WINE

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…

Fairlady - - CONTENTS - BY SUZY BROKENSHA

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!

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