South African Wine Tasting Tips

By West Africa Cooks, 28 June, 2016

South African wine has a history dating back to 1659 with Constantia, a vineyard near Cape Town, being considered one of the greatest wines in the world. Recent access to international markets has unleashed a burst of new energy and new investment. We wish now to make you aware of these wines. We would then love you to try African food and pair this with South African wine. With this in mind here is how to 'taste' wine like a pro and a guide to pairing food with wine.

Read Trying Ethnic Food, African and Caribbean Cuisine

5 Top Tips For Wine-Tasting:

    With the glass vertical, on a white background, view the wine directly from above. Note clarity, brightness and depth of colour.
    With the glass tilted, view the wine at an angle, against a white background. Note the principal hue at the 'core' of the wine, and any difference in hue at the rim.
    Smell the wine without swirling it. Note cleanness, intensity, grape variety, new oak finesse, persistence.
    Give the wine a good swirl, and smell immediately, as it settles.
    Note differences from the still state; a possible progression of scents as it subsides, and the overall quality.
    Take a sip, a large teaspoonful, and work the wine round your mouth; aerate, consider, swallow/spit.
    Note overall dimensions of the wine - balance of alcohol, acid, tannin (reds) and depth of flavour.
    Alternate between working the wine gently round your palate, aerating and swallowing a little for as long as the wine holds your interest. Note actual flavours, qualities and lengths. Look for the individual tastes and aromas. Consider the 'texture' in reds especially, and the way in which the wine 'holds up' in the mouth (mid palate length). Finally note the length of finish.
    Spit by pursing your lips and compressing the wine out with your tongue.
    Don't worry, sometimes we all forget about spitting - whoops.


Red Wine South African Pinotage

The Rustler Red Wine South African Pinotage 2012 75cl (Case of 6)
Try South African Pinotage (UK) Love wines of South Africa (US)

The Guide To Food And Wine Pairing

Type of food Effect on the taste of wine Pairing advice

+ Smoother and richer

- Less bitter and acidic

Salt can make tannic wines seem sotto! and more palatable

+ Fruitier, sweeter and richer

- Less bitter and acidic

High-acid food can soften very acidic win( but take care when pairing with low-acid wines


+ Overwhelmed by the food flavours Pair with wines of similar flavour intensity
FATTY/ OILY - Less acidic Pair with wines with hiqh levels of acidity to Cut through the fat

+ More alcohol burn

- Less sweet and fruity

Alcohol increases heat from chilli, so pair with lighter alcohol wines with some sweetness

+ More bitter and acidic:

- Less sweet and fruity

Pair with sweeter wines. Take care when pairing With wines with less sugar or with tannins

+ More bitter and acidic

- Less sweet and fruity

Avoid pairing with wines with high levels of tannins

And remember...

  • Don't be ruled by rules
  • We are all different - personal preferences do matter
  • Food is often the culprit for a bad experience with wine
  • don't worry to much - most wines will be palatable for most people with most foods


Edgmond Wines South Africa Club
Read South African Wine Tasting In 2016

South African Wine Course
South African Wine Course is an online course that serves as an introduction to wine, wine origins, and how to identify and compare wines.

For more see which is recognised as the official wine education and training institution in South Africa.

See you at a South African wine tasting event soon.


Search For African Grocery Online. Click Buy Now OR Search