You'd think after a week of tasting some 500 wines, I'd be running away from the stuff. Aversion therapy, I think they call it.
Not a bit of it. Instead, my palate is like an athelete's body, finely honed by an intensive training regime, and working with even greater precision and discriminative power. [Deliberately silly, this bit.]
Two prejudices to face head-on, tonight. First, that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is dull and predictable. Second, that all Pinotage is vile, filthsome stuff. Both prejudices prove to be ill-founded, on this occasion at least.
Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Marlborough, New Zealand
This is deliciously concentrated and fresh, with a lively, assertive cut-grass and green pepper herbaceousness, as well as piercing lemony, grapefruit pith fruit. A wake-up call to the palate. Deliciously intense and well balanced, this is a versatile wine that would match up well with some of the strong flavours of modern fusion cuisine. 90/100 (£12, UK agent MMD Ltd)
Sizanani Pinotage 2006 Stellenbosch, South Africa
40% of this brand is owned by an employees trust (http://www.sizanani-wines.co.za/
). It's a really gluggable, fruit-forward wine with soft sweet berry and dark cherry fruits countered by a bitter, plummy, tarry, slightly rubbery twist. The overall effect is of a juicy red wine with a sense of deliciousness and enough savouriness to make it work with take-away pizza or spaghetti bolognaise. It takes the slightly negative features of Pinotage and turns them into positives in the context of this wine, so I think it's worthwhile in the right context. 83/100 (£5.99 Oddbins)
Labels: marlborough, Pinotage, Sauvignon Blanc, stellenbosch