Winter warmer red wine will keep the chill at bay
Let's look at four new arrivals
Brrr! It’s getting chilly, and in the world of food and wine, winter brings out all those adjectives that make us feel warm – spicy, earthy, meaty, hearty, smoky and so on.
Four new red arrivals do just that job of lending some warming cheer on a wintry day, each with their own particular character.
Pinot noir is often billed as a good red wine for summer – lighter in colour and served lightly chilled, it’s definitely a good call – but its depth of flavour and characteristic savouriness and earthiness make it a good one for wintry firesides and hearty meals too.
The newly released 282 Pinot Noir 2016 from Elgin Ridge is a great example of that. Grown at 282m above sea level on the cool Elgin slopes and aged in oak for 10 months, its colour is quite deep by pinot noir standards, reflecting a wine that’s darkly intense and deeply savoury, with floral and cherry notes brightening the flavours, a silky texture, and a touch of spicy cloves on a lingering finish.
The wine is an overall sensory experience – so densely flavourful that you almost want to eat it (R250 from the cellar).
Tokara Shiraz 2017 (about R120) does the job of adding spice to winter in typical and classy shiraz style – loads of succulent berries balanced with black olives, rosemary and black pepper, it’s juicy, dry and easy-drinking with warm, wintry vibes.
The flavours in the wine make roast meats with similar seasonings an easy choice.
The classic South African red blend, Roodeberg – which Wynboer magazine in 1986 described as being “like a hug from home” for South Africans abroad, back in the days when it was made exclusively for export – celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.
The commemorative Roodeberg 2017 in anniversary packaging that will make a good collector’s item. It is great value at under R90.
A blend mostly of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, it’s hearty stuff for sharing round a winter’s table – warm, aromatic and plummy with touches of dark chocolate and soft tannins for easy drinking.
De Krans Basket Press Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (R75) must surely be a win in its hometown of Calitzdorp on chilly Karoo evenings. Basket-pressing results in gentle tannins and a wine that’s not as heavy-hitting as cabernet can be.
As a “lighter” cabernet sauvignon, it’s fresh but still with typical cab cigarbox and dark fruit characteristics, great for everyday drinking with a braai, pasta or pizza.