You never really need a reason to open a good bottle of wine, do you? ‘Because I want to’ always seems to work just fine. But this month there are three great reasons, should you need them…
REASON # ONE
Because it’s the Easter weekend on 30 March, and red wine and lamb – or red wine and chocolate, for that matter – are just such a good combo.
Talking about combinations, these are our three current favourite red blends: Ataraxia Serenity Red Blend 2016, R190: deep black fruits and a small hint of vanilla… mmm Luddite Saboteur Red Blend 2015, R255: spicy, dark and interesting, like a really good night out Steenberg Stately Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Blend 2015, R135: luxurious and deep
REASON # TWO
Because it’s St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, and ‘green wine’ is a thing. Crisp, light and often (but not always) with a slight fizziness to it, green wine, or vinho verde, comes from Portugal and is often a blend of two or more white varietals (tip: if the bottle is shorter and broadbased, the wine is probably not fizzy). Vinho verde is hard to beat if you’re eating seafood or curry, and it’s still very well priced. No need to toast the Celtic saint with the traditional whiskey or Guinness – opt for one of these lovely green wines instead. Casal Garcia, R85 Gazela, R79 Santola, R64 Gateo, R84
REASON # THREE
Because The Ides of March is on 15 March, and you’re not Julius Caesar and it’s not 44 BC – but it’s a great day to come over a bit Italian and enjoy these local versions of Italian cultivars anyway… Pinto Grigio can be a little light for our robust SA taste buds, but it’s perfect for a crisp autumn day. This one is flavourful, citrussy and great value for money : Anthonij Rupert Terra del Capo Pinot Grigio 2017, R65 Nebbiolo, also known as Barolo in Italy, is often said to be a bit like Pinot Noir: all beefed up with attitude, and it probably is. It’s delicious, specially lightly chilled. Arcangeli Romulus Nebbiolo 2016, R264 is fabulous for a treat, but for everyday drinking the Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo, R50 is just great.
Just so you know…
Because of the ongoing drought, the decrease in vineyard area and crop losses due to frost and hail, the 2018 wine grape crop is going to be the smallest since 2005, says VinPro’s Francois Viljoen – which means the prices will certainly go up. Relative to the rest of the world, though, we have incredible wine at very affordable prices, so we were probably due for an adjustment anyway. Still – stock up!