Grape Types Wine Types and pairings

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry and light bodied white with notable zesty flavours of green apple, white peach and passionfruit. Its flavour ranges significantly based on where the grapes are grown and when they are picked. You will find herby, grassy and crisp citrus flavours in a Sauvignon Blanc.

It pairs well with goat cheese, fish and shellfish.

International Sauvignon Blanc day is 3 May!

Chardonnay

One of the world’s most popular grapes, Chardonnay is creamy, medium bodied white wine, often sweeter than a sauvignon blanc. It has a very varied flavour profile where the ripeness of the grapes alters the taste drastically ranging from tropical fruit flavours such as pineapple, guava and mango, and flavours more reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc, with green apple and lemon zings.

It pairs well with brie-style cheeses, shellfish and pork.

International Chardonnay day is 27 May!

Pinot grigio

Pinot Grigio is a dry, medium bodied white wine made from a pink grape which can also be used for rosé wines. Very crisp and fresh, pinot grigio is fairly neutral with primary flavours of peach, lemon, melon and almond.

It pairs well with chicken, pork and seafood, as well as meals with fruity elements.

International Pinot Grigio day is 17 May!

Moscato

Famous for its sweet perfumes of orange blossom, pear, mandarin and honeysuckle, this white wine is sweet, light bodied, low acidity and low alcohol. It often comes with a gentle fizz that enhances the drinking experience and brings out its floral notes and minerally flavour.

It pairs well with cured meats, fruity desserts and spicy food.

International Moscato day is 9 May!

Riesling

A sweet and very light bodied white wine, Riesling contains earthy notes of apples, peaches and apricots. Although predominantly known as a sweet wine, the grape varies greatly and the German translation for the varieties are as follows: Trocken = dry, Halb Trocken = half dry, and Fein herb = off-dry (sweet).

It pairs well with duck, pork, bacon and spicy foods.

International Resiling Day is the 18th March!

Viognier

A medium bodied, low acidity white wine, Viognier is a dry wine type and has a complex and rich flavour due to the process of oak-aging, with notes of apricot, peach, mango, rose and lavender. Popular in California this wine is an interesting substitute to your usual Chardonnays or Sauvignon Blancs.

It pairs well with scallops, rich fruits and aromatic herbs.

Chenin Blanc

A famously South African favourite in the early years of their wine production Chenin Blanc grapes offer notes of chamomile, pear, apple and honey, and tropical fruit aromas. It is a dry and medium-light bodied white wine.

It pairs well with Asian cuisine.

International Chenin Blanc day is 20 June!

Sémillon

A full bodied and low acidity white wine which has citrus, ripe fruits, floral and herby flavours. This grape can create delicious rich wines or dessert wines and is present in a number of blends.

It pairs well with rich fish, pork chops, fennel and dill.

Roussanne

Roussanne boasts being an uncommon type of white grape in that many of the Roussanne wines are considered full body. It is commonly blended with other white grapes such as Viognier. It creates dry wines and the primary flavours here are apricot, beeswax, chamomile and brioche.

It pairs well with buttery foods such as lobster, pâté, roast chicken and creamy sauces.

Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer is a gently sweet, low acidity and full-bodied wine. The dominant aromas are that of rose, grapefruit, lychee and ginger making this floral wine an ideal accompaniment for flavoursome meals to share with friends. This complex grape is well loved across the world by beginners and connoisseurs alike.

It pairs well with rich Moroccan and Indian cuisines due to the hint of ginger.

Brut

Brut sparkling wine is typically made from non-aromatic Chardonnay grapes and has a dry flavour profile. The overwhelming notes are that of zesty citrus, fruity and floral, brought alive by the effervescent tingle, making Brut a wonderful accompaniment to any special occasion or brunch with your girlfriends.

It pairs well with pork, fish, shellfish and mild and soft cheese.

Brut rosé

Brut rosé sparkling wine is made typically from non-aromatic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and has a light and fruity flavour. The overwhelming notes are floral and fruity, brought alive by the effervescent tingle, making Brut rosé the perfect tipple for your special occasions or a girls’ night out.

It pairs well with veal, pork, rich fish, gamey meats and strawberries.

International rosé day is 25 June!

Pinotage

South Africa’s signature grape variety is a deep red smoky wine with notes of bramble, plum, blackberry and earthy flavours like tar, tobacco and liquorice. Sometimes it has tropical fruit flavours and usually high tannin levels and a high pH level.

It pairs well with rich gamey meats like oxtail, venison and rich spicy foods like southern Indian curries. It is also perfect for a Braai.

International Pinotage Day is the 10th October!

Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the most common grapes planted is a safe and sophisticated choice and one that can be drunk with just about anything making it a safe ordering choice at dinner. Perfectly paired with feats it is a slightly more herbal wine, with hints of currants, cherries and blackcurrant with notes of tobacco and cedar.

It pairs well with any meats, especially fattier ones like lamb and ribs, even a burger and hard cheeses.

International Cabernet Sauvignon Day is the 30th August!

Shiraz / Syrah

Syrah in Europe and Shiraz elsewhere this is a fun spicy, peppery bold wine with rich tasting notes of blackberry and spicy notes of liquorice, smoke and black pepper. This full-bodied, dry wine is usually aged in oak and has a firm tannin level. Perfect for when you want to enjoy a glass of wine with a good book or bath.

It pairs well with cheese and meat platters.

International Shiraz/Syrah Day is the 16th February!

Merlot

Merlot is the second most planted grape and a good entry point for first time red wine drinkers. It is a fruity, dry and delicious wine with medium tannins and acidity, very easy to drink. It does tend to have a higher alcohol percentage so be careful! As it falls in the middle of the red wine spectrum it goes very well with comfort food and is a great wine to bring out if you aren’t sure what your guests enjoy.

It pairs well with chicken, duck and pork or charcuterie boards as well as ‘melty’ cheese.

International Merlot Day is the 7th November!

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a very light and dry delicate subtle wine, with tasting notes of bright berries like raspberry and cranberry and subtle spices of vanilla, clove, liquorice and caramel. Originating from France it is perfect for light summer nights.

It pairs nicely with fish and sushi or light chicken dishes and mushrooms.

International Pinot Noir Day is the 18th August!

Malbec

Malbec is French in origin and also produced in Argentina is a soft and easy drinking wine. It is dry and full-bodied, with rich dark fruity flavours like plum, cherry and blackberry. With smoky notes of tobacco, oak, dark chocolate and vanilla and is dark in colour. A perfect rich wine for cold winter nights.

It pairs well with beef or spicy food.

International Malbec Day is the 17th April!

Rosé

There are several types of rose depending on which grapes you blend however for the most part a rosé is a fresh and easy to drink wine with notes of strawberries, green melon, citrus and roses with an acidic finish. Ranging from dry to sweet and fruity it is a great day drinker, shared among friends in the warm summer sun.

It pairs well with light aperitifs, veggie skewers, crudité and dips and salads.

International Rosè Day is hotly debated but believed to be between the 13th June to the 14th August, so as they say Rose all day!