Anthonij Rupert



No, really! One of the happiest days of my life was when I discovered that drinking wine is healthy. Who needs a gym? Ask the French, who live on a diet of real butter and cream, and all those marvellous cheeses, and plenty of pâté washed down by an average of 43 litres of wine annually per adult, and still live to a robust old age. This compares to the paltry 11 litres  consumed by South Africans, who have among the highest heart disease rates in the world.  Of course, the French know how to live, having made an art of it for centuries.

Take the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, for instance. It is the basis of some of the finest Bordeaux style blends, and is here often blended with Shiraz and Pinotage. Originally brought to this country by the French Huguenots, many of whose descendants are still heavily involved in our wine industry, it contains resveratrol, which helps the body  to lower bad cholesterol and increase the good, and  polyphenols, a powerful anti oxidant which helps to prevent cell damage from free radicals. If this wasn’t enough it also has quercitin, which helps widen blood vessels and prevent blood clotting. Obviously two glasses a day of this elixir of life can only be good for you, and especially for your heart. Can you imagine if the cigarette people could come up with this sort of data to support smoking? The powerful psychological benefits of drinking wine in good company should also never be underestimated, and moderation (try drinking a glass of water for each one of wine) is the key to healthy drinking.

Characteristics of Cabernet are very dark red fruit flavours, typically blackcurrants, plums, and cherries, with full mouth feel and plenty of grip, and a nice long finish. Cabernet is grown all over South Africa by hundreds of producers, with varying rates of success. One cannot expect a Cabernet from Stellenbosch to taste the same as one from Calitzdorp. They are like sisters who grow up in separate homes—they will have many characteristics that are the same but will develop in their own ways. Some of our finest Cabernets are produced by estates like Allesverloren, Boekenhoutskloof, Rustenburg, Meerlust, and others. It is the most planted red grape here, closely followed by Shiraz and Pinotage.  These grape plantings are vastly over taken by Chenin and Colombar, a lot of which goes into producing our famous brandies. Foods that go well with Cabernet are red meat casseroles, steak, roast beef, even a trusty old boerie roll. No wonder that it is a favourite with meat loving South African red wine drinkers.

For full flavour enjoyment of your wine, try putting reds in the fridge 10 minutes before drinking, and taking whites out for the same time period. Red wines are not made to be drunk at 28 degrees in our summer.

 Here are some of my favourites–search them out and enjoy.












If it wasn’t enough that the most delicious aromas greet one as you pour, the follow through in the mouth is sensational with plenty of liquorice, ripe red fruit and a smidgeon of spice. A cracker of a wine from master wine maker Boela Gerber. R249


French oak staves for 12 months keeps the price of this very quaffable wine nice and easy to handle—plenty of dark red fruit with some smoky elements—delicous.R79



Barrel fermented and then aged for up to 24 months in new French oak followed by 24 months further in bottle maturation–it all adds up to money and time well spent. Silky smooth with a subtle backbone of rich red fruit in fruit cake element, some spice, heaven. R600


Some of the wines from here have horsey names—Cavalli—horses—and hence the name of this easy to drink Cabernet, aged for 18months in various fill French barrels, opulent and full in the mouth with lots of red fruit to give it character. R 170 











Only available in magnums (2x 750 mls bottles) this fabulous wine is the very best that winemaker Van Zyl du Toit makes at this prestigious Franschhoek estate. Obviously time has lent a hand here producing superb red fruit intensity and some smokiness to help it all along. R 800 MAGNUM



Rated 92 points by Tim Atkins, this fabulous wine reveals the very best that this estate can produce, full of blackcurrants with a note or two of spice, full and round in the mouth with a gorgeous long finish. 24 months in mostly new French oak add to hefty price. R 400










A 5 star Platter winner, this is definitely one of the very best Cabs one will find in SA, wonderfully complex with an amazing depth of fruit underpinned by subtle oaking. R330


Another Franschhoek treasure from a famous and much loved estate—if you haven’t visited do so soon. A medium bodied wine packed with red fruit flavours with an added slight mint note which comes from the bluegums planted next to the vineyard. Age helps depth. R136


MENSA 2019

Chocolate undernotes in red fruit—sounds appealing? Nevertheless it is the grapes that give it what one needs in this easy going, easy drinking quaffer. R 93


The quirky little elephant balancing on the tightrope signals what this wine is all about—plenty of flavour backed up by velvety tannins—easy drinking charmer. Love the screwcap. A pleasure at R53.











A Swartland charmer from those clever people at Overhex outside Robertson using a mix of new and second fill French oak with some Hungarian to add spice, this is a lip smacking knockout which goes fantastically with food. R 200

ALTO 2016

From one of the most venerable Cape Estates, full bodied with complex structure, superb nose of intense fruit follows through into mouth and long finish. Superb with red casserole dishes.R250