HERITAGE Day this Tuesday offers a day off and the possibility of some sunshine, the perfect excuse to celebrate our many heritages with that great, cross-cultural South African tradition of a braai – accompanied of course by great South African wine.
The humble braai hasn't escaped the trend for home cooking with gourmet flair and where a 5l cheapie box might have done the trick in the past, there's growing interest in pairing the right wine with your garlicky lamb chop, sticky pork rib or foil-wrapped juicy fish.
While you may not be uncorking your most prized five star wines for quaffing round the fire, it is worth seeking out wines that offer good value and quality, and can stand up to the strong flavours of tangy marinades, spicy sausages, garlic bread and vinegary salad dressings.
DuToitskloof reliably delivers quality above its price point and, for those committed to the box, their 3-litre Chenin Blanc is the same wine as what's in the bottle, giving you four bottles of well-balanced tropical citrusiness for a shade more than the price of two (R29.90 per bottle or R65.50 for the box).
King of Chenin Ken Forrester's pocket-friendly Petit range of Chenin, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Pinotage and Cab/ Merlot also delivers great quality at around R42.
For something different, turn to Italy's most popular white wine, Pinot Grigio. Flat Roof Manor makes a light, crisp option with flavours of peach, apricot and litchi, perfect for a summery day (R39).
Danie's Backyard Blend (R48) from Allesverloren is a slightly more serious braai wine, an easy-drinking Shiraz-based blend with layers of plum and smoky flavours – a must alongside steak or ostrich on the braai.
Knorhoek's Two Cubs dry red and white are also happy, full-flavoured braai partners at R19.90, and for more pre-payday bargains in that price bracket, you won't go wrong with the Maiden's Prayer red or white from Diemersfontein (R24.90), or the Obikwa, Unbelievable or Old Tunnel ranges.
Prices are from Preston's Main Road, Walmer.
If you're looking for something new and different to add to your wine rack, then The Granary in Stanley Street is the place to be on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 September. The wine bar For the Love of Wine is hosting their Spring Indie Wine Show there from 4pm to 9pm. For R80 per person, wine-lovers can sample wines from 20 boutique and lesser-known estates, along with live music and stylish snacks from neighbouring Flava on sale. Tickets are available from For the Love of Wine.