With so much to choose from in the liquor-stakes, which wines, spirits and bubblies do you need in your drinks cabinet for Spring?
Your old school drinks cabinet needs a re-think. There are many options to choose from to keep your drinks trolley up to date, without losing its old school vibes. The South-African market has seen some interesting new additions in the last couple of months with local and international wines and spirits that you need to try. Here is a small, albeit not complete, list of our current new favourites, coupled with classics that you need to always have on hand for entertaining.
Spring, for me, is synonymous with gin cocktails next to the pool. Up your game with one of the most exciting gins we’ve seen in a long time, Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin.
The heritage of Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is firmly rooted in the ancient Spice Route. Traditionally merchants would travel thousands of miles along the route, trading exotic spices and botanicals from distant lands.
Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is crafted with a selection of exotic hand-picked botanicals, carefully chosen by Opihr’s Master Distiller, including spicy Cubeb berries from Indonesia, Black Pepper from India and Coriander from Morocco. The spicy, earthy notes of this gin might seem as if it should be kept for winter drinks, but the fresh and zingy bursts of citrus will quickly make it a firm hot-weather favourite. Keep this on hand for sundowners with a variety of nibbles.
You will undoubtedly need some crisp white wines at any summer party, and you can list the Deetlefs Familie White as a year round staple in your drinks cabinet. The 92% Semillion, 8% Sauvignon Blanc blend has a complex nose of orange, white peach, nectarine and dried herbs with hint of vanilla. Serve this elegant wine with creamy dishes and cheeses as well as guinea fowl, smoked trout and salmon.
Another Deetlefs wine that I recommend you buy immediately is the Deelefs Estate Voyage, a unique Viognier, Chenin and Sémillon blend which I first tasted in an unlabelled bottle and promptly fell in love with. Buy enough – your guests will come back for more!
Are you brave enough for the ‘Don’? Then add a bottle of Don Papa Rum to your collection. This is the first small-batch, super-premium rum from the Philippines, and is known for its rich, sweet style and fruity notes. The complex and delicious tasting rum offers a new taste that rum drinkers, brown spirit aficionados and newcomers to the spirit category can all enjoy.
“The ‘Don’ is not for the feeble-hearted – it is for those who have a burning desire to do things differently, experience life’s greatest pleasures, have an appetite for adventure and have an undeterred, generous spirit,” said Stephen Carroll, founder of Don Papa.
And, lastly, for some sparkle:
Moët does not disappoint with their Rosé Impérial Champagne which is trending as the newest pairing red meats, cheese and herbs. The fine bubbles cut through and lift the richness of any dish and chefs are embracing the combination of salty, umami taste sensations with the bright fruitiness of the Moët Rosé Imperial.
Also add the limited edition Veuve Cliquot Magnetic Pencil to your list. Tradition holds that Veuve Clicquot winemakers use a pencil to jot down their notes about each wine before they proceed to the all-important act of blending. Colour is such a radiant and expressive part of the Veuve Clicquot winemaking process and has long been essential to its heritage. Veuve Clicquot winemakers blend each Champagne, using unique reserve wines, with the same great savoir-faire and skill as artists who blend colours. Life, after all, tastes better in colour!
Written by: Mart-Marié du Toit
Image Credit: Supplied