This country has been producing wine ever since the first Dutch settlers set foot on the land in the 16th century.
Over centuries, vineyards expanded from Cape Town north, east, and southeast.
South African wine making technology is now much better than it was only two decades ago.
The majority of South Africans prefer beer to wine and country’s wineries must export for survival. For this reason alone South African wines represent good value.
Also important to remember is the fact that many countries all over the world, with the notable exception of the United Kingdom, and the province of British Columbia in Canada, banned imports from South Africa, which created significant surpluses and depressed prices.
Now, world markets are open to South African wines and exports are increasing but wineries must struggle to gain market share, hence must keep prices low.
I am told Canadian imports reached the levels before restrictions were introduced.
Ontario’s liquor board started offering South African wine immediately after restrictive laws were changed. Now the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s general list offers several South African wines that are worth exploring.
Two Oceans, a brand developed for everyday wine enjoyment, offers two red varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and Shiraz at prices ($ 9.95) that are affordable to most in Canada.
Both wines are easy to enjoy and originate from fruit where two great oceans (Atlantic and Indian) meet.
The Two Oceans Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot offers plum aromas, is medium-to-full bodied, balanced, pleasant to enjoy.
It is a food wine to pair with cold cuts, pastas with meat sauces, pizzas, meat or root vegetable stews, pates, grilled sausages, and hamburgers.
Decant before service, and enjoy at 16 – 18 C for best results.
Two Oceans Shiraz emanates strawberry aromas and spice scents underlined with smoke, a result of barrel aging.
In the mouth, berry flavours dominate with spice and pepper notes. The wine is balanced, soft, and finishes well.
Enjoy with hamburgers, BBQ pork, grilled sausages, cold cuts, beef roasts, grilled lamb chops, or cheese sandwiches.