The ex-Australian cricketer, CEO of South Northumberland Cricket Club and owner of Marcus North Wines reveals his favourite South African varieties
For me, wine isn’t just about the taste; it’s about the great memories that are accompanied by the wine. South Africa is a country I was lucky enough to tour several times during my cricketing career. Apart from the amazing game parks, great weather, amazing steaks, the wines from the country are simply brilliant.
The South African wine industry has gone from strength to strength, with exports having more than doubled between 2003 and 2013. There vineyards are mostly situated in the Western Cape with a Mediterranean style climate.
‘Dynamic’ is probably the only way to describe the Cape’s wine scene. It’s an ever-changing picture driven by producers striving for constant improvement. Their enthusiasm is infectious, the quality and value they produce is outstanding.
When I think of my experiences in South Africa I think of these three wines …
The best steaks I have ever eaten were in the famous steak house, Butcher Block, in Johannesburg. This is where I first this big bold red. This wine is made in small quantities and only available at certain times of the year which makes it very sought after. A blend of five different grapes offering bold with deeply complex aromas, it does perfectly with a good steak.
£22.99 www.carruthersandkent.com Gosforth
I enjoyed this refreshing crisp Ondine Sauvignon Blanc on top of table mountain watching the sunset with my wife, Joanne. It is a very aromatic wine bursting of tropical fruits with a refreshing crisp feel and lovely finish you come to expect from a Sauvignon Blanc. Great with creamy cheese and seafood.
£8.69 www.majestic.co.uk Durham/South Gosforth
I was fortunate enough to visit Meerlust Estate when a group of us did a wine tasting when we were playing cricket in Cape Town This full bodied wine is a blend of 89 per Merlot with 11 per Cabernet Franc which gives it a more balanced structure and aromatic complexity.
£22.00 www.majestic.co.uk Durham/South Gosforth