Food & Drink

Sip into the festive season

If water is scarce, let’s drink more wine…or any other beverage that relieves some of the pressure off our dwindling water supplies.

There’s only a week left until Christmas, which means that everyone is doing their crazy last-minute stock-ups for all the social gatherings they have planned. I’m no different. I’m finishing my meal plans, unpacking my maternity pants (overeating is key) and making sure I have a lovely drink on hand for sipping on the dying lawn.

Need some spirit-filled inspiration? Check out my list of tasty tipples for the holidays that include Wine, Gin, Beer, and a little something extra – you might even find that perfect gift for someone special!

The most wine-derful time of the year

We all know that wine choices are subjective as everyone’s tastebuds vary…even mine. If you’d have asked me last year what whites I would be drinking, wooded Chardonnays would feature heavily. This year I’m pleasantly surprised by how my selection has changed to include greener, leaner styles – I’m just really loving that snap pea, lime zest quality in some of our cooler climate wines. But don’t worry, I’ve included some creamier options too, so make space in your fridges everybody and stock up on my current faves:

Groot Constantia Governors Reserve White

Did you know, I am a HUGE semillon fan. Few people do it as a single varietal, and when blended, most winemakers tend to make it very crisp and bright. BUT, I love the waxy, creamy notes of wooded semillon and coupled with my current desire for Sauvignon Blanc, I am naming Groot Constantia’s 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon blanc blend as my WINE OF THE YEAR. With gorgeous notes of peach, jasmine, a touch of vanilla, and a hint of lime, it displays fresh, layered fruit flavours, with just enough oak to please the fans of more creamier wines. R215

Warwick First Lady Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Well damn Warwick, you guys give me goose….berries and a citrus kick that makes me feel like a ray of sunshine. This Sauv B is a breath of fresh air for all those wanting a fresh, exciting white wine for beating the summer heat. R80

Lanzerac Chenin Blanc 2016

I couldn’t complete this list without a Chenin – the darling of the vineyard – and one cultivar that South Africa gets so right no matter the budget. Released this year, Lanzerac’s premium range Chenin has been a long-term project from cellar master, Wynand Lategan. With subtle oak influence, it has a gentle, creamy finish, and plenty of ripe stone fruit aromas. It’s a great wine for pairing with fish and chips, or with your roast pork and applesauce. R85

Flagstone Free Run Sauvignon Blanc 2016

In winter I love to drink Flagstone Pinotage, in summer, I am partial to their Sauvignon blanc. It’s crisp but not overtly green, making it a happy medium for the more fruitier-inclined winos. R83

Paserene Chardonnay 2015

A few people, I won’t mention names, will balk at a Chardonnay because they expect it to be overtly wooded, akin to chewing on a piece of vanilla-infused bark. This is a dreadful mindset and one that Paserene is changing thanks to its elegant, balanced offering. With orange blossom notes, just-ripe peach, and a perfect balance between freshness and body that will convert any hater, this is one to bring out with those that you love…like yourself. And just yourself. R350 *Cyber Cellar

Let’s beGIN

I wouldn’t really be British without enjoying some of the ol’ mother’s ruin. These are my current favorite gins to drink:

Musgrave Pink Gin

Infused with roses, this is probably the most elegant looking Gin on the market right now. The bottle alone is one of the reasons I grabbed it from the shelf that, and it literally screams ENGLISH. If you’re thinking that it’s going to be insipid and too “girly”, you are very much mistaken. It’s a seriously aromatic delight, with just a touch of pink. R399

Whitley Protea & Hibiscus Gin

This should come with a warning because it’s so delicious, you will not want to share the contents with anyone. Inspired by our beautiful country, this gin is infused with protea and hibiscus, lending a floral, fresh taste to the spirit. You can’t go wrong with this gin and a simple addition of Swaan tonic. R288

Have a brew, bru

You must know, by now, that my husband loves a good beer, so I had to get his chosen beers for the holidays…and in his own words too:

The Franschhoek Beer Co, Three Oaks Craft Lager

Having just opened their doors after far too many “sneak peek” photos, I’m stoked to see the finished tasting room & restaurant, having enjoyed sampling all their brews beforehand. The Three Oaks has a great earthy mid-palette, coupled with an aromatic, fresh finish, very easy to enjoy.

Woodstock Brewery Acid Queen

With the addition of granadilla pulp, this has a nice tart kick without being too in-your-face. It’s refreshing, with a lengthy finish, and is actually my absolute favorite of the year.

Brew Dog, Elvis Juice

With upfront citrus notes and a hoppy, grapefruit pith finish, this is a belter of a beer, fit for Cape Town’s heat.

*all available at The Biggest Little Beer Shop, or Makro

The wild card

Lautus Savvy White – non-alcoholic white wine

This is a crazy addition to the list, crazy in that I’ve never received as many comments as when I reviewed this wine on my InstaStories. There are two very clear camps for this new edition to Woolworths – you’re either going to hate it, or you’re going to be thrilled that you finally have something elegant to sip that is non-alcoholic. The latter flooded my DMs telling me that they had always wanted a “wine” for breastfeeding but didn’t want something cloyingly sweet; those who couldn’t drink wine due to being pregnant, got in touch to tell me how sophisticated this offering was – they felt comfortable with taking it to gatherings.

This is then a very clever little addition to Woolies, reaching a market that I didn’t even think were there. R59.95


What will you be drinking this festive season?

*prices based on local retailers


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