IF Boer & Brit had made wine not war South Africa would be a better place today. I became convinced of that last week after the Boer, Stefan Kruger, took my little tasting panel through four of the budget wines he makes with his Brit partner Alex Milner.
Kruger is descended from Oom Paul himself and Milner, despite bearing the name of the Cape Governor of the day, traces his direct lineage from the distinguished British cavalry general (later Field Marshall) Sir John French.
The two winemakers met while studying vini- culture at Stellen- bosch where they dis- covered a shared belief – there was too much snobbery and mystique about wine. So they resolved to debunk it.
Rock Spider and Rooinek was considered and rejected before settling on Boer & Brit.
Next step was to source grape supplies from10 selected farms across the winelands and negotiate production space at the Bovlei winery. By 2008 the first wine was in the bottle and two years later Boer & Brit was born.
But funky the wine had to be bottles so they did part of the range in 500ml beer bottles under a Bob's Your Uncle label (after Lord Roberts) complete with bowler, monocle and twirled moustache. The rest of the range includes unlikely names like Suiker Bossie Ek Wil Jou Hê, Bring My Tuis Toe, the General and the Field Marshall – and glow-in-the-dark labels are on the way.
Maverick the brand may be but the market seems unfazed. Production in two years has reached about 30 000 cases and the wine is selling worldwide, particularly in Britain and Europe.
The General and the Field Marshall are the flagship blends of four-star quality (and not badly priced at R65) but in deference to my search for bargain quality my panel was introduced to the Bob's Your Uncle red and white (R20 for 500ml) and the Suiker Bossie rooi and wit (R35 standard bottle)
First up was Bob's white, a pale chenin-sav-blanc blend, and we all loved it.
Fruity dry with distinctive lemon it also cracked the nod later at dinner with the avo ritz, seafood cocktail and camembert starters.
Bob's red is a multi blend including merlot, pinno and sangiovese. Nice with steak but I preferred the Suikerbossie Roi (R35). Conversely the Bob's white was preferred to the Suikerbossie Wit, proving once again that tastes are personal.
So if you believe in those who make wine not war give these a shot. They're available at Pick n Pay.