Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Super Affordable From South Africa

My interest in South African wines started when Zane Lamprey went there on Three Sheets.  He sampled some of Fairview’s Goats Do Roam wines and I went right out to find them myself.  Since then, I have tried all three (?) varieties and I LOVE them.  I’ve tried some of Fairview’s other wines and I have liked them all.  So when I needed a new topic, I though why not expand on affordable South African wines?

I found that our local Total Wine had plenty of affordable South African wines to choose from.  My first choice was Star Tree Nouveau Rouge.  It was a 2009 vintage and cost $9.99.  It was a medium bodied red with hints of raisin and nuts.  It was well balanced and a bit different, which I liked.  I drank it alone but I think it would pair well with cheese and red meat.

My second choice was a 2010 Spier Chenin Blanc that was a steal at $7.99.  I noticed the color at first since it had a bit of a greenish hue.  It had the aroma of tropical fruit which carried over to the taste.  I also detected a bit of kiwi.  It had a nice acidity.  I sampled this alone as well but Spier recommends pairing it with goat cheese, sushi, pasta and pizza.  Total Wine had several Spier varieties in stock and almost all of them fit my budget criteria so I plan on picking some of them up to try.

My third and last choice was a 2010 Chardonnay by Excelsior that also cost $9.99.  Like the Chenin Blanc, this wine also had a bit of a green hue.  It had aromas of peach and orange and had the taste of green apples.  It was a bit creamy and nicely fruity with a medium body.  I really enjoyed this one and I am guessing the fact that it is only lightly oaked had something to do with it.  Recommended pairings are grilled seafood and lightly spiced Thai chicken dishes.  I LOVE Thai food so that is a pairing I definitely want to try.

In my opinion, South Africa has a plethora of good, affordable wines to offer and I plan to stay on the lookout for more!

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