Students. Whether you are one, you know one, or pointedly avoid them, there is one word that is almost synonymous with their existence: budget. They are, for the most part, on some sort of (strict) financial plan. Out of necessity, not choice. Obviously.
Should this mean that the students of the World (well, Cape Town) are unable to enjoy the boundless grapes that get squeezed s so caringly into wine bottles around the Cape? No, my dear reader, this need not be the case. I’m here to tell you that, in a student digs environment, where around 3-6 students rent out a house, it is only natural that one of the first things on the grocery list necessitate a trip to the bottle store rather than the actual grocery store.
How so? Why, great wine for great prices, of course. What follows are 10 great value wines that should be on the rack of any self-respecting student digs – or, for that matter, anyone on a shoestring budget. What is important to note is that you don’t need to be rolling in money to enjoy a subtle Merlot or a fruity Sauvignon Blanc – us average folk can also raise our badly-polished glasses and bring our dulled senses to life with some superb wine.
“Got any spare change?”
The first two wines on my list can literally be bought with nothing but the spare change found down the back of your couch. These two are cheaper than your average 6 pack, and are solid, well-balanced wines perfect for everyday use, as the label suggests:
1 – VJ’s Good Everyday Cape White – R27.25 (Available at www.vaughanjohnson.co.za)
2 – VJ’s Good Everyday Cape Red – R29.95 (Available at www.vaughanjohnson.co.za)
“Care for some Luncheon, ma’am?”
In the vastly superior mind of a student, quality white wines are often associated with rich mommies piling block after block of ice into large glasses of crisp Sauvignon Blanc at 11am on a Monday morning, while they wait for other rich mommies to pull up in their 4×4’s and join them for a Caesar Salad. Now, whilst this scenario could very well be a daily occurrence, there is still so much more that a quality white wine has to offer, and at a student-friendly price too:
3 – Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc – R48.45
4 – BuitenverwatchingBuiten Blanc – R55.95
5 – Terra Del Capo Pinot Grigio 2008 (Franschhoek) – R62.95
“Why don’t we head back to mine and grab a glass of red?”
Ah, the red wine – perfect for those blustery winter nights in front of the fire with a slab of sizzling steak slapped in front of you by your loving partner. Or, in the case of students, perfect for those blustery winter nights in front of the small heater (bought by your mom) with a bowl of steak-flavoured two minute noodles chucked at you by your lazy digs-mate. Either way, these quality reds at ridiculously good prices are ripe (like a grape) for your student needs:
6 – Withington Shiraz/Cabernet – R44.85
7 – Doolhof Cape Boar 2009 (Cabernet/Merlot) – R49.25
8 – VriesenhofParadykloof Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – R65.15
“Does the colour of this wine match my shoes?”
No wine rack is complete with a Rosé or a Blanc de Noir resting precariously on its dusty shelf. The sweet aroma and taste speaks directly to your average student, as well as their characteristically fruity, yet easy flavour and strong length. Once again, there is no need to break the bank:
9 – De Grendel Rosé (Durbanville) – R47.55
10 – Delaire Cabernet Franc Rosé (Stellenbosch) – R55.35
Even for the student on the tightest of budgets, these wines are all affordable, and, importantly, are made such that they are of a certain quality. That as of now empty wine rack sitting in your lounge can now fulfil its purpose in life – to caringly hold a wide selection of great value wines, and allow you to live the student life to your true potential. Happy wine-sipping/chugging, students. You’ve earned it.
Prices quoted are from www.vaughanjohnson.co.za.
Second year student at the University of Cape Town, studying English, International Relations, Media and Writing and Mandarin. Very much a beginner in terms of wine blogging, but that’s all part of the fun. Interested in a variety of topics when it comes to writing, from travel and politics to beer and food. Love the development of a story on a page, and the emotion that can be drawn out of a person through the power of words. Join me on my exploration of all things wine.