• This month’s selection features vegan-friendly wines paired with vegan dishes.

    I love the sight of the sun bouncing off a glass of crystal clear wine—but did you know in order to make wines clear, they need to be fined?

    During winemaking naturally occurring organic compounds make the wine cloudy; it’s the job of the fining agent to bond with these allowing the cloudy stuff to sink to the bottom of the tank, where it is easily removed, leaving a bright wine behind.

    Many wineries use animal-derived products as fining agents, these include casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatine (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). Vegan wines are fined with clay-based bentonite or a kind of plant protein, or are bottled unfiltered and unfined.

    Enjoy this pick of five vegan wines, and remember to grab our November issue to read about more vegan wines as well as to win cases from both Org de Rac and Spier.

    Spier Creative Block 2 2019, R110

    Spier is the first winery in the WORLD to receive the stamp of Control Union Vegan Standard certification by the accredited certifying body Control Union. A Bordeaux-style white blend; the Spier Creative Block 2is a beautiful summer wine, a blend of 88% sauvignon blanc and 12% sémillon. The sauvignon imparts aromatics and freshness, while the sémillon gives it texture and length.

    Pair with: Crunchy fried cauliflower pops with sticky sesame dipping sauce

    Win a CASE (6 bottles) of Spier Creative Block 2 2019. Valued at R720. To enter, simply complete the entry form below. Terms and conditions apply. Competition ends 30 November 2019.

    Mensa Sauvignon Blanc 2019, R77

    Bright, fresh and utterly quaffable, this sauvignon is packed with aromas of lemon and tropical fruit. “This is the perfect wine to help you lose yourself in a bestseller by the pool. The wine bursts with zesty freshness,” says Mensa winemaker, Ben Snyman. Don’t feel like drinking the whole bottle? No problem with the easy twist Helix cork closure that opens and reseals the wine without a corkscrew. Another innovative feature of this wine is the Mensa Wine App, which you can download and active the augmented reality experience, as the Mensa label comes to life as a book.

    Pair with: Chickpea and carrot burgers

    Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir Rosé 2019, R79

    Just in time for summer Haute Cabrière has launched its maiden Pinot Noir Rosé. 100 per cent pinot noir, this rosé is made in an elegant, dry style. Redolent of summer strawberries and rose petals on the nose, the palate is zippy and fresh with watermelon and cranberry joining the strawberry flavour profile.

    Pair with: Baby aubergine, roasted tomato and avocado salad with hummus dressing

    Fairview Cinsault 2018, R105

    Utterly delicious and perfect for late spring sipping. Low in tannins, soft and perfumed this delicate expression of cinsault is not without complexity. On the nose find red cherry, plum, violets and blackpepper aromatics, leading to a soft and juicy palate, with a subtle stoniness that speaks to its terroir; 30-year-oldunirrigated bushvines in Paarl.

    Pair with: Vegan nachos with bean-and-avocado salsa

    Joostenberg Estate Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2017, R175

    This is a very special wine. Grapes were sourced from a 28-year-old, organically farmed, unirrigated chenin blanc vineyard on the Joostenberg farm. It’s said that 2017 was a dry year with a result of the “noble rot” infections being rare. It took nine different pickings through the vineyard to capture enough bunches to make the wine. Only bunches that were raisoned or infected by noble rot were selected. Classic NLH aromatics and flavours of apricot marmalade and waxy honey abound. Its luscious mouthfeel is balanced by a good acidity.

    Pair with: Black-bean brownies with peanut butter icing

    Written by Malu Lambert, food and wine writer. Malu Lambert is an award-winning wine writer. She won the title of Emerging Wine Writer of the Year at Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards 2019. She also won the Veritas Young Wine Writer in 2015.

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    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com