Budget wines that won’t make you look cheap

Gone are the days of buying overpriced wines to impress your guests. There’s an art to sourcing high quality, locally-made wines which don’t cost an arm and a leg. We discovered what the experts rate as some of the best local wines at outstanding prices. Here’s how to stay silly this festive season.

What the expert says:
“A huge treat awaits the person who digs a little deeper and moves out of their comfort zone when it comes to wine,” says well-known food and wine writer, Michael Olivier. We asked Michael for his top recommendations of wines below R 50. Here are his choices:

White wines
Chenin Blanc: Landskroon 2012 at R31
Sauvignon Blanc: Alexanderfontein 2012 at R42.80 (Currently on special at Ultra Liquors for R33)
Chardonnay: Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Unwooded Chardonnay 2012 at R43
Red wines
Cabernet Sauvignon: Perdeberg 2011 at R35.30
Pinotage: Beyerskloof 2011 at R55
Merlot: Darling Cellars 6 Tonner 2010 at R44.95
Shiraz: Leopard’s Leap 2011 at R42

“Chenin Blanc offers great value for money and often you pay less for a better taste experience,” says Olivier, “Blended wines offer a more complex experience and often, entry level wines are very accessible and make for great drinking.”
To read more about Michael’s recommendations and tastings, click here.

*Prices listed above are direct from the wine farm. Prices are correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.

What the wine guide says:
The esteemed, annual Platter’s Wine Guide 2012 recommend their own favourite superquaffers:

Merlot: Havana Hills 2008 at R60
Pinotage: Swartland 2010 at R120
Shiraz: False Bay 2010 at R49
Red Blend: Bonnievale Cabernet Sauvignon- Shiraz 2009 at R41
Villiera Down to Earth 2010 at R48
Chardonnay: Durbanville Hills 2010 at R50
Glenelly The Glass Collection 2010 at R65
Pulpit Rock Brink Family 2011 at R30
Sauvignon Blanc: Klawer Birdfield 2011 at R25
White Blend: Post House Blueish White 2010  at R57.50

The Platter’s Superquaffer of the Year goes to:
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap White 2010, in store at R49.50.
*Prices listed above are direct from the wine farm unless otherwise specified. Prices are correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.

The Platters Wine Guide is a comprehensive South African wine guide. The 2013 version is currently selling on Kalahari.com for R118.

What the judges say:
The trusty Best Value Wine Awards has selected their winners for 2013. Wines require a minimum 2.5 star rating to appear in the Best Value Wine Guide, so each wine is guaranteed to be good quality.

The 41 Best Value Award winners for 2013 are:

White wines:
BC Wines Chenin Blanc 2012 (Brandvlei Cellar) – R20.00
Bain’s Way Viognier 2011 (Wellington Wines) – R24.30
Boland Cellar Five Climates Chenin Blanc 2012  – R25.50
Bon Courage Andre’s Fame Colombard 2012 – R22.00
Flutterby Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Boland Kelder) – R25.00
Pulpit Rock Brink Family Chenin Blanc 2012 – R24.00
Goedverwacht Crane White Chardonnay 2010  – R25.00
Goudini Chenin Blanc 2012 – R24.00
Martinique Johannisberger 2011 (Du Preez) – R21.55
Savanha Chenin Blanc 2011 (Spier) – R32.00
Versus White 2012 (the company of wine people) – R23.00

Rosé wines:

Live-a-Little Rather Revealing Rosé N/V – R21.00

Red wines:
Allée Bleue Starlette Pinotage 2011 – R32.00
Boschendal The Pavillion Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – R38.00
Cape Vinelands Merlot 2010 (Asara) – R24.99
Goedverwacht Crane Red Merlot 2011 – R25.00
Groot Eiland Shiraz Pinotage 2011 (uniWines Vineyards) – R50.00
Eikendal Cuvée Rouge 2011 – R30.50
Excelsior Purebred Red 2012 – R30.00
Havana Hills Lime Road Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc 2008 (Du Plessis) – R22.80
Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2011 – R34.50
Namaqua Beachbraai Cabernet Sauvignon N/V – R45.00
Obikwa Merlot 2011 – R29.99
Obikwa Shiraz 2011 – R29.99
Orange River Cellars Ruby Cabernet 2011 – R29.55
Tangled Tree Spicy Shiraz 2011 (Van Loveren) – R25.00
Van Loveren Blackberry Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2011 – R39.33

For the first time, a 5-star wine made it into the 2013 Best Value Wine Awards. The KWV Classic Cape Tawny is a sweet, wooded dessert wine which has won plenty of awards, from a Double Gold at the 2012 Veritas Wine Awards to a Gold at the Michelangelo CCL Label International Wine Awards 2012. Prices vary but you should be able to pick up a bottle for around R80.

Get a copy of the Best Value Wine Guide for only R32 here.

* Prices are correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.

What Moneybags says:
Unlabelled wines are a great budget purchase. Wines tend to be unlabelled due to excess stock or cancelled orders – although reasons may differ depending on the product. Take a look at some unlabelled wines on www.unlabelledwines.co.za or www.getwines.co.za  – you’re bound to find some excellent deals. You could even brand and label a bottle as a gift.

To keep up to date with the latest in wining and dining on a budget, sign up to our weekly newsletter here.

These days, the word ‘surrogacy’ often tends to be attached to the name of someone famous like Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman or even Elton John. In addition to the process being glamourised we often hear that these surrogates are also being paid big money. But is this an accurate depiction of surrogacy?

star Drop by KFC for three pieces of chicken, one small pack of  chips and one regular coke at only R49.90.

star Make sure that everyone remembers your party by visiting Pep.The store has everything you need to throw mean party without breaking the bank.

Dealing with noisy neighbours can be infuriating. This week Moneybags journalist, Isabelle Coetzee, had a look at the health and legal implications thereof.

star Get a a free cappuccino every Monday morning when you buy a Brekkie crunch wrap at KFC. For just R26.90 you can treat yourself to a scrumptious breakfast.

star Celebrate your birthday on top of Table Mountain. The Cableway offers you a free return ticket to one of the world's wonders to make your day extra special.

Once new burial options are introduced, a portion of the daily dead may find new resting grounds outside of burials and cremations. Moneybags journalist, Isabelle Coetzee, has a look at alternatives and their costs.

Picking up and being able to travel on a whim is everyone’s dream, right? Whether it’s to the ancient pyramids in Egypt or the endless white beaches and blue waters in Sardinia, the luxury and ease of it all just appeals. But, you’ve decided to explore the prospect of parenthood. And while you can’t wait for the ‘joy’ that comes with it, there are a few must-sees before you take the parenting plunge.