Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Top Five from Savor South Africa

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 at 4:05 pm in Uncategorized.

Dudes, I’m back in the blogosphere. My apologies for the absence. It’s been one thing after another.

Our blogging tool was down, then I went to Cabo San Lucas for a week where I drank delectable Casa Grande Chardonnay. Then I headed to Napa for what was truly a dreamy weekend: private tastings at Vineyard 29 and Blackbird followed by dinner at Presse and two rounds of Taylor’s Refresher. Needless to say, I’m in withdrawls. But mostly, I’m craving the company of my fantastic traveling companions. More on that later.

As you know, writers are left-brained (no we’re not artists), and as such, I have to blog chronologically. So that means a full report from Savor South Africa, which was held last month at Fort Mason. I know, I’m sorry. I lag. Let me say up front that the wines were lovely overall, quite affordable and some quite intriguing.

It was a small and very scene-y evening, perhaps because of its proximity to the Marina District (who wears white Dolce & Gabana to an event dripping with Pinotage?) but Michaela and I got started right away, avoiding the Nor Cal bling to the best of our ability. All the wines I’m going to mention are available at

If you’re curious about the aforementioned hybrid grape — it’s Pinot Noir and Cinsault, created in South Africa in 1925 — may I suggest Warwick Estate Pinotage 2005? More smoke than bramble, and enough subtle tropical fruit to make a Tuesday night salmon with mango salsa really interesting. Plus it retails for $22.99, so not a huge commitment.

Riding the Pinotage train (I’m not getting off it, why should you?), I have to say the Golden Kaan Pinotage Rose 2006 was the best deal of the night. A gorgeous, spicy, wild stawberry juice at only $9.29. Also try their Chenin Blanc and Shiraz. All at this price point, all easy, week day, delicious drinking.

Next up, I loved the Boschendal Le Pavilion 2005, a dry, honey-and-roses blend of Chardonnay and Semillion. This would be my ideal summer wine, were it not approaching fall in the Bay. Oh well, next year. It’s on, and a steal at $10.29.

Lastly, you should know about the sparklings of Graham Beck, both the Methode Cap Classique Brut ($13.79) and the Methode Brut Rose Cap Classique 2005 ($19.99). The latter is similar to Taltarni’s Brut Tache, though not as sophisticated. But they’re both a great buy.

Sorry this is brief, but trust me, if you go to and
purchase these, you won’t be sorry. If you are, I’ll drink them for you.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Stan Sommer

    Thanks Jessica – for your South Africa Report –
    I just got the Golden Kaan wines, found them at BevMo –
    however mot the Pinotage Rose.
    I found their website
    Impressive wines – with unbeatable price-value relation. Never seen that from South Africa before.
    Best, Stan

  • Jessica

    Agreed Stan. It’s good wine at an even better price. I love it when that happens. If you have suggestions of similar wines, do share.

  • Jason

    Jessica – I am a huge fan of South African wines as well having visited their wine county on two seperate occasions. I am also looking forward to the Fort Mason event tonight!

  • http://ibabuzz/corkheads Jessica

    What were your favorites from the event?