Budget wines that won’t make you look cheap

Gone are the days of buying overpriced wines to impress your guests. There’s an art to sourcing high quality, locally-made wines which don’t cost an arm and a leg. We discovered what the experts rate as some of the best local wines at outstanding prices. Here’s how to stay silly this festive season.

What the expert says:
“A huge treat awaits the person who digs a little deeper and moves out of their comfort zone when it comes to wine,” says well-known food and wine writer, Michael Olivier. We asked Michael for his top recommendations of wines below R 50. Here are his choices:

White wines
Chenin Blanc: Landskroon 2012 at R31
Sauvignon Blanc: Alexanderfontein 2012 at R42.80 (Currently on special at Ultra Liquors for R33)
Chardonnay: Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Unwooded Chardonnay 2012 at R43
Red wines
Cabernet Sauvignon: Perdeberg 2011 at R35.30
Pinotage: Beyerskloof 2011 at R55
Merlot: Darling Cellars 6 Tonner 2010 at R44.95
Shiraz: Leopard’s Leap 2011 at R42

“Chenin Blanc offers great value for money and often you pay less for a better taste experience,” says Olivier, “Blended wines offer a more complex experience and often, entry level wines are very accessible and make for great drinking.”
To read more about Michael’s recommendations and tastings, click here.

*Prices listed above are direct from the wine farm. Prices are correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.

What the wine guide says:
The esteemed, annual Platter’s Wine Guide 2012 recommend their own favourite superquaffers:

Merlot: Havana Hills 2008 at R60
Pinotage: Swartland 2010 at R120
Shiraz: False Bay 2010 at R49
Red Blend: Bonnievale Cabernet Sauvignon- Shiraz 2009 at R41
Villiera Down to Earth 2010 at R48
Chardonnay: Durbanville Hills 2010 at R50
Glenelly The Glass Collection 2010 at R65
Pulpit Rock Brink Family 2011 at R30
Sauvignon Blanc: Klawer Birdfield 2011 at R25
White Blend: Post House Blueish White 2010  at R57.50

The Platter’s Superquaffer of the Year goes to:
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap White 2010, in store at R49.50.
*Prices listed above are direct from the wine farm unless otherwise specified. Prices are correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.

The Platters Wine Guide is a comprehensive South African wine guide. The 2013 version is currently selling on Kalahari.com for R118.

What the judges say:
The trusty Best Value Wine Awards has selected their winners for 2013. Wines require a minimum 2.5 star rating to appear in the Best Value Wine Guide, so each wine is guaranteed to be good quality.

The 41 Best Value Award winners for 2013 are:

White wines:
BC Wines Chenin Blanc 2012 (Brandvlei Cellar) – R20.00
Bain’s Way Viognier 2011 (Wellington Wines) – R24.30
Boland Cellar Five Climates Chenin Blanc 2012  – R25.50
Bon Courage Andre’s Fame Colombard 2012 – R22.00
Flutterby Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Boland Kelder) – R25.00
Pulpit Rock Brink Family Chenin Blanc 2012 – R24.00
Goedverwacht Crane White Chardonnay 2010  – R25.00
Goudini Chenin Blanc 2012 – R24.00
Martinique Johannisberger 2011 (Du Preez) – R21.55
Savanha Chenin Blanc 2011 (Spier) – R32.00
Versus White 2012 (the company of wine people) – R23.00

Rosé wines:

Live-a-Little Rather Revealing Rosé N/V – R21.00

Red wines:
Allée Bleue Starlette Pinotage 2011 – R32.00
Boschendal The Pavillion Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – R38.00
Cape Vinelands Merlot 2010 (Asara) – R24.99
Goedverwacht Crane Red Merlot 2011 – R25.00
Groot Eiland Shiraz Pinotage 2011 (uniWines Vineyards) – R50.00
Eikendal Cuvée Rouge 2011 – R30.50
Excelsior Purebred Red 2012 – R30.00
Havana Hills Lime Road Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc 2008 (Du Plessis) – R22.80
Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2011 – R34.50
Namaqua Beachbraai Cabernet Sauvignon N/V – R45.00
Obikwa Merlot 2011 – R29.99
Obikwa Shiraz 2011 – R29.99
Orange River Cellars Ruby Cabernet 2011 – R29.55
Tangled Tree Spicy Shiraz 2011 (Van Loveren) – R25.00
Van Loveren Blackberry Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2011 – R39.33

For the first time, a 5-star wine made it into the 2013 Best Value Wine Awards. The KWV Classic Cape Tawny is a sweet, wooded dessert wine which has won plenty of awards, from a Double Gold at the 2012 Veritas Wine Awards to a Gold at the Michelangelo CCL Label International Wine Awards 2012. Prices vary but you should be able to pick up a bottle for around R80.

Get a copy of the Best Value Wine Guide for only R32 here.

* Prices are correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.

What Moneybags says:
Unlabelled wines are a great budget purchase. Wines tend to be unlabelled due to excess stock or cancelled orders – although reasons may differ depending on the product. Take a look at some unlabelled wines on www.unlabelledwines.co.za or www.getwines.co.za  – you’re bound to find some excellent deals. You could even brand and label a bottle as a gift.

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