Sure, you can be boring and stick to beer or you could start taking your drinking seriously.
Wine has become a young man’s sport. Winemakers have freed themselves from pasting Cape Dutch farm houses on the labels and the oenophiles are finally popping the buttons on their waistcoats.
In short, there’s never been a better time to get into the stuff. Here’s everything you need to know, young brommelier.
Does the very thought of you sipping wine out of a wine glass, weird you out? Well according to David Cope from the Publik wine bar in Cape Town, he only uses tumblers.
It’s because there is something democratic about tumblers; they take the wine-or its drinker down a peg and lets you focus your attention on the actual enjoyment of the drinking.
Cope, says “It makes the drinking less pretentious, my friends laugh at me, but I even drink the really good stuff out of chunky tumblers.”
It’s an exciting time for South African wine, with our independent ’new wave’ winemakers gaining recognition around the world for their fresh approach.
Lighter reds, texture-driven whites and use of alternative grape varieties create new styles for the consumer to choose from.
In short, never before has there been a better time to try something new – go forth and discover! These are the top 8 summer wines according to David Cope. You have our permission to refer to them as the “Great Eight”:
1. Saltare Brut Nature NV
A classic combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it’s hard to beat this zero-dosage cap classique when it comes to serious quality at the right price (R191, publik.co.za)
2. Usana Pinot Gris 2015
Stock your fridge with this instead of acidic Sauvignon Blanc this summer: fresh, fruity and delicious, Pinot Gris is a great alternative (R85, publik.co.za).
3. City On A Hill White 2016
Easily one of my favourite white wines of the year – rich and complex, an impressive Chenin Blanc and Viognier blend in every way (R310, publik.co.za).
4. Fledge & Co Fume Blanc 2016
Approach this as if it was a white blend, even though it’s 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Barrel fermenting and ageing for 9 months makes it way more interesting than what you’d expect (R165, publik.co.za).
5. Cape Rock Rose 2016
Real men drink rosé. Really. Low in alcohol and refreshing like nothing else when served ice cold, you need to get on the rosé train (R75, publik.co.za).
6. The Blacksmith Barebones Cinsault 2017
Tremayne Smith is one of South Africa’s most exciting winemakers and one taste of this light, crunchy red shows you why (R120, publik.co.za).
7. WOGH Thirst Gamay Noir 2017
If you’ve drunk Beaujolais, you’ve drunk the Gamay Noir grape – perfumed and fruity but with ample acidity to balance, ideal for this time of year.
8. Gabrielskloof Chenin Blanc 2017
It’s no secret South Africa’s best white varietal is Chenin Blanc and wines like this (at this price!) add further confirmation. Stock the fridge (R95, publik.co.za)!
12 is the number of tumblers you should have in your kitchen cupboard this summer.
X + 6 the equation used to find out how much wine you need for your braai, where x is the number of people attending your braai.
Now that you’re clued up on how to enjoy wine this summer, all that is left for you to do is enjoy.