The Doos Wyn Champs 2010

The last week has seen me attend two wine events that showed a real joie de vivre. Regular readers of this blog will remember our man Falstaff is my emblem of this most enjoyable state, for the others here’s a reminder:


The two events that had me all rosy cheeked and grinning were Spit or Swallow’s Box Wine Champs last Thursday  and last night’s Adoro Cheese and Wine tweetup launching a new natural sweet Mourvedre at L’Aperitivo. (check the next post)

The inaugural Box Wine Champs were held on the roof of The Grand Daddy Hotel. A suitable destination, as the roof is home to the hotel’s trailer park, and we all know caravan parks are the true terroir of doos-wyn.

It was simple. We were all given fourteen scoring cards, one for each wine (7 red and 7 white), with the score going from 1 (Wife Beater) to 10 (Disco).


The dress code was moustaches and trucker caps. After a few beers and an introduction by Anel and Jan from Spit or Swallow, the tasting began.

jan anel


What immediately became clear was that some of those tasting had already decided that the box wines were going to be crap. True, some were, but looking at peoples’ screwed up faces one would have thought we were drinking blind samples of each others’ urine. I found, on the whole, the wines to be clean, drinkable, and at times pleasant enough.

Let us take the example of the white wine winner, the Drostdy-hof – Sauvignon Blanc 2010. It’s a clean, if maybe a little acidic, easy, throw in some ice and sit by the pool kind of wine. It sells for about R80.00 for three litres which works out to R26.60 a litre.  So for 20 bucks a bottle chances are you wont be disappointed. However, if I bought a 750ml bottle of wine for R150 (so R200 per litre) and it’s a crappy, over worked flabby piece of kak, then I am going to be far more upset.*

Expectations play a big role here, and I think people went further than expecting the box wines to all be wife beaters, they believed it. So, in this most serious of tastings, I thought people were not being objective enough. To solve this next year there will be far more entrants (so if Drostdy-Hof triumphs again this dodgy press release headline could be believed) and all the wine will be in jugs with some top performing SA bottled wines slipped in amongst the field.

DSC00132Wine maker Pieter de Waal expounding on freshness (his rare Gamay Noir bottling), fashions (bowties), and Doos-wyn.

But let’s be honest, it was just a box wine tasting and it was tremendous fun. Moustaches were worn with gay abandon, wines were slurped and spat, and we all drank more doos-wyn that evening than we had done for years.

DSC00106Shirley from Vino Pronto rocking the inverse handlebars tache

Here’s a video from BottlePlatePillow


And the final results:

White Box Wine Results
  1. Drostdy-hof – Sauvignon Blanc 2010  (6.09 /10)
  2. Windmeul – Mill White (5.04 / 10)
    Box 7
  3. Carnival – Dry White (4.91 / 10)
    Box 4
  4. Robertson – Extra Light Sauvignon Blanc –  (4.91 / 10 )
    Box 1
  5. Du Toitskloof – Chenin (4.65 / 10)
    Box 6
  6. Robertson Sauvignon Blanc – (4.57 / 10)
    Box 5
  7. Du Toitskloof – Sauvignon Blanc (4.48 / 10)
Red Box Wine Results
  1. Du Toitskloof – Pinotage / Merlot / Ruby Cabernet (5.77 / 10)
    Box 7
  2. Dorstdy-hof – Cabernet Sauvignon (5.64 / 10)
    Box 4
  3. Bon Vino – Red (5.55 / 10)
    Box 2
  4. Robertson – Shiraz (5.55 / 10)
    Box 5
  5. Carnival – Classic Red (4.64 / 10)
    Box 1
  6. Robertson – Merlot (4.23 /10)
    Box 3
  7. Black Box – Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon (3.73)
    Box 6

*For the record, I will still be buying R150 bottles with the chance of being disappointed. These ‘zef-wines’ are not for me.


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