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The perfect wines for celebrations

As the end of 2021 draws nearer, an opportunity arises to slow down and take stock of the year. December marks mid-summer in SA which brings with it the start of the festive season and summer holiday vibes. The Festive season is done differently in SA from the Northern hemisphere with our hot summer days and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

One of the best ways to celebrate during this festive time of year is a meal with friends and family over long summer days. Whether it be snacks by the pool, a South African braai or full roast dinners, Ken Forrester has a wine to elevate this special time.

For those lazy days by the pool, the easy-drinking Petit range offers a wide selection of fruit-forward single varietal wines to please any taste. For those who only drink red, consider the Petit Pinotage, full of juicy fruit character and slightly chilled to help you stay cool.

For those wonderful braais or family roasts consider the Reserve range and in particular the Renegade and Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc. These are influenced by the traditions of the Old World Southern Rhone and born of SA New World fruit. The Renegade has dark and red berries, hints of spice, nutmeg, and salty black olive with soft integrated tannins. The Chenin is golden-hued and full-bodied, with melon and spicy baked apple aromas, layered with mineral notes enhanced by honeycomb and caramel flavours from lees contact.

Think of pairing the Renegade with perfectly roasted Karoo lamb with a Mediterranean inspired couscous salad. It also effortlessly steps up to the variety of grilled meats of a traditional SA braai. The Chenin is ideal for a grilled prawn salad with a hint of spice, rich chicken dishes and even a traditional roast turkey. These wines are delicious on their own or accompanying a variety of dishes and are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

For those particularly special celebrations, you need a wine that is special and unique to meet the moment. Ken Forrester offers the Icon Range with the FMC and the Gypsy. Also inspired by Southern Rhone, these are from carefully selected parcels of vines and the fruit is hand-harvested on multiple passes to ensure only the best and perfectly ripe fruits are used.

The FMC is a unique Chenin Blanc that is slightly off the wall, with its balance of brute force and finesse. This wine has a deep golden hue, with powerful rich dried apricots, vanilla and honey on the nose and palate. It has a full mouthfeel with soft edges, yet with the backbone to ensure lingering complex flavours. The Gypsy offers concentrated red fruits with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, spice and an expected wild brambly character from the Grenache led blend.

The FMC is perfect as an aperitif while taking in one of SA’s majestic sunsets, or for accompanying luxurious seafood dishes like shellfish risotto and grilled lobster tails with parsley and garlic butter dipping sauce. The FMC also has the full body and boldness to elevate intricately spiced curries. The Gypsy has layered complexity that partners with most grills and roasts, although consider a whole roasted peppered fillet of venison or beef to make this wine stand out.

Leading into this magical time of year, the uniqueness and complexity of the FMC and Gypsy make them a perfect end-of-year or festive gift to someone special who knows and appreciates the finer things in life. Remember Ken Forrester this season, while you slow down to appreciate those near and dear to you, there is a wine to lift any moment into a celebration.