Here’s the thing I’ll never say in a job interview: I don’t learn from past mistakes. The time I thought my gelado game was better than Vida’s? I’ve tasted that dishwater-esque brew more times than I care to remember (and I never do). The time I thought I could re-date an ex? There’s a pretty strong negative correlation between intensity of heartbreak and time it takes my memory to lapse. The time when I get my pay cheque and think, ‘This month will be different… This month I’m on a R150-a-day budget… This month, I’ll save.’ Three days later I’ll look at my bank balance in horror, tweeting RB Jacobs about suspicious activity on my account, only to have The FNB Guy suggest that perhaps I was the suspect. I spend the rest of the month living off Maggie 2 Minute Noodles and tap water.
It’s happened to all of us (hasn’t it??). And you realise that this weekend, the dreaded weekend before payday, will probably be spent carefully crafting a you-sized shape in the couch while binge-watching your Friends boxset, and shovelling popcorn and noodles down your throat (warning: do not try this at the same time). Here’s another universal truth about the weekend before payday: there’s always a friend’s birthday/dinner party that you RSVPed to back when you were flush, and you really, really want to go (because free food), but you also know the only thing worse than not showing up, is not showing up with at least a bottle of wine for your host (and one for you).
As I’m pretty much an expert when it comes to surviving on the tens found in freshly washed jeans and under my car seat, I’ve drunk my way through enough end-of-the-month plonk to share these easy-on-the-budget exceptions – wines with quality that belies their asking price…
1. The KWV Classic Collection Chenin (R55) is crisp and fruity, with a notes of pineapple and pear. It’s an easy-drinker so perfect for a dinner party where guests are sharing.
2. A regular feature in our end of month trolley is the Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc (R57) – a fresh and delicious white blend that’s 85% Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Chenin and Chardonnay.
3. We’re sipping the beautifully soft Pierre Jourdan Tranquille (R54) during intimate dinners.
4. Boekenhoutskloof has a wonderful selection of affordable wine, but one that we keep going back to is The Wolftrap (R48). Juicy and rich, this is the kind of below-the-budget wine that won’t give you a nasty next-day hangover (depending on how much you drink).