CABERNET SAUVIGNON: For big personality and loads of dark fruit
Wine writer, Tshephang Molisana: In a frosty Joburg winter, a layered, complex Cabernet Sauvignon in my glass is all I need to conjure up memories of wonderful times spent with great friends around a roaring fire. This red Bordeaux grape – a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc – is the most widely planted in the world and always offers something new.
One of my favourites is the Glen Carlou Gravel Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 – I love the warming notes of cigar box and cherry.
You’ll also like: Woolies’ Signature Cabernet Sauvignon by Thelema, R169.99
WOODED CHARDONNAY: For rich buttery, vanilla and citrus flavours
Globetrotting SA sommelier, Taryn Nortje: Red wines and cold weather definitely go hand in hand, but I urge you to also keep your wooded Chardonnay close in winter 2019. My favourites are full-bodied and have a wonderful mouthcoating richness. The way I see it, a well-balanced wooded Chardonnay, with notes of sweet baking spices, honey and butterscotch, could very well be a red wine disguised as a white. And it will definitely have enough oomph to pair beautifully with veal dishes, pastries, pot pies and even roast potatoes. I recently left Restaurant Mosaic to travel through India but I’ll be sipping plenty of SA Chards while I’m away.
Try the: Woolies’ Signature Chardonnay by De Wetshof, (winner: Best Quality Chardonnay in the PLMA 2019 International Salute to Excellence Awards), R139.99
BUBBLY: For subtle hints of spiced apple and toasted nuts
Woolies wine buyer, Rebecca Constable: You really don’t have to limit your MCC drinking to summer. For me, there’s no better way to cure the winter blues than sipping a glass of fine bubbly on a chilly evening while throwing logs on the fire. It’s a wine that’s versatile enough to take to the dinner table for one of my favourite meals: seared duck breast with roast veggies (I might even open a second bottle when I head back to the couch to watch The Crown on Netflix). The Woolies Villiera Vintage Reserve 2012 gets my vote for best wine to drink in winter 2019.
You’ll also like: Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay Brut Méthode Cap Classique, R189.99
RED BORDEAUX BLEND: For elegant black fruit flavours
Wine educator, Cathy Marston (thewinecentre.co.za): If I dare say it myself, British people are very good at winter food. We’re all about long, low and slow cooking, especially when there’s a good red blend to drink with it.I’m a hug Bordeaux blend fan – combinations of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and sometimes small amounts of Malbec and Petit Verdot. They’re elegant and rich, and you’ll find that they’re beautifully balanced by fresh acidity and velvety tannins.The Constantia Glen Five is my kind of wine – styled for the long term but a de nite treat now, as is one of my absolute favourites, the Raats Red Jasper.
Stay warm – drink red!
You’ll also like: Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvigno Merlot, R99.99
GRENACHE: For red fruit and subtle white pepper flavours
BLACC Cellar Club chairperson, Pearl Oliver: Aaah, winter … a time forfireplaces, warm cuddles from your kids, cosy times with your partner, and great wine in your glass, of course. Grenache is always my choice. And if you don’t already know the stunning Tierhoek Grenache from Piekenierskloof in the Swartland, made by Ian Niewoudt, what are you waiting for? It’s a local beauty showing gorgeous red fruit and spicy flavour.
You’ll also like: Ken Forrester Grenache, R79.99
SYRAH: For red fruit, spice and smoke with savoury undertones
Savage Wines winemaker, Duncan Savage: Syrah is always my go-to when the temperature drops. This year I’m drinking Keermont Steepside Syrah because the wine – made from grapes grown on the slopes of the Helderberg in Stellenbosch – is epic! The guy who makes it, Alex Starey, is a mate of mine and happens to be making some of the best wines in SA right now. Good wine needs no special occasion, just good glassware.
Don’t be scared to pull the cork, life is short!
You’ll also like: Radford Dale Syrah, R129.99
GEWÜRZTRAMINER: For clove and litchi flavours to match spicy wintry food
Blogger Roxanne La Vita (The Witty Wine Woman): Gerwürztraminer is a winter staple. It’s a sweeter, aromatic white wine that traditionally smells of litchi, but can also have accents of ruby red grapefruit, honey, apricot and rose petals. Gerwürtztraminer is best when served chilled and can be enjoyed on its own but it’s also an excellent pairing for winter favourites such as spicy Middle Eastern and Indian dishes, as the inherent aromas of the wine highlight the flavours in the food.
It’s also perfect when you want to introduce someone to the world of wine as there’s not overwhelming acidity on the palate.
You’ll like: Simonsig Gerwürztraminer, available directly from Simonsig