1. Krone Borealis Vintage Cuvée Brut 2015, from Twee Jonge Gezellen Estate in Tulbagh, has classic good looks and is packaged specially for Christmas in a stylish gold embossed box with a ribbon handle. A classic biscuity bouquet with hints of jasmine and fresh apple notes follows onto a rich lees creaminess on the palate, which allows the pecan nut and sweet pear flavours to fill the mouth. Retailing nationally for about R110.
2 & 3. Kleine Zalze Brut and Brut Rosé are ideal bubblies to serve at a baby shower where the child’s gender is under wraps, we think. The Brut’s strawberry aromas and blackberry fruit flavours are complemented by biscuity richness, while the lively, fine mousse gives an unforgettable sparkling sensation. R122 from www.wine.co.za. The Rosé is a delicate silver-pink hue with a lively cascading sparkle, aromas of cherries and red berries with elegant layers of decadence on the palate. Cheers! R116 from www.wine.co.za
4. We love the simple, stylish presentation of Pongrácz Rosé, with its distinctive bottle shape. It has a delicate salmon-pink hue and yields strawberry tones layered with whiffs of baked bread on the nose, and juicy blackberry fruit on the palate. R140. Available at Pick n Pay, Makro and online from www.vinoteque.co.za.
5. One for your creative friends, Sparklehorse by Ken Forrester Vineyards looks so charmingly festive they’ll want to open it immediately (and perhaps keep the bottle afterwards to store paintbrushes in). Expect creaminess and delicate mousse with bright, fresh apple, pear and quince aromas. R150, Woolworths.
6. De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc MCC, with its elegant French-style gold-and-blue packaging, is made on a Stellenbosch estate that pipes baroque music through its vineyards 24/7 to enhance the grape-ripening process. See if you can taste the music in the hints of honey, white peach and pineapple complemented by savoury notes of roasted almond and toasted brioche. A fine mousse and refreshing acidity make this a really refreshing celebratory tipple. R200, Woolworths.
7. Guaranteed to elicit gasps when presented, the stunning golden Desiderius Pongrácz in its unique fluted bottle was recently ranked as the only South African Top 10 contender at the prestigious 2015 Effervescents du Monde competition in France alongside the world’s finest MCCs. Desiderius 2008 is a sensory delight with nuances of fresh fruit, almonds and rich buttery bread. Available at top wine outlets and boutique wine shops, and at www.vinoteque.co.za for R449.
8. Babylonstoren Sprankel 2012, with its blue-butterfly motif, comes in a striking orange embossed butterfly-design gift box. This bubbly is pale yellow tinged with green. Its bouquet is bursting with fresh green apples, lemon and lime, as well as gentle biscuit and brioche flavours, and on drinking has delicious layers of creaminess. Kept on the lees for four years, this beauty has depth. R495 from the farm cellar or its online store.