Over two years ago I took a great trip to South Africa; the above photo is a shot of Cape Town, dominated by Table Mountain. As the World Cup kicks off on Friday, I thought it appropriate to suggest a wine from the host country that also comes in a large, portable, non-shattering vessel. My choice? MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc/Viogner in a three liter box. The MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc in a bottle is a long-time favorite white: a crisp, dry, and distinctive wine for 8 bucks. What could be better? How about when you package it in a 3L box for $20, dropping the per-bottle price to a sensational 5 bucks?
I have to note that this is not the exact same wine as in the bottle. It's not vintage-dated and contains 5% Viognier. (I'm guessing that the Chenin Blanc and Viognier are from different vintages.) What is remarkable is how seemingly such an insignificant amount of Viogner really transforms this wine. You get the classic, tell-tale, floral aromatics of Viognier, especially honeysuckle and orange blossom. (A side note: Viognier, especially from the microscopic French wine region of Condrieu, is one of the loveliest smelling wines in the world.) Not only does the Viognier boost the aroma of the Chenin Blanc, but it tames the acidity and adds a little bit of heft to the finish.
Jameson Fink is a wine buyer at a bustling grocery store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. He moved to Seattle from Chicago (where he dabbled in the restaurant and wine industries) five years ago to pursue a full-time career in wine. He’d rather be drinking Champagne and eating popcorn right now.