Tag Archives: wine

Wines Simple Nuances

The wine culture in South Africa has shown tremendous growth potential both internationally and locally. Finding its way into new markets, by new markets I am referring to the black community and young market. At one point the wine culture was taboo within the black community but today every other person especially young black females prefer wine to ciders and spirits. I will list a few wines that I have had the pleasure of running down my tongue…let me put this out there, I am a light drinker and a very particular at that.

The wines that I have found to be most popular are Nederburg and Robertsons wine that you can buy just about anywhere in supermarkets or off the menu. These two wines are also the most widely consumed especially the boxed wine which is popular because of the affordability and size it comes in.

I myself prefer bottled wine and I have a love and respect for the wine culture, I think I am more in-love with the actual culture and mystic of wine than I am of the wine itself. Maybe this is the reason I do not yet have a firm favourite.

I will list some of the wines that my friends love to drink that I have enjoyed drinking. These wines are different with their own characteristics. And if you are planning a dinner party you could use each bottle to compliment a different dish.

Nederburg is the first wine I was introduced to, I think I loved the classic look of the bottle first and I got curious about the content. I like the Rose because it is light, good for someone who wants something more like a cocktail or cider but it does not really offer body or that panache wine taste. I settled on the Wine Masters Reserve Sauvignon Blanc it is light but with body, it has subtle herbaceous nuances, with a sought of light/smooth texture to it, this wine I drink because it’s light. I also tried the Nederburg Baronne, very different from the Sauvignon Blanc because it’s full bodied. I could actually taste the berries and oak and the ruby red colour just made me feel like yes this is it…but it’s also very dry so it’s not the sought of wine I would drink at leisure but certainly when I want to have a full bodied glass of wine where I can taste every bit of its character and nuances.


As If Nederburg wasn’t enough I discovered Ratafia by Haute Cabriere. This wine tastes like a combination of wine and whiskey in a way. It’s like a cross of the two. It’s an exciting wine to drink with rich flavours of spirit and a sweet delight.


The one wine that has managed to embody the best of both worlds for me is the Meerlust Merlot, wine maker Chris Williams. This wine I would say, has a much more mature characteristic to it. The ingredients work well together non over powering the other. It’s spicy, ripe, fruity with refreshing acidity, structured yet silky tannins and has pronounced length and minerality. The Meerlast Merlot is the kind of wine I can have any day and enjoy it fully.

Wine is a culture best enjoyed when put to the test, in keeping up with tradition I have listed some pairings that I suggest you try together with your selected wine to fully enjoy the wine culture. When enjoying your meal savor the moment, savor the taste. Try and taste the embodiment of the wine and it’s simple nuances to enjoy the experience, cheers.

Wine Pairings / Compliments:

Ratafia by Haute Cabriere

Enjoy as aperitif or with starters:

Liver, Liver paste and scallops, escargots with decadent desserts it is a delicious digestif.

Nederburg Wine Masters Reserve Sauvignon Blanc


Chutney and Herb Glazed Ribs

Nederburg Baronne


Slow Cooked Sunday Lamb

Meerlust Merlot


Red meat, Game and strong cheeses

Nederburg Rose


Cherries, strawberries etc.


The La Bri Winery a French Legacy


World wide the French are known for their exceptional winemaking style and flair for romance. What better way to celebrate South African heritage than to enjoy a glass full of French legacy from our very own La Bri winery.
La Bri is part of South Africa’s best kept secrets, it is a vineyard covering 15.5 hectares in the Cape winelands. It is part of more than 40 Franschhoek vignerons, which is known to produce some of the world’s finest wines.

La Bri was originally granted to Jacob de Villiers, it was the first of nine farms granted to the main group of the Huguenots back in 1694. But, it was Jacobs’ son Jacques who settled on the farm, later buying Boschendal from his brother Abraham’s estate, over time the farm was split into three. In 1744 after several owners have come and gone Pieter Eduard Hauman bought the farm that today is ‘La Bri’ which is a French name for ‘refuge/shelter’. The French exquisite style of winemaking has been handed down for generations.

La Bri boasts a state of the art modern 120 ton cellar on the estate, with its unique design and gravity fed processes. It’s tailored to produce wine of the highest quality and embodies all that is unique about La Bri’s vineyard and terrain. La Bri uses modern and traditional wine making style and minimises the use of pumps by applying gravity to its grapes and wine.
Irene Waller the winemaker, is a passionate viticulturalist whose exceptional wine making style exubarates and diffuses into a fine selection of wines, that is sure to entice and tantalise your taste buds. The wines exude the audacious nature of Irene Waller.

La Bri winery has an array of wines made from the picturesque La Bri vineyard, where care and timing of the vines seems to be an artform Irene is determined to perfect with each harvest. La Bri produces six wines from its vineyard the Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Affinity, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. The Cabernet was given an incredible 5 star rating and awarded first place by the Christian Eedes Cabernet Report 2013 and the Syrah has just been listed in the Top 12 wines in the Shiraz SA Challenge. The bottle of each wine is embellished with an indigenous flower with the exception of Syrah which has a herb, giving each wine an identity and a tale.

La Bri wines is made for enjoyment with a splicing of flavours that is sure to give one a sense of explosive indulgence to savour. “My aim is to produce handcrafted wine, created with passion. My ideal would be for all my wines to be enjoyed with food. I believe that the right combination allows both the food and wine to express themselves fully. One should not overpower the other. A marriage of flavours where subtle nuances are enhanced, for example that saltiness of capes that ties in with the saltiness of our Cab and make the wines explode on the palate” said Irene Waller. It is no secrete that La Bri wine has personality.

To fully enjoy La Bri wines, we thought it best that Irene shares with you some of her favourite pairings, that you are sure to enjoy.

La Bri Chardonnay – be extravagant – enjoy crayfish tails on a lemon risotto with roasted almonds
La Bri Merlot – stay away from anything sweet – A Fillet with Merlot jus
La Bri Syrah – perfect with spice and liquorice – either a chocolate ganache with liquorice icecream,
La Bri Affinity – vension with smoked bonemarrow and wild mushroom jus
La Bri Cabernet sauvignon – Hearty lentil soup with capers and cinnamon crème
La Bri Viognier – Spicy Thai prawn curry

A visit to the La Bri vineyard will leave you breathless. You will hear the clapping of trees leaves, the flutter of birds wings and the whistling of the wind.A sea of breeze comes over you like a wave and lifts your spirit high up into the sky, where the stars turn into ripe, sweet, juicy vines that gush and burst in your mouth. Teasing your taste buds, and exploding like confetti into a million hues and tones. Swirls you and slowly subsides you as if in a hot air balloon that sways you into a landing on your feet, leaving you feeling as if you are in a dream.

La Bri is set on not only being one of South Africa’s best wineries but a great international contender, and with the likes of Irene Waller the South African art of winemaking is set to get the world peeping south.

Posted By kelly mthethwa to PEEPSOUTH on 6/23/2013 02:51:00 am