South Africa is one of the best, and prettiest wine countries. But who knows this – other than those fortunate enough to have experienced the Victorian splendour of Stellenbosch, the sexy French restaurants in Franschhoek, sunset over Table mountain and the greatest flower show on earth. None of this comes through in the sterile South African section at your local store. And why should we choose their wines when there are at least three other countries offering lower prices – along with a hefty dose of trendy.
Let me give you one reason to shop South Africa. A big reason – it delivers something different. A red wine style that combines old world earthiness with New World bigness and richness. Winemakers will tell you that SA has super-old soils which give the wines a more interesting character than basic fruitiness. And it’s true.
Many South African reds have smokey, BBQ’d flavours. How great is that. Railroad Red is the perfect welcome to South Africa. Big, hearty red wines with spicy, smokey, deep-down flavours. Ah, the old soils! Rich red that’s also dry and invigorating.
Bellingham Shiraz feels half New World and half French. Ripe flavours and richness along with an earthy tang. Will seduce without killing the appetite.
BEST USE: Hearty meals on cool evenings.
Graham Beck 08 ‘Railroad Red’, South Africa 665273 $12.95
Bellingham 07 Shiraz/Viognier, South Africa 554360 $13.65