2017 has started off with a bang and everyone seems to be struggling to get back into work mode after a packed December. With the New Year comes new goals and resolutions, with most people focused on getting back to the gym or starting a new healthy lifestyle. Here at Cybercellar however, our resolutions are bound to last well past March, and we thought that we would share some of our realistic wine goals to get your mouth watering for a wine-filled 2017.
Try a New Cultivar
We are all somewhat guilty of this when presented with a menu or a packed wine shelf. As South Africans, we are usually more prone to choosing one of the more popular six cultivars (Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay; and for reds: Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon). But why not try some different cultivars that are quickly gaining popularity in South Africa? Many estates are beginning to import vines that have previously been somewhat scarce in the South African. We are starting to see some new and interesting wines being produced. Why not expand your wine horizons this year and try out some of the varietals like the Riesling, Viognier, Roussanne or the delicious Gewürztraminer? For reds, try out the highly unusual Barbera or the Malbec.
Expand your Tastes
According to the Tim Atkin report, South African wine is currently sitting among some of the most recognized wine in the world. We are exceptionally lucky to have outstanding quality and affordable prices right in our back yard. But why not look beyond the more popular regions that have become the go-to to find some amazing Hidden Gems? Although regions like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and the Swartland are producing some incredible wines, other regions are emerging in the industry and producing gems that you simply have to try this year. Why not try the Lowerland gem which is produced in the plains of the Karoo, or travel into the Natal Midlands and visit the two estates found in the beautiful rolling hills?
Choose a Sparkling Red
This highly unusual wine is a definite must-try on a warm summer’s day! Similar to the Italian Lambrusco, which is a slightly sparkling red, this is a delicious treat and is lower in alcohol than most wines. Our must-try recommendation is the Cape Jazz from Solms Delta. This bubbled Shiraz needs to be served chilled and is a unique take on the traditional still Shiraz.
Take a Trip Back in History
The wine industry in South Africa has a rich and interesting past, so why not have a taste of South African history in 2017. Take the Vin de Constance for example, this sweet wine from Klein Constantia has a 300 year history! The incredible story of this wine includes being a firm favourite of people like Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles Dickens. Legend has it Napoleon ordered the wine to be brought to him while he was in exile till his death in Saint Helena. Vergelegen as well as Boschendal are also some of the oldest estates in the country and have a rich, well developed history.
Decant Your Wine
A great habit to start in 2017 is to start opening your wine a well ahead of actually serving it. Should the wine be somewhat too acidic, tannic, or has some serious VA (volatile acidity), this is the perfect answer by allowing it to breathe for a while. Decanting your wine allows the wine to rest before serving as well as brings out some incredible flavours. It also adds that touch of class to serve from a beautiful decanter at a dinner party!
Here’s to a glorious 2017!