Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spit or Swallow Movember Box Wine Tasting

I was lucky enough to be invited to this event. The Grand Daddy Hotel, ex Metropole Hotel for you old timers, played host. Wow what a venue, stunning rooftop play palace is all I can call it. Certainly my new favourite chill spot in Cape Town.

Personally I believe this has to be the most exciting event of the wine year. And I am not being sarcastic or flippant when I say that. Anel and Jan of are two smart cookies. And if there are any wine brands out there that need shaking up, modernising, (I can think of a few) I reckon you should be knocking on their door. They understand the new generation of wine drinkers, they understand social media, they are creative and most of all
very tech savy. Why does all this matter? Because the South African wine scene is so dominated by boring stiffs. People who are stuck in the past and wine hacks that are at each others throats. Quite honestly it all very sad.
So when I get invited to an event that is anti the establishment, anti old school bow-tie stiff I get very excited. Firstly this was a Box wine tasting, hell most wine snobs don't even know box wine exists. Secondly the dress code was "trucker cool", think lots of caps, moustaches, ray bans, chequered shirts, cheap t-shirts. Thirdly the venue was very hip and cool, certainly not pretentious. Most importantly the whole evening was relaxed, informal and fun.

So what of the wines. Well lets just say you get box wine you can drink and box wine you can't. I have never ever told anybody to stay clear of a wine...that is till now. Ever heard of Black Box Merlot/Cab Blend? If you haven't lucky you. It was number 6 in the red wine line up...6 is the mark of the devil and I can now see why. Tread lightly, drink at your peril. Be warned.

With box wine, you are looking for an easy drinking wine, you plan to drink a fair bit so it has to be pretty balanced, not too acidic or too sweet. With white boxed wines keep an eye out for Eno enducing acidity, and with the reds you want clean red fruit, no funkiness, or dirty off odours. The winners on the night were, drum roll please:

Drostdy Hof Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and Du Toitskloof Cellar 2010 Pinotage-Merlot-Ruby Cabernet.


  1. Dion - well said! That number 6 wine will give me nightmares for years to come. Pieter de Waal called it when he said it smells like puppy's breath. Milky and sour. I reckon it smelled like vomit, the type you throw down after a night of drinking shooters made of things like Cape Velvet and Amarula.

    Hennie @ Batonage

  2. Thanks for the kind words Dionysus. The evening would not have been the same without you!