Three top wine picks from Alvi’s Drift
We take our pick of three Alvi’s Drift wines from their Reserve range paired with dainty canapés from Pick n Pay’s Winemakers Table food and wine pairing
Junel van der Merwe might be married to Alvi van der Merwe, owner of Alvi’s Drift, but she's a wine champion in her own right as a Cape Wine Master, the highest formal qualification in the South African wine industry, having obtained the sought-after title from the Institute of Cape Wine Masters in 2004.
In this capacity, she has assisted other Cape Wine Masters in attaining their qualifications and has taken on the role of wine adviser to the Cape Wine Academy. She judges in international wine tastings and is an ambassador for South African wine, having been appointed by embassies abroad to represent local wine.
She is also a member of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, which represents the wine-growing region of Champagne, France.
Alvi’s Drift has a prominent presence on wine racks in stores across SA, with many of their wines selling for a reasonable price despite boasting shiny labels from the numerous awards they’ve won.
We recently sampled some of their wines from the Reserve range through Pick n Pay’s Winemakers Table wine-tasting initiative which we enjoyed with bite-sized canapés.
1. A GLASS OF BRIGHT ELEGANCE
Alvi’s Drift Reserve Chardonnay 2019
This chardonnay is elegant. Presenting as a bright golden colour, it is full-bodied and rich with buttery notes and a rounded flavour from subtle oak maturation. Its balanced acidity makes a good candidate to pair with richer foods. We enjoyed it with a canapé of cheese puff pastry with lemon goat’s cheese mousse, fresh lemon zest and a thyme sprig. Enjoy now or age for another two to five years to draw out its ageing potential.
2. A SMOOTH AND COMPLEX WHITE BLEND
Alvi’s Drift Reserve CVC 2020
This is a smooth but flavourful and complex blend of chenin blanc, viognier and chardonnay. With notes of caramel and subtle vanilla, it is full-bodied enough to pair with bold flavours, from mild curries to Asian-style dishes. It paired seamlessly with Melba toast loaded with a decadent Camembert cream cheese, peach slices and basil-infused honey.
3. A SUCCULENT CAPE BLEND
Alvi’s Drift Reserve Drift Fusion 2018
A Cape blend with 33% driven by pinotage, this wine is full of flavours of ripe berry, dark plums and cherry. For a sweeter pairing, try it with a peanut butter sphere topped with hazelnut chocolate ganache and toasted coconut. Can also be served with heavier dishes such as roast lamb, steak or venison pie. It can age well for five to eight years.