Surviving Janu-worry: our top wines under R100
It comes as no surprise that the month of January is the most dreaded of the year. After Christmas the bills seem to pile up – (not to mention credit card debt) – and once the fun and festivities of the holidays are over and the lights and decorations are taken down, our mood can be low too.
People are paid early in December, in a moment that feels like an early festive season gift (don’t be fooled!). It simply means January feels that much longer. By mid-month we’re eating crackers and staying home on the weekend just to save. And alas the cellar is on the empty side!
In the complicated world of wine, price isn’t always an indication of quality. Meaning, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of Rands to enjoy a high-quality and delicious bottle of wine. Cheap wine doesn’t necessarily mean bad wine.
Luckily for you the Good Wine Shop has compiled a selection of wines from well-established estates and wineries and prominent winemakers in South Africa that will only cost you between R50 and R100 per bottle.
From Sauvignon Blanc – the name means “wild white” in French – to Chardonnay and all the shades of red, we’ve got you covered to make this January a little less worrisome.
Invite friends and family for a tasting like a professional with the following tips in mind:
Investing in proper stemware can be a worthwhile start.
For white wine – a more U-shaped bowl is used to preserve aroma and maintain a cooler temperature.
For red wine – a larger wine glass is used to diminish the bitterness of tannin or the spiciness to deliver a smoother tasting wine. Bordeaux and Burgundy glasses are the most common. The Bordeaux glass is taller than traditional red wine glasses, yet the bowl is not quite as large, designed perfectly for full bodied, heavier reds. Burgundy wine glasses (particularly for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) are broad with a big bowl to build up aroma. The balloon-shaped glass is perfect for capturing the complex characteristics of a light or medium-bodied red wine.
Red wines pair best with bold flavoured meats, for example red meat, while white wines pair best with light-intensity meats (e.g. fish or chicken). Sweeter wines are great with spicy food. Easy meals like pizza, often go swimmingly with a light red like Cinsault, Gamay Noir or Pinot Noir.
White wine should typically be served between 7 and 13 degrees Celsius (about one hour in the refrigerator – not too much longer as your fridge tends to be around 2 degrees). When white wine is served too warm, it will lack acidity and structure, but if it’s too cold, the aromas and flavors will be masked.
While we typically think of red wine being served at room temperature, this rule was made when wine was still commonly served in drafty stone castles – certainly not the norm for most of us! We recommend cooling your wine for 15 to 20 minutes before serving to achieve the perfect temperature (13 to 18 degrees Celsius). When red wine is served too warm, it can become overly alcoholic, but if too cold, the wine will close up and the flavours muted.