Wines have a rich history dating back to around 6000 BC and is thought to have originated in areas now within the borders of Georgia and Iran. Wine probably appeared in Europe at about 4500 BC in what is now Bulgaria and Greece, and was very common in ancient Greece, Thrace and Rome. Wine has also played an important role in religion throughout history. The Greek god Dionysus and the Roman equivalent Bacchus represented wine, and the drink is also used in Christian and Jewish ceremonies such as the Eucharist and Kiddush.
Wine is an alcoholic beverage often made of fermented grape juice. The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they can ferment without the addition of sugar, acid, enzymes or other nutrients. Wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast, which consumes the sugars found in the grapes, and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are used depending on the types of wine being produced.
Wine is a popular and important beverage that accompanies and enhances a wide range of European and Mediterranean-style cuisines, from the simple and traditional to the most sophisticated and complex. Wine is important in cuisine not just for its value as a beverage, but as a flavour agent, primarily in stocks and braising, since its acidity lends balance to rich, savoury or sweet dishes. Red, white and sparkling wines are the most popular, and are known as light wines because they have only 10-14% alcohol-content by volume. Aperitif and dessert wines contain 14-20% alcohol, and are sometimes fortified to make them richer and sweeter.
“I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it unless I’m thirsty.”
– Madame Jacques Bollinger 1961
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. It is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France, from which it takes its name. Through International treaty and national law, most countries limit the use of the term to only those wines that come from the Champagne appellation. In South Africa this method of producing sparkling wine is called Method Cap Classique and like Champagne, we use mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But other varietals can be used.
- Champagne Bollinger Rose’ NV 1650
- Champagne Moët en Chandon Nectar NV 1200
- Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut 1050
- Bon Courage Brut Reserve MCC 2010 330
- Krone Borealis MCC 2014 280/ 46
- Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel MCC Brut / Rose 266/ 44
- Krone Night Nectar MCC 2015 230
Related to the Cabernet varieties, Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon where it shows its class in great dessert wines or the dry Graves Bordeaux. Wines made from Sauvignon Blanc alone first appeared in the Loire (France) in Sancerre, which reveal the aromas of blackcurrants and gooseberries, and have a fresh acidity combined with inimitable mineral overtones. When harvested early, Sauvignon Blanc develops grassy, vegetal aromas (e.g. green pepper). There are many varied styles here in South Africa, where most have “green” notes combined with guava or gooseberries.
- Reyneke Reserve 2015 468
- Fryer’s Cove “Bamboes Bay” 2015 310
- Bouchard Finlayson reserve 2015 295
- Iona 2016 285
- Zevenwacht 2017 192 / 48
- Sophie (Iona) 2016 170 / 42
Single white cultivars can at times be criticised for being too linear and one dimensional, especially when paired with complex food. Blended white wines offer the discerning wine drinker a deeper, intense and rewarding experience. The wines below have been specially selected to complement augment the unique cuisine at Market.
- Sijnn 2012 395
- Nitida “Coronata” 2014 325
- Adoro Naude 2009 260
- Reyneke Organic 2016 165 / 41
- Krone Chardonnay Pinot noir 2016 160 / 39
Originating in Burgundy where it produces such contrasting wines as the mineral-tasting Chablis and the multifaceted, mouth-filling Montrachet. Chardonnay has conquered the world and the reason for this is its adaptability in terms of climate, soil and methods of wine making. It is also better suited than any other white grape to vinification and maturation in barrels. Chardonnay has no real distinctive aromas due to its many varied styles. In South Africa maybe “tropical fruit” would be the common description with butteriness if left on the lees and caramel, toasty or vanilla when oaked.
- Jordan Nine Yards 2013 680
- Glen Carlou Quartz Stone 2014 598
- Journey’s End Destination 2014 395
- Vriesenhof (Unwooded) 2016 210
- Journeys End Haystack 2015 160 / 40
- Anura 2016 140 / 35
This great French variety from the Anjou in the Loire has two distinctive characteristics: it has a high natural acidity and is susceptible to Botrytis. Depending on the vintage, ripeness and the intentions of the grower, Chenin can produce a whole spectrum of different wines, from sparkling, through to bone dry, to wines, which have extremely concentrated residual sugars and age well. In SA Chenin is the most planted variety and used for wine across the whole spectrum. Like Chardonnay it also works particularly well with vinification and maturation in barrels.
- Ken Forrester “The FMC” 2013 714
- DeMorgenzon Reserve 2014 586
- Arendsig 2015 312
- Jean Daniel Signature 2013 295
- Leeuwenkuil 2016 140 / 35
Viognier was once fairly common. Now it is a rare white grape grown almost exclusively in the northern Rhône regions of France. In 1965, the grape was almost extinct when there were only eight acres in Northern Rhône, producing only 1900 litres of wine. The popularity and price of the wine have risen and thus the number of plantings has increased, even internationally including South Africa. Can be “oily” when picked late but think floral perfume and fruit. Almost always wooded.
- Lismore ( The age of Grace ) 2015 314
- Creation 2016 240
Also known as Pinot Gris, Grauburgunder, and Rulander, this is a robust relative of Pinot Noir and has greyish-pink tinted grapes which require deep soils. In Alsace, Austria and Germany it produces Spätlese and Auslese wines which are frequently of the highest quality, full of extractions and extremely rich with delicate spiciness but little acidity. It is currently enjoying its popularity as Pinot Grigio, which is primarily grown in the northern regions of Italy where its high yields are made into a light, neutral white wine. Here in South Africa it is relatively rare and similar in style to Northern Italy. Great for a summer lunch.
- Terra Del Capo 2016 155
An essential white grape of Bordeaux, Semillon is a golden-berried goddess, producing some of the longest-lasting white wines ever made. It’s the pride and joy of certain wine areas. The grape is a heavier grape with low acids and an almost oily texture. The great dry white wines of Bordeaux are made with up to 100% Semillon.
- Steenberg 2010 395
- Cape of Good Hope ( Laing ) 2012 260
Weisser Riesling or Riesling originated in the Rhine region of Germany. An aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually pure varietals and are seldom oaked. Riesling is a variety which is highly “terroir-expressive” meaning that the character of Riesling wines is clearly influenced by the wine’s place of origin.
- Paul Cluver 2015 215
A rosé (from French: rosé, ‘pinkish’) wine has some of the colour typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink colour can range from a pale orange to a vivid near purple, depending on the grapes and winemaking techniques. In South Africa there are mainly two methods to create rosé wines, namely limiting red grape skin contact when fermenting or blending red with white wine. The latter method is discouraged in most winemaking regions internationally. Historically rose was quite a delicate, dry wine but it did go through a fashionably sweeter stage from the late 1970s in the United States to everywhere else into the 1990s. Rosé is now moving, albeit slowly, back to its origins in style.
- Pierre Jourdan Tranquille 2015 142 /35
- Hermanuspietersfontein 2016 176/ 44
Blending different cultivars of red grapes gives the wine maker unrestricted freedom to create beautiful wine. The idea here is to create a wine that is bigger that the mere sum of its parts.
In South Africa blended red wines are mostly put into three main categories: Bordeaux Styled Blends, Rhône Styled Blends and Cape Blends. Wines that do not fit into any of these can be described as New World Style.
Bordeaux Styled Blends
-Usually driven by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. They can include one or all of the following components: Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
- Mveve & Raats 2014 1650
- De Toren Fusion V 2013 880
- De Toren Z 2013 695
- Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2013 320
- Reyneke Cornerstone 2012 315
- Mulderbosch Faithful Hound 2014 298
- Provenance Rooi (Saronsberg) 2013 250
- Hermanus Posmeerster 2016 176/ 44
Rhône Styled Blends
-More often than not, are a blend of at least two of the complementing cultivars: Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viogner or Grenache amongst others.
- Luddite Saboteur 2014 425
- Idiom SMV 2009 390
- Chocolate Block 2015 385
- Iona One Man Band 2009 400
- Journeys End The huntsman 2015 160/ 40
-They can be a blend of any two or more grape varieties in any ratio. The only requirement is that just short of one third of the wine is made up of the unique and proudly South African Pinotage.
- Martin Meinert Synchronicity 2010 495
- Warwick Three Cape Ladies 2013 330
- L’ Avenir Far & Near 2014 165
New World Style
-Often, crossing boundaries intrigues wine makers. Therefore it is not uncommon to create Bordeaux Styled Blends with a splash of Shiraz. The below are wines which do not fit the normal profile.
- Sijnn 2010 512
- Post House Pennny Black 2014 295
- Secateurs Cinsault/ Shiraz 2015 210/ 52
Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Today it is the most widely planted red wine grape in South Africa. Good Cabernet wines are dark red, smell of cedar, tobacco and blackcurrants, have considerable body and a firm structure and age very well in oak, which has a softening effect on the grape’s naturally high tannins. This variety flourishes in warmer climates, delivering high quality varietal wines in South Africa, California, Australia and Chile.
- Glen Carlou “Gravel Quarry” 2011 650
- Martin Meinert 2013 295
- Arendsig 2015 230
- Warwick “First Lady” 2015 176/ 44
Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of Californian vineyards. DNA fingerprinting revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, and also the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in the “heel” of Italy where it was introduced in the 1700s. The grapes typically produce a robust red wine, the taste of which depends on the ripeness of the grapes. Red berry fruits like raspberry predominate in wines from cooler areas, whereas blackberry, anise and pepper notes are more common in wines made in warmer areas. There are very few plantings in South Africa but good examples do exist.
- Idiom 2012 385
This superb variety from the northern Rhône in France has found success throughout the world. It delivers full-bodied, hefty wines that have excellent tannins and complex aromas, including violets, black cherries, wild herbs, liquorice, hummus and various spices. It is an early ripener and has recently gained good ground in South Africa.
- Luddite 2011 695
- Iona Solace 2014 495
- Journey’s End Griffin 2012 420
- Tamboerskloof 2013 365
- Raka Biography 2015 260
- Provenance 2014 198
This highly productive variety is suitable both for single varietal wines or blending with stronger, more tannic grapes. Traditionally the best results with Merlot are achieved in France, in the Bordeaux region where Merlot is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon (also Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot). These combinations produce long-lived wines of extremely high quality. Merlot is fruity, velvety and matures faster than Cabernet and has lately attracted International attention in varietal form especially here in South Africa. Some of the fruit notes commonly associated with Merlot include cassis, black and red cherries, blackberry, plum and blueberry. Vegetable and earthy notes include black and green olives, bell pepper, fennel, leather, rhubarb and tobacco. Floral and herbal notes commonly associated with Merlot include green and black tea, eucalyptus, mint, oregano, pine, rosemary, sage, sarsaparilla and thyme. When Merlot has spent significant time in oak, the wine may show notes of caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee bean, dill weed, mocha, molasses, smoke, vanilla and walnut.
- Shannon Mount Bullet 2012 580
- Anura Reserve 2014 240
- Jordan Black Magic 2014 280/ 70
- Rustenburg 2015 200/ 50
A 1920s South African inspired cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (Hermitage). It is made in a range of styles, from simply fruity to ambitious, well oaked examples. Best known for its earthy flavour
- Moreson The Widow Maker 2014 395
- Kaapzicht 2015 245
- Rijk’s Touch of Oak 2014 220/ 55
Pinot Noir is responsible for the famous red wines of France’s Cote d’Or, and plays an important role in the Champagne region. Pinot Noir is grown almost in every wine-making country and is one of the most challenging red grape varieties for a grower, since it requires a low yield and the utmost care during vinification to produce wines of convincing quality. In the broadest terms, the wine tends to be of light to medium body with an aroma reminiscent of black cherry, raspberry or currant. Traditional red Burgundy is famous for its fleshy, ‘farmyard’ aromas, but changing fashions and new easier-to-grow clones have favoured a lighter, fruitier style
- Bouchard Finlayson “Galpin Peak” 2012 658
- Haute Cabriere 2013 400
- Oak Valley (Elgin) 2013 398
Other Niche Varietals
Some less common red grape varieties used in many wine regions today include Aglianico, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Grenache, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo. These red grape varieties may not be as popular as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, and Zinfandel, but they shouldn’t be overlooked as they offer a unique drinking experience for the curious palate. Market is proud to offer some of these;
- Idiom Barbera 900 series 2011 800
- Sijnn Touriga nacional 2012 400
- Arendsig Grenache 2016 312
- Domaine De Deux Sangiovese 2013 285
- De Alexandria Muscat 2015 275
- Baleia Tempranillo 2014 220
- Adoro Murvedre 2013 230
- Swartland Bukettraube 2016 140/ 35
There is no simple definition of a dessert wine. Usually a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal. Noble Rot is often responsible for a good dessert wine’s sweet complexity. It feeds only on the water in the grape and not on the sugar, thus leaving a miniscule amount of very complex and sweet juice behind in each grape. This leaves a beautiful juice for a wine maker to work with. Enjoy separately or with a dessert.
- Vin de Constance 2008 950
- Glen Carlou “The Welder” 2013 215 / 30
Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Porto, and often simply port) is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, and comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. The wine received its name, “port”, in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the product was brought to market or for export to other countries in Europe.
- BoPlass Cape Tawny 2016 270/ 25
- Allesverloren Vintage 2011 250/ 20
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