Cheap wine isn't necessarily bad wine, says South Africa's Best Young Sommelier.
"Many young guns and boutique producers are releasing affordable wines into the market, because they are not as well established in the wine market," says the 26-year-old Wikus Human, who was named SA's top young sommelier by the South African Sommeliers Association in 2017. Wikus is head sommelier and beverage manager of Marble restaurant in Rosebank, Gauteng.
"From my perspective, there are some real 'value for money' wines out there."
Wikus says consumers should watch out for wines from smaller wine producing areas such as Swartland, Botrivier, Breedekloof and Elgin. "Second labels from well-established estates should also not be overlooked."
Wikus gave Business Insider South Africa his top five wines under R80.
Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2017 - R75
Produced by the Adi Badenhorst and Jasper Wickens on Kalmoesfontein in Swartland, the wine from 100% chenin blanc grapes has "notes of orange blossom, honey and stone fruits," says Wikus. "It's an easy drinking chenin blanc."
Jordan Chameleon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 - R79.99
Wikus thinks this is the perfect mid-week dinner wine. "It has a slight herbal undertone with hints of dried mint, with flavours of plums and blackberries."
Marras Grenache 2016 - R79.99
A lovely "wooded wine", Wikus says this 100% grenache wine goes well with umami (savoury) flavours. The wine has cherries, strawberries and slight savoury notes. "Among black grape varieties, grenache is definitely trending along with cinsault at the moment," Wikus says.
Ashbourne Blend 2017 - R79.99
Emul Ross from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley uses Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes to produce this "hot summer's day" wine". "This is your go-to summer's day wine with flavours of freshly cut grass, gooseberries and slight citrus notes," Wikus says. "It has a well-rounded finish."
Vondeling Petit Rouge Merlot 2017 - R66
"This wine does well with meat that's cooked on the fire," Wikus says. Made from 100% Merlot grapes on Voor-Paardeberg, the wine has flavours of red fruits. It also has black pepper notes, he adds.