Menings/Views

Menings oor wyn en wynverwante aangeleenthede/Views on wine and wine related maters. bacchus@planeetwyn.co.za.

Must-drink grapes from Greece

Grapes from Greece to enjoy ... in a bottle!

Considering the inroads Greeks have made for us moderns in architectural design, mathematics, theater and more, wine is no exception, writes Claudia Angelillo. Greece is an indisputable forbear of grape growing and winemaking. Every sip of Greek wine represents expertise and intuition spanning centuries.

Pinotage that will change your mind

Pinotage, a true blue South African, and one we all can be very proud of.

Not a fan of Pinotage? Time Atkin MW explains why you should give it another chance, and picks five wines to change your mind.

Boschendal winemaker talks bubbles!

The bubbly Lizelle Gerber and one of her bubblies!

Never one to limit winemaking to the cellar, Lizelle Gerber – winemaker at Boschendal and one of South Africa’s brightest wine stars – believes in getting her hands dirty in the vineyards so that she is able to truly appreciates the fruit of the vines. Gerber’s passion for Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) has seen her refine and evolve the estate’s bubbly into a highly sought after product.

But let her explain the intricacies of producing a bottle of MCC “magic”.

How chenin blanc charms the wine experts

Chenin blanc

If there was a boxing match of sorts for sommeliers, it wouldn’t be hard to get them to trade punches over which white grape is the most elegant, age-worthy, and terroir-expressive: riesling or chenin blanc, writes Rachel Signer.

Old Vine Chilean carignan: an emerging wine region with a lot to offer

All you need to know about carignan.

Chile’s Old Vine Carignan is coming! writes Gregory Dal Piaz. These are bush-trained, dry-farmed vines in a nation of lush vineyards. They are threads of legacy that tie the current wine industry to its roots. These vines are the same vines that subsistence farmers used for decades to make wine for local consumption, though today things have changed.

WINE OF THE MONTH: GlenWood Chardonnay Grand Duc 2013

Our Wine of the Month for February.

From chenin blanc to semillon, from merlot to shiraz, and from rosé to bubbly, they all featured in this month’s “battle of the taste buds”. Seven whites, three reds, three pinks and a bubbly: it was a good wine month!

Making sense of sparkling wines

South Africa's Cap Classiques are a match for French Champagne any day!

I was recently challenged to find a wine that would match a delicate dessert and continue to drink well into those lazy, mellow moments that follow every memorable meal, writes John Downes MW. There were several contenders, but I went for Demi-Sec Champagne. Controversial I know, but most Houses produce Demi-Sec including Moet et Chandon, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot, Lanson and Laurent-Perrier, so it wasn’t so difficult to find.

As he popped open the Demi-Sec bubbles my host asked, “How do you tell how sweet or dry a Champagne is?” Good question! The answer is on the label. Read on to learn all the ins and outs of French letters and numbers so you’ll be in the know in time for your next big celebration!

The world’s most undervalued wines: Chilean Pinot Noir

A pinot noir vineyard in Chile.

Everyone wants a good deal, writes Gabe Sasso. It doesn’t matter what you’re buying, we all like to save a buck.

In the wine world there are several ways to save money and get a good bottle of wine. One in particular is to shop in categories that aren’t as popular, well known or highly scored as some others. There are a multitude of reasons a particular category might not be as highly valued as it should be; too often it’s simply public perception or consumer awareness. My goal here is to uncover those smoking gun classifications that are criminally underrated and report on them. If I do my job well, they’ll eventually just be good wines at a fair price.

Undervalued wine categories: Late Bottled Vintage Port

Port, pure class and breeding in a bottle!

Port is a category of wine that conjures up different images depending on your experience or taste, writes Gabe Sasso. The styles and methodologies used to produce and, in particular, age Port are also pretty wide ranging.

There are two kinds of Port that are more commonly known and leap to the forefront of people’s brains more often than others. One is Tawny Port which is often aged for many years, undergoes gradual oxidation and generally uses an average age statement rather than a specific vintage year. So if a Port bottle says “20 year Tawny” it means that some of the wine used to make the blend was more than 20 years and some under, but the average is at minimum 20 years. With this style the Port House in question is aiming for a flavor profile.

SA's cabernet franc touted as hot grape variety for 2016

Cabernet franc grapes in full swing!

The impact of climate change and new technologies (like the ability to check wine prices on smartphones) are on my vinous radar for 2016, writes Elin McCoy. Sparkling wine, especially ubiquitous prosecco, is still going strong, but “premiumisation” is coming. Ditto for rosé.

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