at that price. Spicy and juicy with sweet black and red fruit. Great everyday drinking.


Codorniu Cava Brut R99.95 from Woolworths
Country – Spain. Grapes – Maccabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo. This is made in the same method as MCC and Champagne and is certainly a good alternative if you want an unusual fizz at a reasonable price. Lemons and pears with a faint brioche twinge. 

Fantinel Prosecco Extra Dry DOC R150 from specialist retailers.
Country – Italy. Grape – Glera. Along with Moscato (see below) this is the world’s fastest growing wine category with celebs and stars making it and drinking it all over the place. This one is fresh and lively and although it says dry, expect a delicious touch of sweetness at the finish. 

Bottega Vino Dell’Amore Moscato Spumante R189.95 from retailers
Country – Italy. Grape – Muscat or Moscato. This is craze that’s sweeping the drinking world at the moment and shows no sign of stopping. Low alcohol (6.5%), slightly sparkling and fruitily sweet, it’s attracting lots of new drinkers to the category. Great examples starting to come from SA as well.   

If you want to know more about international wines, check out The Wine Centre for details on the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses which are the only internationally-recognised wine courses available in SA. 



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