Every one of my wine picks is influenced by good value but this week we’re really talking Value Village. A red and white pair that deserve an Oscar for their performance.


They’re from South Africa, which is an interesting country in that the wines are more distinctive than those from other hot climates. While it can be hard to tell a Chilean Shiraz from an Aussie, there’s no mistaking the smoky quality in the South African edition.


The other thing I like about South Africa is its prices. For now at least, the wines tend to be a dollar or two less than its New World competitors. Especially in the case of Sauvignon Blanc.


Ubuntu Sauvignon Blanc is a friendly edition of this live wire grape variety. What the radio world calls soft rock. A fun wine to come home to or to sip at a party.


The Shiraz is also friendly. Rich with spicy/ smoky flavours and a lazy feeling that suggests hanging out on couch. Maybe thinking about a burger, or just having friends over. Ubuntu is an old African word for sharing, getting together and is a most appropriate name for these wines. You’ll find more good wines from South Africa in the Vintages recommendations box, right.



• Last Saturday at Vintages: Paul & Mallory Talmard ’06 Macon-Uchizy, Burgundy, France, (N0. 66639, $15.95) is a rich, lush, exotic Chardonnay for only $15.95. And it comes with a medieval French label so it looks like 50 bucks.

• ‘Wolfkloof’ Robertson, South Africa (No. 626341, $18.95) is very rich and with flavours that come at you like the Mowtown “wall of sound.”

• The perfect steak wine is LAMMERSHOEK ’04 ‘Roulette’, Swartland, South Africa (No. 58164. $19.95). Rich, spicy and seductive, but also down-to-earth.

Ubuntu ’07 Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa

• LCBO No.: 36798

• Price: $9.90

Ubuntu ’06 Shiraz, South Africa

• LCBO No.: 665281

• Price: $9.90