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Wines you (probably) have never tried

For many people, choosing a great wine can be a complex process. Picture: Pexels/Timur Saglambilek

For many people, choosing a great wine can be a complex process. Picture: Pexels/Timur Saglambilek

Published Jul 25, 2022


For many people, choosing a great wine can be a complex process.

A good wine shop will have a seemingly endless number of choices, making it tough for a customer to decide without expert help.

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After all, a description on a wine bottle can only do so much in terms of capturing the true essence of a wine.

For the best results and satisfaction, there’s nothing like curated suggestions. Below are good wines we think you (probably) have not tried and should try.

Ujva Wines

Ujva wines offer a pinotage reserve, a chardonnay, and a sauvignon blanc. Their pinotage, which is a uniquely South African varietal, is their flagship wine.

It best portrays SA as a successful wine producer and as a diverse country. The wine is from 2018 and matured in French oak barrels to give you an exceptional wine experience. The wine has a very smooth and velvety finish.

Also, because of its versatile nature, it can be enjoyed with all kinds of food. It is best paired with rich game meat as well as spice-rich food. Their pinotage is extremely well balanced and leaves a lasting impression on the consumer.

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Retail price: R179

Their chardonnay

It has fresh fruity flavours – lime, grapefruit, and citrus. It is light yellow, in colour, with a hint of green. It must be enjoyed now and within the next year. The wine is very refreshing and easy to drink.

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According to Ujva wines chief executive officer Ambuj Agarwal, this is why the wine can be enjoyed at any time of the day and on any occasion. Be it lunch or evening drinks at a party, this chardonnay is a sure winner.

Retail price: R119

And their sauvignon blanc is a pale lemon-yellow colour with an intense combination of litchi, melon, and gooseberry flavours. It has an energising acidity with a long-lasting taste. You can certainly enjoy the ‘sauv blanc’ in most situations.

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Agarwal suggests trying it when you’re with family or friends and are looking for a fruity and crispy wine to light up the occasion. It is well paired with seafood, creamy pasta, and salads.

Retail price: R119

Nederburg Double Barrel Reserve 2020. Picture: Supplied

Nederburg Double Barrel Reserve 2020

Nederburg in Paarl is one of South Africa's most awarded wineries, with a prize-winning pedigree that stems from a culture of innovation and disciplined attention to detail. The wines are richly fruited with bold flavours.

When it comes to this cabernet sauvignon, the fruits were sourced from top-performing vineyards primarily situated in the cool-climate Darling region, while the cabernet franc came from Philadelphia, the merlot from Darling and Stellenbosch, the Petit Verdot from Wellington, and the Valbec from Paarl.

The different micro-climates and soil types associated with each vineyard add to the complexity of this wine. An absolute treat with a wide range of South African street food such as bunny chow, vetkoek with mince, boerewors or steak rolls, dumplings with beef stew, or salami curry-filled roti the wine really well these dishes.

Retail price: R115

JNW Wines

A keen interest in wine, combined with an independent spirit, is what propelled KwaMashu-born entrepreneur Jay Nkosi to a path that birthed a flourishing wine brand called JNW (Jay Nkosi Wines). Founded in February this year, JNW’s selection of wines is a reflection of the constantly growing world of the winery industry.

With exquisite red and white wines sourced from the best vineyards in SA, each bottle carries Nkosi’s seal of approval.

Their main objective is to produce distinctive wines with quality, consistency, and longevity through prospective attention to detail.

Mentioning Bonang Matheba’s recent move in launching her very own champagne brand, House of BNG, Nkosi says that he couldn’t be more proud and is very happy to see a black woman owning her own brand. “I don’t do competitions. I build. I believe that as entrepreneurs, we are here to create jobs, not competition,” he says.

JNW wines offer merlot, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, pinotage, semi-sweet shiraz, Chenin blanc, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc wines from R75.

Boschendal Grande Cuvée Vintage Brut

Boschendal’s wine-making philosophy considers their tremendous natural heritage first and foremost.

Their vision is to balance tradition and experience with contemporary innovation to produce classic wines with measured modern new world attitudes that are uniquely Boschendal.

Their Boschendal Grande Cuvée Vintage Brut is a top-quality Méthode Cap Classique that can only be made from grapes cultivated in meticulously maintained vineyards.

The wine gives a fresh green apple and hints of citrus supported by discreet almond biscotti and brioche typical of the classic bottle fermented sparkling wine style. Its extended lees contact gives a full and creamy mouthful with elegant minerality, good balance, and a seamless finish.

The wine can be enjoyed chilled at any time of the day with good friends and good quality smoked salmon.It is also excellent with cream cheese and chive breakfast.

If you are a frequent local traveller, you will also find this vino being served onboard the Lift airline.

It is one of the amazing selections of wines the domestic airline, founded in December 2020 by former Uber Africa executive Jonathan Ayache and Gidon Novick, serves its travellers. At selected outlets, the wine retails for around R300.

Read the latest IOL Food DigiMag here.

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