Canada Braai Day – a taste of South Africa
This past Saturday “braai” came to Toronto’s Distillery District bringing with it a host of South African culinary and cultural traditions as well as, of course, wine. A braai is an Afrikaans term for barbeque with a greater purpose of bringing together friends and family of diverse religions, demographics and cultures. The event promised to be family-friendly which, being a mom of three, always catches my attention.
Despite a terribly cold and rainy day, over 1050 people came out to experience this first annual celebration of South African food, wine and culture. Over 5400 samples of wine were poured encapsulating some of the best-selling South African labels. Hosted by CBC’s Dwight Drummond and Anne-Marie Mediwake and sponsored by Two Oceans and Neederburg Wines, the well-attended event was the first of its kind in Canada and organizers plan on making this an annual showcase with plenty of room for expansion and I, for one, hope that they do.
A consumer-focused event, the wine selection was small but featured bottles from wineries such as Flat Roof Manor, Two Oceans, Nederburg, Durbanville Hills and Obikwa. With free admission and complimentary wine samples, the event hopes to make this taste of South Africa accessible to all.
Although the selection was limited, the event successfully highlighted some of the great value available in the South African section at the LCBO. Having crossed paths with many of these top value wines in the past while, I wanted to showcase several of those worthwhile finds.
Flat Roof Manor Merlot 2012, $11.25
A very satisfying, modern and approachable range of affordably priced wines sourced from a prized estate vineyard in Stellenbosch with a long winemaking history. The name is inspired by the historic 18th century flat roof manor house situated on the property.
Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc, $12.95
From acclaimed producer Ken Forrester, this Chenin Blanc may be entry-level but it is no push-over, delivering an abundance of tropical and zesty citrus fruit on the palate.
Graham Beck Brut Rosé, Méthode Cap Classique, $19.95
Place In The Sun Shiraz 2012, $12.95
Another terrific value here, clean and fresh with a crowd-pleasing nature and beautifully concentrated fruit (not to mention an eye-catching label). The grapes are sourced from sustainable, fair-trade farms in one of the world’s sunniest winegrowing regions.
For more information about Canada Braai Day, visit: http://www.braai.ca
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