I have been reviewing $10 wines for over four years. I have not amassed any formal statistics on the countries whose wines are most likely to pass muster. I do believe that South Africa has the best track record. So here comes another one. The Obikwa winery is named for one of the nation’s earliest peoples. It was founded in 2002 and has made a commitment to sustainability and the environment. Their wines include several whites and reds from international grapes and that South African standby, Pinotage, as well as one rosé and two sparklers. This wine carries the Wine of Origin Western Cape Appelation, which encompasses most vineyards in South Africa. The companion wine is a Lebanese Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon blend costing about half again as much.
Let’s start with the marketing materials. “Tasting Note : Deep red violet colour; aromas and flavors of strawberry jam, with hints of leather, blueberry and plum; dry, full bodied and softly textured. Serving Suggestion : Spicy bbq’d meats.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was rather sweet, presenting well-balanced tannins and acidity. When I nibbled on Japanese rice crackers dark cherries surfaced in the mix. The meal consisted of ground beef with salsa sitting on a bed of whole-wheat pasta. In response the libation picked up power and length but was too sweet. A generous portion of Chinese hot sauce rendered the juice peppery. Fresh blueberries for dessert made this Cab dark and almost brooding.
The next meal centered on homemade chicken breast nuggets sautéed in a mixture of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and chilies. Now our South African friend was plummy, offering light acidity. When paired with the side dish of eggplant and mushrooms in tomato sauce over mashed potatoes, this libation’s acidity picked up and I sensed some tobacco.
The final meal came out of a box. It was Eggplant Rolatini, including a sweet tomato sauce and several cheeses. Red emerged from this brief encounter almost pleasantly sweet providing the taste of tobacco and dark plums. But it lost most of its flavor in the presence of fresh strawberries.
Final verdict. I might well buy this borderline wine again. And I intend to try this winery’s other available offerings in the future.Access the companion wine A Lebanese Red Blend.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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