Alcohol Drinks Lifestyle Uncategorized Wine

{wine} Bag or bottle – Zandvliet’s Cape Blends are your Best Friends

December 2, 2021

It’s no secret that I’m a serious advocate and ambassador for great wine in a box. Some moments in life simply need less thinking and more enjoying. With their passionate wine-making philosophy of creating, enjoying and sharing,  Zandvliet Wine Estate boxed up their My Best Friend Cape Blends, and I’ll assure you it will be the best box under the tree this year!

Introduction

I first met the Zandvliet My Best Friend blends at the start of lockdown a few years ago. I was doing my bit by supporting my favourite wine estates by ordering wine online. I was properly intrigued by the casual elegance of the bottles, and the fact that it proudly states that these Best Friends are some of the winemaker’s personal choices for deliciously quaffable wine. Definitely needing less thinking and more enjoying, we’ve been best friends since then.

Recently, the celebrated Zandvliet winery has made it even easier and more convenient for wine-lovers to enjoy its My Best Friend range, available in traditional bottles and now a two-litre wine-in-a-box format, too. I was amazed at how well these bottles translated into the black and white boxes, beautifully finished with the signature gold trim and accents.

Background

Zandvliet Wine, on the outskirts of Ashton in the Robertson Valley, plays an illustrious role in the narrative of the South African wine industry. Proclaimed as a farm in 1838, Zandvliet counts among the very first farms to bottle Shiraz.

A small range of low limestone hills lie on Zandvliet’s southern half, bringing the special magic to its kalkveld (calcareous earth) terroir. Only 130 kilometres due south is the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas, dynamo of the breezes that cool their hills in summer (https://zandvliet.co.za/about/).

The move to bagging bottles

The significantly smaller environmental impact offered by boxed wine should be enough reason to encourage the production of excellent quality wines in more convenient, eco-friendly packaging. In the end, in most cases, the box only speaks to the packaging, not to the quality of the wine in the box. Being exactly the same wine as you would find in a bottle counterpart, the box is simply appearance. Plus there’s no light coming in contact with the wine, as there is with glass. A longer shelf-life once opened, easier on the environment, more cost-effective for the consumer – the list of boxed wine benefits are endless.

Long associated with “entry-level, budget” wines, giant strides have been made in the boxed wine industry over the last few years, with boxes becoming more sleek, more sophisticated, increasingly trendy and its contents infinitely more delicious.

And not to mention the geometric convenience – easily stored in your fridge, a wine box can be packed worry-free into picnic baskets or cooler bags for al-fresco adventures, without the risk of breakage or spillage. It packs and stacks neatly, and always ensures there is plenty to share with your best friends, whether you’re enjoying a braai, a picnic or just a Saturday laze next to the pool. But back to my best friends!

My Best Friend Cape Red

Tasting notes:  Ripe complex nose filled with aromas of red fruit, plums and spice. These aromas follow through to an elegant palate that finishes with a smooth aftertaste.
In the vineyard:   Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz / Pinotage
In the cellar:  All components un-oaked
Awards & Accolades:
Ultra Wine Challenge 2021 Double Gold (92/100)
2020 Vitis Vinifera Gold
Cellar door price:  My Best Friend is available from selected outlets nationwide. The two-litre box retails for approximately R140, and the bottle, for around R70.

My Best Friend Cape White

It is the perfect companion of light meals and even better when served with sushi, seared tuna or sashimi.

Tasting notes:  Refreshing flavours of lime, citrus and melon with hints of honeysuckle. These flavours carry through to a luscious palate and lingering, crisp finish.
In the vineyard:   Sauvignon Blanc / Chenin Blanc / Chardonnay
In the cellar:  All components un-oaked
Awards & Accolades:
2020 Vitis Vinifera Awards – Gold
Cellar door price: My Best Friend is available from selected outlets nationwide. The two-litre box retails for approximately R140, and the bottle, for around R70.

What’s a gatsby between friends?

I couldn’t think of a more perfect food pairing for this pair of best friends than a duo of gatsby’s. Given – my attempts at recreating this Cape staple  are way too neat and structured to come close to the real thing, but a homemade gatsby is the ideal sharing meal around a box of My Best Friend.

For the red, I decided on the classic masala steak gatsby, with lettuce, tomato, chips and lashings of chutney. And for the white, I made a peri-peri chicken with all the trimmings and layered with a curry-mayo sauce and two eggs, sunny-side up.

These “build-your-own” gatsby’s are deliciously forgiving. There’s no right or wrong way to eat or stack them. The masala steak opened up the easy, spicy nose of the Cape Red, and mellowed into a smooth finish of dark plum.

An incredibly versatile wine, the Cape White was a sure match for the slight spice of the curry-mayo and picked up beautifully on the bright fruitiness of the peri-peri, holding perfectly until the end, with that luscious combination of acidity and ripe summer fruits.

In conclusion

A great addition to the impressive Zandvliet stable, embrace your Best Friend this summer and share a meal around a box of My Best Friend’s Blends. It is, after all, the little, precious things in life that we are celebrating this festive season.

Thank you so much, Zandvliet Wine Estate, for spreading the festive cheer with these beautiful boxes of one of my favourite wines. Cheers to My Best Friend!

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.

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