Tag Archives: South Africa

Weekly Wine – Nederberg

8 Mar

The Nederberg Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon
South Africa
14.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This wine is corked – at first one feels rather posh opening it up.
But then after scrambling around looking for a corkscrew – one gets a distinct and vigorous pop as the cork leaves the confines of the bottle.
Then the pour.
Then the sip.
This wine is rather sour – at first quite unpleasantly. It is a bit harsh and acidic.
Yet the sourness mellows after two or more tastes.
It also is mellowed with a few “just this side of stale” tortilla chips – plain without salsa.
The wine looks nice – classy label, a cork, it looks very elegant. Perhaps this is why the experience of drinking it is a bit of a let-down. It is a dry acidic wine. It is OK but I would pass on it – unless I want to impress someone with a fancy bottle.

Weekly Wine – Vinecrafter

18 Jan

vinecraftsKWV The Vinecrafter Chemin Blanc
South Africa
13.0% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

Not sure if I’m going to get to the bottom of this.
This meaning the bottle of this South African wine.
The first sips were rather brutal – the wine was at room temperature so the bottle ended up in the freezer to get down to a more suitable temperature.
That didn’t help much.
I started to think I should chill my lips so the wine doesn’t warm up before it hits my taste buds – but that’s too much work.
The wine is very acidic. Too acidic. I have never had a wine so acidic that it hides the flavour completely. It is like those children sour candies that have some sour stuff over a sugary candy. But there is no candy here. There is no discernible flavour that I can pick out with my acid infested palate.
Perhaps this bottle is off?
I won’t buy another to try.

Weekly Wine – Southern Blend

2 Nov

1102tocsmTwo Oceans Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
South Africa
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

The label of this wine screams quality.
It looks elegant. It looks sophisticated. It looks like it costs more than ten bucks.
Well it tastes like ten bucks. Perhaps a bit more – but not much more.
It is an okay wine – a bit unrefined, a bit raw, a bit sour.
The acidity is noticeable as are the sulphites. There is a nice cherry flavour but that is whisked away by the sourness and acidity. Are they sour cherries? Not sure.
This wine has a pleasant body that is not too heavy so perhaps that’s what brings out the sourness and acidity. The medium body and acidity actually work well on a warm evening so this is why this wine presents me with a quandary.
Is it a great wine? No.
Is it OK? Yeah… I guess so.
Would I buy it again? Probably.

Weekly Wine – Southern Pinot Grigio

5 Oct

1005topgTwo Oceans Pinot Grigio
South Africa
12.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

The first impressions with this wine is that it is quite acidic. It is not overly acidic but that is the first impression that I got and the first words that I wrote.
It is a very lightly coloured wine – think diluted apple juice to the point where you basically have no apple juice flavour.
Now for the second swig of wine.
This wine has flavour. Buckets of it. It is acidic but it is crisp it is sharp. The flavours are exotic (as they should be this is South African) with a citrus melange and I’d like to say apples but they are not apples. I’m probably just thinking of apples. It is a nice flavour is what I’m getting at and there is absolutely no after taste.
This wine needs to be well chilled – as it is warming up it is getting a bit more sour. Or maybe it is just getting tart. The McIntosh apple flavour being replaced by Granny Smith.
I must have apples on my mind.

Weekly Wine – Southern Shiraz

14 Sep

0914toshirazTwo Oceans Shiraz
14% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I didn’t like the first sip of this wine.
It was heavy and hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was sharp and cut my palate brusquely. My tongue was on fire.
I have to explain that I was working all day ripping apart my office/studio – cleaning every nook and cranny.
This shiraz was not what the doctor ordered.
However – I persisted in drinking this wine and was greatly rewarded.
Yes, it is spicy and harsh and full bodied – but it is a nice raw experience. An assault on the senses. It is saying – I might be inexpensive but taste the glory that I am. The flavour is simple and sublime and is in fact hidden by the sharpness of the wine.
No matter.
I have gone from not much liking this wine to contemplating this as a go to wine for the winter months in a mere two-and-a-half glasses.
Well done for this wine.

Weekly Wine – Stormy Bay

2 May

StormyStormy Bay Cabernet Sauvignon
South Africa
14% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I liked this wine.
It had a nice bite to it. It was crisp and to the point.
There was a bit of a strange aftertaste but this was easily overlooked.
The first thing that stood out is that the colour was very nice – a very nice ruby red. The first sips were crisp and gave me the well-rounded, full-bodied flavour. The strange aftertaste just lingered or a little while on the palate and then quickly dissipated.
This wine stacks up well to other wines in the price category. It has a nice flavour and no real bad characteristics. It does not really stand out, but its sharp delivery of flavour makes it a nice wine.
The label is pretty funky as well.

Weekly Wine –Two Oceans SB

2 Mar


Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc
South Africa
13% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

If you look closely at the label on this wine bottle you will notice that there are these printed squiggles on the scene of the land jutting into the sea. When the light hits the bottle just right they will jump out. Otherwise they are fairly muted.
I write this because I am really at a loss for words on this wine. It is a nice, light, classy white wine. It doesn’t really stand out though.
It is OK.
Just OK.
I am trying to muster the muscles and the senses that will give me something about this wine that but the simple OK. There are hints of fruits and berries but they are very muted and not meant to stand out or offend. The label recommends, “Great with: Thai dishes, chicken, grilled fish, shellfish and nuts.” I look in my kitchen and see I’m out of luck in these categories. Will a can of tuna do? Should I order Thai?
This wine is OK, spectacularly OK.


Weekly Wine – Obikwa

2 Sep

SONY DSCObikwa Shiraz
South Africa
13.5% ABV
$9.45 (LCBO)

There is a bite to this wine that troubles me.
It is there with every sip. It is there even after I nosh on something.
This bite, which hits me back in the throat, distracts me from enjoying this wine.
It is fruity, but what fruits do I taste? There’s that bite!
It is dry but a bit sweet. I don’t know. I can’t tell. There’s that bite!
Such a shame. Is it the sulphites? Is it the wine? I can’t tell, there’s that bite!
The wine in this pleasant looking bottle is disappointing because of that bite. It denotes cheapness and a lack of finesse.
However, the label proudly tells me that the container is a “eco-friendly lightweight bottle.”
Well at least that’s something.



Weekly Wine – Frisky Zebra

12 Aug

Frisky Zebra Seductive Shiraz
Year: N/A
South Africa
13.5% ABV
$9.00 (LCBO)

This wine hits all the right buttons.
What a cool label … and it’s South African!
It is fair trade wine – who knew … but great!
This wine is carbon neutral – how great is that.
Is it organic? Well it does not say so. Is this a mark against this wine.
This wine is ordinary. And ordinary in a bad way. It had a bit of bitterness around it. Is it the sulphites that are in the wine? Are the sulphites free trade. Carbon neutral. The wine does not start or finish well. It is definitely not a frisky wine. It is a wine that one finds at the end of a rough night and mutter, “That’ll do.”
I don’t mind a good marketing campaign. And this will hit the buttons – a low price and “morally pure” wine. This wine is deceptive – promising much but delivering a subpar wine. It is drinkable – but only if you have to


Weekly Wine – Chenin Blanc

30 Apr


KVW Chenin Blanc
South Africa
12% ABV
$9.45 (LCBO)

This wine was an experiment, of sorts. My very significant other usually questions my obsession with the sub ten dollar wine world.
I had bought a rather more expensive wine to sample and it did not really suit us. So I opened this one.
Didn’t do it either.
So the score is really 0-0.

The wine is sour. The sourness hits early and sticks around to remind you that it is sour. The wine was chilled but obviously not enough. We put it in the fridge and go it down to refrigerator temperature. The wine was okay, but not spectacular. The sourness was gone because of the cold. When the glass was out for five minutes and the temperature rose a few degrees the sourness returned.
Lime many inexpensive white wines, this will be nice for making spritzers in the summer.
I’ll pass.