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Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water again… yes, Suipie is back, vampire-like, returned to his old haunts (he uses that word advisably), but as the saying goes, after changes upon changes, for good or ill he is more or less the same (!).

So, if there are any readers out there with the slightest literary pretensions, now might be a good time to think about stopping.  For those who go on, well, it’s at your own risk.

What has Suipie been up to then?  Well basically, doing his usual task of supporting the wine industry as best he can.  Every little bit helps.  Perhaps there has been one small change.  Suipie now looks with great pleasure at the amount of not necessarily expensive wine that is around.  You see, Suipie is no longer a young man.  In truth he has not been a young man for an awfully long time.  He is no longer quite sure any more that his taste buds can really do proper justice to those subtleties of great (and costly!) wines, so standards have perforce had to be lowered.  A little.  Call it a widening the range, if you like.

Suipie has always loved the Backsberg Dry Red.  A lovely wine that is far better than just “easy drinking”.  A new star on the block, for Suipie that is, would be Balance Wines.  You have probably seen the label:  it shows an elephant on the top of the “I” standing precariously on a small stool.  Very well priced and great drinking.

To Suipie’s immense delight he found they even have a Pinot Noir.  Suipie can do no better than quote their own tasting note:  “a refined wine and elegant nuances of warm spice, cherry and raspberry with a touch of oak”, which is exactly what it was.  The 2016 was awarded a Double Gold Michelangelo.

They are based in Worcester and started out in 2006.  Suipie spent a couple of very pleasant days in Worcester last December but had not discovered Balance then.  A pity.  Suipie sees that at their Bistro they have a great idea – a pizza cut into three slices with different toppings on each one, and a glass of different wines to match.  Clever.

On that trip Suipie spent far too much money at Ridgeback, but that is a story for another time.  Maybe just a mention – a rare and fabulous Methode Champenoise!

Worcester.  On the morning everyone was leaving the B & B Suipie went to settle up.  It was drowsy and warm and people were splashing in the pool.  They asked Suipie if it would be all right if rather they sent an account because it was too much trouble to sort it all out right now.  Would Suipie mind?  Really?  Eventually the account did arrive, almost a month later.  If Suipie is ever back in Worcester, that is the place where he will stay!

Going right off track now, Suipie does not think it is really correct that you should be angry when folk pass on, but he is still very angry at Tom Petty for doing that.  He still had so much music left in him.

One of Suipie’s favourite Petty songs has a line:  she wore faded jeans and soft black leather/she had eyes so blue they looked weather”.

The song is called “It’ll All Work Out”.

It ends:  “Still I think of her, when the sun goes down/it never goes away, but it all works out”.

What has this got to do with the subject to hand?  Suipie did warn you to be careful!  In fact, it kinda does.  Suipie’s go-to wine has always been The Weathergirl, made by The Berrio.  A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, it hits all Suipie’s right spots.

Now there is a contender.  From Nederburg, called The Young Airhawk.  This was named after the son of the owner Johan Graue, who tragically died in a light aircraft crash.  The wine is a lightly wooded Sauvignon Blanc and is simply delicious.  A truly excellent wine worthy of any occasion.  A wine where, after the first sip, you just lean back and absolutely know that all is right with the world.  Something that will compliment food beautifully but maybe you just rather drink it on its own.

The Berrio also do a Sauvignon Blanc.  The Estate itself is down Agulhas Way and this wine has something of the crisp minerality you would expect from the region but also a nice tasty fruit, with a creamy mouthfeel.  Very good drinking indeed! The answer?  Simply keep a bottle of each chilled at all times!