A toast to the festive season 

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Elegant Muratie Lady Alice Brut Rosé 2018, made from 100 per cent Pinot Noir, is all bright strawberry, cranberry and naartjie notes with rose-garden aromas … floral perfume and baking spice linger after each sip. R280 from wine stores or muratie.co.za

Benguela Cove Cuvée58 Method Cap Classique – think candied apple, pear and sweet grass, and fresh florals with a fine mousse – lovely with summer fruit, oysters, lemony chicken, Mediterranean platters, creamy desserts, and French toast. R170 from shop.benguelacove.co.za • This Vondeling Little Sparkle Chardonnay Brut sparkling wine is vibrant and refreshing, with notes of citrus … vegan friendly, R118 from vondelingwines.co.za

The 2021 vintage of the Bordeaux-inspired La Motte Millennium, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Petit Verdot, has appealing aromas of blackberries and plums, with a touch of fruit cake and dark toffee (so perfect for Christmas). The wine, with its lingering berry aftertase, is R170 from wine stores or la-motte.com • Allesverloren Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 – a deep ruby red, rich, full-bodied wine with lots of berry fruit flavours – blackcurrant and cherries – with undertones of dark chocolate. Excellent with poultry (hello Christmas turkey), or grilled or roasted red meat dishes such as beef or game. R170 from wine stores or allesverloren.co.za • Goats Do Roam Red 2021 has layers of generous berry fruit and spices, and pairs like a dream with rich, Mediterranean-style food. A massively affordable R73 … exceptional value for an award-winning wine. At wine stores or fairviewmarketplace.co.za. Oh … and the G.O.A.T. It’s for Greatest Of All Time!

Apricots and orange peel. A touch of sweet vanilla and honey. A hint of chocolate and cinnamon. Anyone thinking how well that would pair with coffee?

Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Whiskey makes an exceptional Irish Coffee. It’s also wonderful over ice. R305 from takealot.com and liquordrop.co.za • Tequila. Salted caramel. What’s not to love! Carnival Salted Caramel Tequila combines sweet, salty, and warming flavours. Sensational served over chilled ice. R360 from drydockliquor.co.za

For designated drivers and those not drinking, Mahala Botanical Amber is a brand-new dark alcohol-free spirit. Free from sugar and artificial flavours and colourings, it’s a blend of botanicals with hints of chillies, smoke and oak … brilliant with ginger ale, or to use as a base for cocktails such as the Old Fashioned. R299 from cutlerdrinks.co.za

A gift for a BFF. A bubbly to serve on Christmas day. Something to sip poolside. We’ve rounded up some faves.

Newly released from La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek is this Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2022 – fresh, elegant and dry, with hints of citrus and lime. R212 from wine stores or lapetiteferme.co.za

Blaauwklippen Chardonnay has just made a comeback. The relaunch of this much-loved chardonnay – with nuances of yellow peach and Crème Brûée – is perfectly timed for Summer. It’s wonderful on its own, and great with rich Thai and Indian curries. R250 from wine stores or blaauwklippen.com • The GlenWood Chardonnay 2023 showcases elegant orange blossom and lime aromas on the nose, supported by green apple and lime flavours on the palate. It’s crisp and refreshing, and is brilliant with Thai and Mediterranean dishes, and is spectacular with sushi and fresh seafood. R120 from glenwoodvineyards.co.za.

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