Month: May 2017

Southern California Gold

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water. “ – Galileo Southern California evokes memories of Hollywood, miles of beautiful beaches, sunlight and coastal highways of which driving legends are made. Add acres of vineyards in beautiful Temecula Valley to that picture and you have a 

Inspired wines by the glass in LA

“If most American cities are about the consumption of culture, Los Angeles and New York are about the production of culture- not only national culture but, also global culture.”- Barbara Kruger For the past 3 years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel to 

Explore Wines from South Africa – Mbali a Chenin Blanc/Viognier blend

“I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land” – Thabo Mbeki

South African has a long history as a beer loving country. Wine was first produced in the country in 1659. Over a four-year period from 2012 to 2016, the production of wines has increased by 20%. South Africa is now the seventh largest producer of wines in the world. The grapes are in huge demand across the world. South African winemaker Stellakaya noted that winemakers from the state of Texas are some of the largest purchasers of their grapes.

South African Vineyards – Beautiful!


I’m a risk taker and I enjoy trying new wines. I particularly like to explore wines that are below $20 per bottle. If you are willing to be adventurous you can find a solid wine for under $10. I like to explore at my favorite wine stores, in off the path places, as well as at local grocery stores. One store that specializes in private label brands is Trader Joe’s. Recently, I attended a sampling at one of my local stores and came across Mbali Chenin Blanc Viogner 2016. This is a Trader Joe’s exclusive import (

Chenin Blanc is the second largest grape produced in South Africa. Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier blend is 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier. This is a wine that has a great floral bouquet and the label features the national flower Protea. Mbali Chenin Blanc has a blend of peach and pear flavors with a light touch of lemon at the finish. This Chenin Blanc is very light on acidity making it an easy wine to drink. Mbali Chenin Blanc is crisp and refreshing and can be enjoyed by the pool as well as with light seafood and pasta dishes. Mbali Chenin Blanc is sourced from the Western Cape region of South Africa.

The best part is the price averaging under $7 per bottle at your local Trader Joe’s. This is a great way to introduce yourself to South African wines and one that you should consider purchasing in bulk so that you can have it available for friends dropping by, impromptu barbeques where seafood is featured and evenings/afternoons by the pool. Consider this Chenin Blanc/Viognier blend as a great introduction to the beauty of South African wines.


Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!

Drink Responsibly!

#traderjoes #southafricanwinemerchans #wbc2017