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It’s summer but we’re staying in the red

According to the book of Ecclesiastes, and Nina Simone, to everything there is a season. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to drink wine and a time to refrain from drinking. For those of you who did a dry January, I applaud you. I however made no such resolutions and so can better advise you which wines to drink in February, and which to continue avoiding.

Probably much to readers’s chagrin in the Western Cape, I have not yet jumped off my red wine bandwagon. I suppose it has much to do with the Joburg weather being overcast, rainy and slightly chilly. Thus despite the Cape heat, this column is once again packed with Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon. At least the wine is good, even if the weather isn’t.

Starting off with the Spier Pinotage, Spier have monopolised a niche in the wine market. Their wines are never brilliant and yet you find yourself returning to them over and over again because they are never entirely terrible either. Spier is the kind of wine that you would never take to a pretentious dinner party but are happy to open for a chinwag on the couch with friends. Spier is a last minute, rainy evening, pasta and Netflix kind of wine. The kind you could sip a glass of and add to your cooking at the same time. With this in mind, the Spier Pinotage 2020 does not fail us. Medium bodied, slightly spicy, with hints of mulberry and cherry, it is enjoyable. Will I buy it again? Certainly, but only at the end of the month when the budget is tight.

Next up is the Springfield Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon. Now this is a wine I would have no qualms taking to a pretentious dinner party. Springfield is pretty much the best value for money you can get when it comes to a good wine. Year after year this estate win accolades and awards and yet almost none of their wines are priced over R200. Springfield’s wines are brilliant, affordable, and beautifully packaged, making quality wine accessible. I had another crack at their Whole berry Cab Sav a couple weeks back and can happily report that my opinion of this estate remains unchanged. This wine has a velvety mouth feel with soft tannins and a lingering hint of spices such as cumin and cardamom. I tried the 2019 vintage, which could probably benefit from another one to two years of ageing to really bring it to its full potential, but it is also more than quaffable as is.

The Spier Pinotage 2020 ranges between R78 to R85, depending on which liquor store you frequent. The same can be said of the Springfield Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, which ranges from R149 to R164.