The best way for anybody to learn about wine is to try many different types whether through your own purchases or by attending tastings to figure out what you like and dislike. Over the past few years I have stayed away from South African reds. I was not impressed with those that I had tasted as I found them to be overpowering and have a heavy tobacco flavor. I am all for strong reds but this was just too much for me. At a tasting I attended I saw that we would be trying 7 different red wines that afternoon, 3 of which were from South Africa. Needless to say I was not a happy camper and was ready to write them all off. To my surprise this was not the case at all. Two of these wines changed my opinion and have taught me a valuable wine lesson-try it even if you think you may not like it.
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 2007 was the first wine to snap me to attention. This amazing red is a blend of Syrah, Mourvédre, and Viognier. There is plenty of smokiness without being overpowering and with each sip I tasted dark berries which was nicely balanced by some spiciness. This is definitely on the way to becoming a favorite of mine.
The second selection was Fairview Pinotage 2007. Pinotage is South Africa’s signature red and is a combination of Pinot Noir and Hermitage. Again dark fruit and spice blend together for an extremely smooth taste and an amazing finish. I am really looking forward to opening my next bottle.
Each of these wines is impressive on it’s own or can be enjoyed with food. They both have an alcohol content of 14.5% and retail for under $15.